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5 bass / 19.24 lbs Wins Excel Open Team Tournament - Toledo Bend
By Patty Schaefer

Thirty eight teams came to fish the Excel Open Team tournament today on Toledo Bend Lake out of Frontier Park Marina. Over half the field came in with limits and weights were tight, being fractions of ounces apart. Many of these anglers caught several limits to cull their bags. Their morning started with temps in the low 40's warming to mid 70's by the end of the day and wind factors averaging around 15 mph. It was a high pressure scenario with blue bird skies and the fish were hungry.

Five places were paid in this event. One place is paid for every seven entries and two big bass places are paid. This is the second of seven qualifying tournaments before the championship this fall. Fifty teams will qualify to fish the championship which has a guaranteed purse of $25,000.00. All of the tournaments in this trail will be fished on Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and Lake Livingston. The lake the championship will be held on is yet to be announced.

1st Place Team - Lindy Hadley of Sam Rayburn and Jeff Lennox of Scott, TX took first place with their 5 fish limit weighing 19.24 lbs and a check for $1,900.00. Their 6.80 lb 1st place Big Bass kicker fish got them another check for $230.00. They caught their fish on a Texas rigged cotton candy lizard and fished the north lake area in 10' timbered flats. They reported that the bite was good all day, catching about 30 keepers total. They started culling around 9:30 am.

2nd Place Team - Jim Gaard of Dibol and Wade Stout of Kingwood, TX earned a check for $1,135.00 for their stringer weighing 15.42 lbs. They also made a second place Big Bass check for $150.00 for their kicker fish weighing 6.55 lbs. They took their Triton / Mercury down to the south end of the lake to fish 5-10' ridges with carolina rigged pumpkinseed Zoom lizards. They reported catching a couple of limits today with their best bite being between 7:00 - 9:00 am. They were culling by around 8:00 am.

3rd Place Team - Phil Hennigan and Bobby Barreraz brought in a 5 fish limit weighing 15.30 lbs earning them a check for $950.00. They reported throwing rattle traps all day and catching bedding bass. They said the wind helped their bite today.

1st Place Team Jeff Lennox / Lindy Hadley 19.24 lbs
2nd Place Team Jim Gaard / Wade Stout 15.42 lbs
3rd Place Team Phil Hennigan / Bobbhy Barreraz 15.39 lbs
4th Place Team Joe Palermo / Mike Corteloni 15.37 lbs
5th Place Team Bob Barnes / Sam Fling 15.06 lbs
6th Place Team Matt Reed / Edwin Evers 14.80 lbs
7th Place Team Scott David / Klint Meyers 14.39 lbs
8th Place Team Nick Albus / Ed Loitz 13.77 lbs
9th Place Team Richard Carpenter / John Jordan 13.15 lbs
10th Place Team Sonny Glasco / Ken Robinson 13.08 lbs

1st Place Big Bass Jeff Lenox / Lindy Hadley 6.80 lbs
2nd Place Big Bass Gim Gaard / Wade Stout 6.55 lbs

Many of the fishermen told how they actually watched the bass take the baits, the water was so clear and they were fishing so shallow. Wooded areas as opposed to grassy areas seemed to be where the fish were hiding today. 133 total bass were weighed in for a total tournament weight of 329.83 lbs.

The next Excel Open Team tournament will be March 24 at Waterwood Marina on Lake Livingston. For more information please contact Randy Knight at (979) 694-7634 or check out their website at . Sponsors of this tournament are Daichi hooks, Holiday Inn Express & Needmore Tackle of Jasper, TX, BCS Trophies of Bryan, TX, and the participating anglers.

1st Place - Lindy Hadley & Jeff Lenox with their 6.80 lb kicker

2nd Place - Jim Gaard & Wade Stout with their 6.55 lb kicker
< photos by Patty Schaefer>
1st thru 3rd - Jeff Lenox & Lindy Hadley; Jim Gaard & Wade Stout; Phil Hennigan & Bobby Barreraz

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