Lakecaster Online

Florida Pro Wins WBFA Texas Invitational
By Ed Snyder

-Florida Angler Takes Amateur Division-

WBFA Tour - Texas Invitational "Beauty and the Bass" Pro/Am
Friday, May 19, 2000, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"I didn't see the Twister behind us, stated the startled but happy grandmother, "but after it touched down the bass-bite really began to turn on "HOT!!". The lady amateur/angler from Florida was fishing with a Florida Pro, when the weather suddenly turned nasty as the winds shifted and the rain squalls blew, but after the predicted cold-front passed through both lady anglers would clinch the Pro & Amateur divisions of the WBFA Texas Invitational on Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

WBFA ReCap-First day competition put everyone on "rock & roll" patterns with 25 mph windgusts and 6' rollers giving the Pro-lead to Barbara Wetzel of New Jersey for her 5 bass/18.52 lbs she caught on Zoom june-bug wacky worms fished over Rayburn Dam area grass-beds. Wetzel also nailed a 6.03 lb big-bite for Pro Big Bass honors. Florida angler, Ann Milligan, fished with Jasper TX, Pro, Liz Lewis, to catch a 5 bass/11.96 lb Amateur lead while fishing Carolina rigged Zoom pumpkin flukes through mid-lake grass-beds.

WBFA ReCap- Second day bassin' weathered more "rock & roll" patterns with gusting s/e winds and near 90 degree heat setting the stage for day-2 competition. New Jersey Pro, Barbara Wetzel "hung-tuff" to maintain her lead for the 1st place win with a 5 bass/12.35 lb catch for a 2 day total of 10 bass/30.87 lbs. Florida Amateur, Ann Milligan, brought in a 3 bass/6.74 lb catch for holding onto her lead with a 2 day total of 8 bass/18.70 lbs. Texas Amateur, Patti James nailed the 2nd day "overall" with a 6.03 lb bass.

With "reliable" reports of Rayburn experiencing a -RARE- late-spring "full-moon phase" bass spawn mixed in with bream and crappie spawning in the same areas, it was an unusual sight to behold as bank-shallow grass-beds were active with bedding bass chasing spawing bream and spawning crappie chasing "everything". Kinda' looks like a Charley Chaplin Keystone Cop comedy, advised the lake area Fishing Guide reporter, but it's happening right now while the girls are fishing their tournament.

With $52,000 offered in cash & prizes, and with 1st place pro/prize of a fully rigged Triton TR-19/Mercury-150 Bass Boat, and a 1st place amateur check for $4,000, the three days on "Big Sam" provided some really exciting bass tournament competition at Twin Dikes Marina."This is our National Tour for the Woman's Bass Fishing Association, explained CEO/Director, Willy Cook, "where the women bass anglers are provided an opportunity to compete against other women anglers for cash & prizes. "We are a Pro/Am format, Willy informed, "where the amateur angler has an opportunity to team up with pro/angler for fishing and competing against "other" Pro/Am teams. "For learning bass fishing experiences from the inside, and for just plain "having-fun" with some of the finest women anglers in the world, Willy advised, "you just can't beat the WBFA Tour, "and along the way, Willy further advised, "you can win some really BIG cash & prize awards as you visit scenic bass fishing areas such as "Lake Neely Henry, Alabama, "Kentucky Lake, Tennessee, "Pickwick Lake, Alabama, "Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas, and our WBFA Tour Classic World Championship at seasons end.

1st place Pro/Winner-(15 bass/34.19 lbs)- Florida/Pro, Marcia Fann, gave credit to her 22' Triton/Mercury bass-rig while she fished Caney Point, Buck Bay, and Little Tiger creek areas all three days while working Marcia Fann Custom rods and Quantum reels spooled with 15# Sufix Tritanium line. "I concentrated on fishing old lake hydrilla edges and points, explained the Florida Native, as she told of how she was able to spot these grass-beds with her Costa DelMar glasses while fishing "Bang" sprayed catfish rigged Gambler kudzu lizards with 3/4 oz Gambler Ratlin' weights parallel to the grass-edges. "I also used Team/Daiwa vibration cranks, informed the lady Pro who managed to catch a three day weight of 15 bass/34.19 lbs to win the tournament and the keys to a $25,000 Fully-Rigged Triton-Tr-19/Mercury Bass Boat & Trailer.

