Lakecaster Online

Lakecaster Angler Clinch the Excel Open Team Championship with 28.63 lbs
by Stephanie Wilkerson

September 7-8, 2002 .......... Lakeview Marina, Lake Livingston, TX Local heavy rains and winds thanks to tropical storm Faye welcomed the 24 teams that qualified for the Excel Open Team Championship fishing tournament that was held on Lake Livingston. $10,000.00 was up for grabs as each team was faced with very challenging fishing conditions, rain squalls at 100% chance for both days.. As the second day approached, these anglers fished in very wet conditions again----they were blessed with rain all during the day with periods of threating lighting and thunder and then the good Lord saw fit to let it stop and the sun came out just as they were to weigh in for the final day. In order to qualify for this championship, each team had to fish a number of tournaments, weigh in fish in which that received points for at every tournament, and the 24 teams with the highest points were then invited back one more time to compete for the 2002 Excel Open Team Champions. Day 1 recap: Lakecaster writer/Travis Boating Center& Ranger Pro- Chris Wilkerson from Livingston, TX and Justin Hale from Nacogdoches, TX weighed in 5 bass at 16.69 lbs. Chris explained that they ran their Ranger/Yamaha bass rig over midlake on day one of competition using Falcon Cara rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb Berkley Big Game to work blue and black plastic worms in about 8-12 foot of clear water in spite of all the rain and high winds. They focused mainly on main lake humps and had their limit around 10:30 that morning. Deryl Janzen from Hemphill, TX and Keith Morris from Nacogdoches, TX weighed in 5 fish at 14.96 lbs. This team stated that they fished up north in their Pro Craft/Mercury bass rig using Enders rods and reels to work spinner baits on 12 lb Classic line. Derly explained that they fished in about 3 foot of stained water concentrating on laydowns. This duo also had the second largest bass of the tournament which gave them an extra $400 to take home on the second day. Bill Harlin from Crosby, TX and Albert White from Houston, TX came in not too far behind on the first day with 5 bass weighing in at 14.59 lbs. This duo fished out of a Champion/Mercury bass rig up North on the lake using Falcon rods and Quantum reels spooled with 20 lb Berkley Big Game to work top water baits and spinner baits. Bill stated that they fished mainly in about 2 foot of stained water on laydowns and had their first day limit around 9:00 that morning. Bill and Albert also managed to capture the big bass of the tournament on day one weighing in at 6.87 lbs in which they stated that they caught the bass on a spinner bait. Day 2--Final Day of Competition: 1st place..... Lakecaster/writer/Travis Boating Center & Ranger Pro Chris Wilkerson and Justin Hale managed to hold on to the top position and was awarded the title of "champions" for the 2002 year. Chris stated that their fishing patterns did not change very much on the second day just the fact that it rained ALL day long with very high winds and even lighting and thunder which made the fishing way more challenging. This duo weighed in 5 bass at 11.94 lbs which gave them a two day total of 28.63 lbs and the winning pot of $10,000.00 Chris and Justin were very pleased with this big win, they both have worked very hard throughout the year as they finished 1st in the last qualifying event for the championship which was held on Lake Sam Rayburn. Congratulation to them both. 2nd place team Mark Meuck and Yancy Long both from Livingston, TX weighed in 5 bass on the second day for 12.19 lbs. which gave them a two day total of 24.60 and $5,000. Mark and Yancy positioned their Triton/Mercury bass boat in White Rock using Kistler, All-Star Rods and shimano reels spooled with 17 and 15 lbs Berkley Big Game to work crankbaits and top water lures. Yancy explained that the fishing condition were very tough the second day with all of the high winds and the rain would never seem to stop. This duo concentrated on laydowns in about 3 foot of clear water conditions. 3rd place team Albert White and Bill Harlin managed to hang on to third place with a second weight of 9.90 lbs and 5 bass which gave them a two day total of 24.49 lbs and $3,000. Albert stated that they too kept their same fishing patterns on the second day despite the squalls and the winds. "Fishing was a lot hard today", Albert stated but they were very happy with their finishing as well as claiming the right for the big bass of the tournament with put and extra $600 in their pockets to take home. There was a total of 79 fish caught on the first day weighing in at 188.19 lbs and on the second day 60 fish with a weight of 129.87. This gave a two day total of 139 fish and 318.06 lbs for tournament. Randy Knight, tournament director for Excel was very please with this years turn out and hopes that next year will even bigger and better. Excel would like to thank the Lake Livingston Tourism council for allowing this tournament to be possible---thanks for all your hospitality,

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