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Texas BASS Federation Top "7" Anglers Qualify For Central Championship - Houston Oilman's Bass Club Takes 1st Place "Braggin'-Rights"
By Ed Snyder

26th Anniversary Texas B.A.S.S. Federation Top 6 Championship
Friday, April 7, 2000, Frontier Park Marina, Toledo Bend Lake, LA.

The incredible strain of fishing three days under the pressure shifting winds and intense competition was very apparent during the Texas BASS Federation Top Six Championship as 298 wind-tired and sun-burned anglers weighed-in their final day sacks. But plenty of smiles and back-slapping humor was also very apparent as "the family" which represented the 54 federation bass clubs gave kudo's and applauds to the final "7" anglers who managed to qualify for the Central Division Championship.

This is the day that we've all been looking for, informed Texas BASS Federation President, Randy Kindler, "as the best anglers from the Texas Federation clubs spent three long hard days fishing for a berth at the upcoming Central Division Championship. "We've had 54 BASS Federation clubs represented here for the past three days, stated Southeast Texas Director, David Walton, explaining that of the 289 anglers who were competing only the top 6, along with the 6 regional "Anglers of the Year", will qualify to go to the Central Division Championship to be held on Louis & Clark Lake in South Dakota. "From there, informed Walton, "only one angler from each state will qualify to compete at the Nationals, "then, from the Nationals will be picked the top BASS Federation angler from each division who will go on to compete at the BASSMaster's World Classic in the year 2001. "This is a "grass-roots" organization, explained Kindler, "where we provide the amateur anglers an opportunity to fish and compete their way up the top of the National scale, "and" the only way that an amateur angler can qualify to fish at the prestigious BASSMaster World Classic Championships.

"The next Texas BASS Federation Top Six State Championship will be held on Lake Amistad, Randy Kindler announced, and with that notification drifting in the air, the 26th Anniversary of the Texas BASS Federation on Lake Toledo Bend, became a Bookmark in federation bass tournament history.

Tournament Re-Cap;
( Day-1)-John Hatton of the Beaumont Bass Club edged a 1st day lead with 12.93 lbs and Richard Porter of the Houston Oilman's notched a 2nd place mark for his 12.80 lbs and Houston Oilman, Cooper Aucoin managed to grab the limelight for his 8.04 lb big bass.
(Day-2)-John Hatton of Beaumont Bass retained his lead by catching 11.44 lbs for day 2 bassin' giving him 24.37 lbs. Richard Porter of Houston Oilman's managed to hold onto 2nd place lead by catching 11.27 lbs for a total of 24.07 lbs. Vidor Bass angler, Mark Grissom, took 2nd day big bass with a 7.75 lb lunker.

(Day-3)-Final Day Top "Seven" Championship Winners; -"South Dakota Bound"-

1st-(33.64 lbs)-"Indian Mounds, Housen Bay, and Six Mile Creek, were my fishing areas, announced Houston Oilman's angler, Richard Porter of Houston TX. "I ran an Astro/Mariner and fished with Castaway/Falcon rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# Berkely mono, Richard further informed, as he told of working Wacky style Zoom watermelon/red trickworms and carolina rigged pumpkin Baby Big Claws along mainlake grass-edges near deepwater drops. "The trick was to catch 5 bass limits all three days, explained the 1st place winner who put 15 bass/33.64 lbs on the scale and the 1st place "braggin'-rights" on the shelf for the Houston Oilman's.

2nd-(32.88 lbs)- Ranger/Mercury got me here, answered South Texas Bassmaster, Jim Behnken of San Antonio TX, as he spoke of fishing St Croix rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# P-line. "I worked 1/2 oz S.O.B. crawfish Rattlin' Shads and 1/2 oz chartreuse/white S.O.B. Buzzbaits along 4' to 6' Housen Bay sandpoints and 1' to 2' clearwater bays all three days, explained the Team S.O.B. & T & C Tackle angler who put 32.88 lbs on the board for his 2nd place finish.

3rd-(32.41 lbs)- Beaumont Texas Bassmaster, John Hatton, put his Ranger/Mercury on northlake grass-edges all three days which had deepwater drops. "I worked Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# P-line, John stated, further explaining that he fished carolina rigged 6" watermelon Zoom lizards and watermelon centipedes for catching his 32.41 lb 3rd place finish. "I lost my 5th bass today,"a big one", grimaced the Team Texas Marine angler, as he advised as to why he weighed-in a short limit today.

