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10 fish / 30.24 lbs Wins the Angler's Choice Couples Championship - Sam Rayburn

By Patty Schaefer

After two tough grueling days of fishing it was a fighting cast to the finish for Pat & Ted Walker of Mississippi, winning couple for the Angler's Choice Couples Championship held out of Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn TX. Coming into the final day of competition, the Walker's were in second place, 5 ½ lbs behind day one leaders Tom and Beverly Barrett. Knowing they were on good fish after day one the Walkers went back to the same spot just above the 147 bridge and fished a Devil's Horse all day in the lilly pads. Fishing the outskirts of the pads in 2-8' of water, they culled two limits of fish, beginning their cull by 1:00 in the afternoon. Their efforts paid off, winning the Bass Cat rig valued at $22,000.00. The boat was rigged with a Mercury Outboard, Quicksilver Propeller, MotorGuide Trolling Motor, Interstate Batteries and a Bass Cat Trailer.

124 couples qualified to fish the Angler's Choice Couples Championship held at Twin Dikes Marina, Sam Rayburn Lake - TX October 26 & 27, 2001. There were 6 qualifying events held in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. No entry fee was required of the anglers who qualified for this event.

Day one of competition started with a very chilly morning, temps in the low 40's. The day progressed with temps rising into the 70's, partly cloudy skies and light winds. Sam Rayburn lake is at optimal fishing level, being within 2 feet of full pool and plenty of grass. As the couples weighed in on day one it was quickly apparent that it was a tough bite. Many couples brought in sacks with one to three fish, but for the ones who lucked onto the right spots and brought in their limits, it was easy to be in the top rankings. The couples reported using a little of everything from various worm riggs to spinnerbaits, crankbaits to topwaters. Coming into day two the temps were a little lower, the winds a little higher and the skies a bit brighter. Nearly all the couples brought in heavier sacks on day two.

2nd Place Couple - Tom and Beverly Barret from Sulphur, LA brought in their limit on day 1 weighing 17.75 lbs including their big bass kicker weighing 6.69 lbs. This gave them a whopping 5 ½ lb lead over second place to start day two. Being one of the last couples to weigh in, keeping everyone in suspense after their big lead, their second day sack weighed 9.30 lbs for a two day total of 27.05 lbs to put them in second place overall earning a cash prize of $4,500.00 including the side pot. Tom and Beverly caught their fish on a Texas-rigged crawworm in the south lake area in 14' foot in a grassy ditch.

3rd Place Couple - Jeff and Amanda Manous of East Texas maintained their 3rd place position bringing in 11.42 lbs on day one and 11.98 lbs on day two for a two day total of 23.40 lbs. Jeff and Amanda caught their fish on crank baits in 5-10' of main lake area scattered grass. They were able to cull one fish at 3:00 pm today to bump their weight up. After having a little boat trouble yesterday, it was smooth sailing for them today earning $1,650.00 including the side pot.

Top 5 Couples :
1st - Pat & Ted Walker Coldwater, MS 30.24 lbs
2nd - Tom & Beverly Barrett Sulphur, LA 27.05 lbs
3rd - Jeff & Amanda Manous Dayton, TX 23.40 lbs
4th - Danny & Virginia Buckner Scottsboro, AL 18.87 lbs
5th - Mel Davis & Gail Wood Arkansas 16.96 lbs

Big Bass :
1st - Tom & Beverly Barrett 6.69 lbs $500.00
2nd - David & Erica Kayda 6.34 lbs $250.00

The Angler's Choice Couples Championship is the richest and most prestigious couples event in the United States. The region directors and Johnny and Sally Davis have successfully worked very hard to make this trail successful and enjoyable for the anglers who participate in it.

Angler's Choice, Inc. is sponsored by Mercury Outboards, Bass Cat Performance Boats, Motorguide Trolling Motors, T & H Marine Accessories, Keep Alive Oxygen Infusion Systems, Interstate Marine Batteries, Cabela's, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Fenwick, Sure Life Laboratories, Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Ramada Inn, Holiday Inn and the Angler's Choice Couples Teams. For more information please call Angler's Choice at (817) 573-3400 or email at anglerschoice@itexas.net


Top 5

3rd Jeff - Armanda Mancus
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

1st - Pat - Ted Walker

2nd - Tom - Beverly Barret

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