1st Place Amateur/winner-( 13 bass/24.67 lbs- Florida Grandmother, Ann Milligan, fished with Liz Lewis of TX, Pam Martin of Georgia, and Marcia Fann of Florida while fishing with Fenwick rods and Lews reels spooled with 17# Berkley Mean/Green line. The "1999 Amateur Angler of the Year" caught her winning 13 bass/24.67 lb weight with Carolina rigged Zoom lizards, 6" yellow floating worms, and white Zara Spooks. "I was with Marcia Fann on the final day, she informed, "when the cold-front blew through and the water spout landed behind us, "but, she grinned, "after the twister touched down the bass-bite really got "HOT".

"Overall" day-3 Big Bass-(5.06 lbs)- Texas/Pro, Karla Bullard, managed to put her Triton/Mercury up on Little Tiger Creek where she worked a Shakespeare rod and Bass/Pro reel spooled with 12# Trilene rigged with a chameleon Crème scoundrel wacky worm. "I was fishing a 12' stick-up when the 5.06 bass hit on a 10:am bite, smiled the San Antonio Bass N'Gal.


Top 5 Leaderboard Marks;
1-Marcia Fann/FLA-------------------------15 bass/34.19 lbs
2-Barbara Wetzel/NJ------------------------11 bass/34.06 lbs
3-Sherrie Brubaker/OK---------------------13 bass/31.93 lbs
4-Jonell Whitstine/LA---------------------12 bass/30.33 lbs
5-Bernice Wilkes/GA----------------------13 bass/29.98 lbs

Pro/Bass totals-(Day-1)-147 bass/290 lbs)-(Day-2)-151 bass/363 lbs-(Day-3)-154 bass/312 lbs-
1-Ann Milligan/FLA---------------------13 bass/24.67 lbs-
2-Patti James/TX--------------------------8 bass/18.87 lbs-
3-Judy Milligan/FLA---------------------6 bass/17.27 lbs-
4-Kristi Mitchell/TX----------------------8 bass/16.52 lbs-
5-Angela Anderson/TX-----------------7 bass/15.57 lbs-

(Amateur/Bass totals)-(Day-1)-50 bass/99 lbs)-(Day-2)-43 bass/83 lbs-(Day-3)-59 bass/113 lbs-
First Day Big Bass- Pro-(6.03 lbs)-Barbara Wetzel-NJ-Amateur-(4.15 lbs)-Angela Anderson-TX-
Second Day Big Bass-Pro-(4.76 lbs-Sherrie Brubaker-OK-Amateur-(6.03 lbs)-Patti James-TX
Third Day Big Bass-Pro-(5.06 lbs )-Karla Bullard-TX-Amateur-(4.7 lbs )-Judy Milligan/FLA-
All bass were recovered and released by the WBFA fish recovery team-

For more information on the WBFA Tour contact Willie Cook at (205)-663-5243 or clic to <> for directions on how to get to Twin Dikes Marina contact (409)-698-2696.

WBFA Tournament Sponsors; Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Deka Marine Master, Eidolon Baits, EZ-Rig, SpiderWire, JWA, Minn-Kota, HumminBird, FlowMaster, Kick'nBass, Gary Yamamoto Baits, Reyes del Mar, Ramada Inn Jasper, Ann's Tackle Shop, Roger Bacon Outdoors, The Catfish Cabin, Jasper Outboard, Needmore Tackle, Piney Point Plaza, Golden Corral, Holiday Inn Express, TaMollie's, Texas Charlie's, Miller's Grocery, The Stump Restaurant, "and" the WBFA anglers.

2nd place Pro- Barbara Wetzel of N.J.

Florida Pro- Marcia Fann bringing in the winning sack
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Top 5 Pro's-(on stage)- Top 5 Amateurs-(in front)

WBFA Champion- Marcia Fann- claiming her $25,000 prize

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