4th-(31.67 lbs)- Gary Smith of Vidor Bass Anglers told of fishing north of the Pendleton Bridge on day-1 as he concentrated on 5' to 16' ridge-lines. "But I went to Jesse Lowe Bay yesterday and today, Gary informed, telling of working Wacky style watermelon Zoom trickworms and carolina rigged watermelon Zoom centipedes along 5' ridge-drops and windblown pockets. "My Champion/Evinrude got me in there, Gary stated, and my Castaway/Falcon rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# Berkely mono put my 4th place 31.67 lbs in the well, grinned the Vidor TX, angler.

5th-(29.54 lbs)- Ranger/Yamaha my man, grinned Vidor Bass Angler, Mark Martin, as he told of fishing Allstar rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# Berkely mono. "I fished with carolina rigged kudzo and watermelon Zoom centipedes all three days, answered the Vidor TX, angler, telling of fishing 10' mid-lake points and humps all three days which put his 5th place weight of 29.54 lbs in the boat.

6th-(28.73 lbs)- Elton Oxley of Vidor Bass put his concentration on 8' to 10' mid-lake grass-edges that were around the Pendleton Bridge area all three days. "I ran a Champion/Mercury bass-rig while fishing Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 17# & 20# Berkely Big Game mono, stated the Tyler TX, angler, as he informed of using carolina rigged watermelon Zoom centipedes for catching his 6th place finish of 28.73 lbs.

--"SPECIAL NOTE"-- Since Elton Oxley was already qualified to compete at the Central Division Championship due to his "Angler of the Year" status, the 7th place angler would qualify for a fishing slot at the South Dakota tournament.

7th-(28.63 lbs)- "LUCKEEE" Bass Club of East Texas angler, Jeff Wise of Lufkin TX, "slipped-in" as a "non-boater" who fished Allstar/Castaway rods and Quantum reels spooled with 20# Trilene mono while working 1/4 oz white buzzbaits w/trlr-hook and TX rigged green/pumpkin Zipper worms. "I mainly fished Palo Gaucho 3' flats with laydowns and stumps, informed Wise, as he gave credits for his 7th place finish of 28.63 lbs.

Day 3 "Overall" Big Bass-(6.43 lbs)- Mansfield Bassmaster, Delbert Clark of Mansfield TX, ran a Champion/Yamaha while fishing a Castaway rod and Shimano reel spooled with 17# Berkely Big Game mono. "I was working a carolina rigged kudzo Zoom french fry, Delbert informed, as he told of fishing a mid-lake creekmouth when a 7:45 a:m: big bite on a 6' grass-edge put the 6.43 lb lunker in his boat."Thomas Sherwood of the East Texas Bass Anglers netted it for me, Clark further informed.

Day-3- 2nd big bass-(5.64 lbs)-"I was fishing with Aucoir Cooper of Houston Oilman's today, answered Les Kennedy of the AFW Fishing Team, further explaining that he was in a Ranger/Mercury while fishing an Allstar rod and Shimano reel spooled with 15# Stren. "I was working a 3/4 oz custom colored Trap along a Bug Island 8' drop when the 5.64 lb bass hit at 8:am, explained the Ft Worth TX, angler.

Day one- "Overall" big bass-(8.04 lbs)-Cooper Aucoin-Houston Oilman's Bass Club-
Day one- 2nd big bass-(7.25 lbs)-Brian Milliorn-Grand Saline Bass-
Day two- "Overall" big bass-(7.75 lbs)- Mark Grissom-Vidor Bass-
Day two- 2nd big bass-(7.40 lbs)- Sandy Jeane-Lake Livingston Bass n' Gals-
Day three- "Overall" big bass-(6.43 lbs)-Delbert Calrk- Mansfield Bassmasters-
Day three- 2nd big bass-(5.64 lbs)-Les Kennedy- AFW Fishing Team-

All bass were recovered and live released by the Shimano/SRA-LA Fish Recovery Krewe-
Day-1-Tally- 422 bass weighing 903 lbs
Day-2-Tally- 465 bass weighing 977 lbs
Day-3 Tally- 547 bass weighing 1,135 lbs
Three day total- 1,437 bass weighing 3,027 lbs-

For more info; on the Texas B.A.S.S. Federation contact David Walton at (409)-422-4422-

Tournament sponsors; Sabine County Chamber of Commerce, Ranger Boats, Mercury, Berkley Trilene, JERZEES, Plano, Chevy Trucks, AC Delco, Eagle Claw, K-Mart, Humminbird, FlowMaster, MinnKota, Wrangler, "and" the BASS Federation top 6 anglers.

Cooper Aucoin with 8.04 Tournament "overall"

With Fed-Prez, Randy Kindler & S/E TX Director flanking- the top 7 anglers-with 1st & 2nd kneeling- take their bows

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