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5 Bass / 20.70 lbs Wins Bass-N-Bucks East Texas Team - Sam Rayburn
By Patty Schaefer

Plunging their rods into the water to thaw the ice, battling the wind, catching the fish. True grit. That's what today's anglers displayed in its finest form. 201 teams came into the playing field today at Twin Dikes Marina in weather that was so cold that they were literally covered in ice. Wind chill factors near 0 (ZERO) degrees for more than half the day. The anglers reported that any overspray that got in the boat - or on them - froze almost instantly. This didn't daunt these anglers who overcame these factors to bring in awesome stringers to get their share of the over $42,000.00 guaranteed in cash and prizes. Twenty five places were paid today plus three big bass places.

This marked the third of seven tournaments in this trail, all held on lakes Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Livingston. The top 40 teams, which will be determined by both points and pounds, will fish the championship on Sam Rayburn. They must fish 5 of 7 tournaments to qualify for the championship with points. After the top 40 have been determined, the next 5 highest finishing teams or individuals in weight at the last tournament will go, they must have fished 6 of 7 tournaments to qualify. There will be one team or individual selected by random drawing. They must have fished 7 tournaments. There will be one team added to the championship for every 5 teams over a 100 team average per tournament. Bass N Bucks tournaments is one of the best training grounds for Pro's, Semi-Pro's and other serious anglers. These are open team tournaments and so even if you can only fish one or a few, it is a great opportunity to test your skills against a wide range of tournament anglers.

1st Place - Ricky Guy of Deer Park and John Salamone of Spring, TX brought in an incredible 20.70 lbs to take first place which won them a fully rigged Skeeter SX190 boat powered by a Yamaha 150 motor. They fished red rattle traps in 2-12' points and creeks with 7' Allstar Titanium rods and 15 lb Berkley Big Game line. They only got a total of 7 bites today so every hookset counted. Their Ranger/Mercury stood up to todays wind and waves challenge to bring their first place stringer to the scales.

2nd Place - Bill Egres of Frisco and Gary Paris of Emory, TX took a close second place with a five fish limit weighing 20.54 lbs. This brought them a check for $2,600.00. They also fished with red rattle traps along with methiolate trick worms in 6-8' secondary points with grass. Out of the 10 fish they caught today, only 6 were keepers. They fought the ice until about noon today and their best bite came between 1:00 & 3:00. Gary just fished the BASS tournament here on Rayburn a few weeks ago and was only 3 lbs out of the money. I'm sure he used some of the tricks he picked up there to help in today's tournament.

3rd Place - Vince Oliva of Nederland and Ray Beck of Beaumont, TX had a 5 fish limit weighing 18.43 lbs. Their 3rd place stringer caught them a check for $1,600.00. This team fished with a red Cotton Cordel Wiggle-"0" in 8-10' grass flats. They said their bite was good all day and they were able to cull six times. Their biggest challenge was the ice cutting their lines.

4th Place - A J Downs and Chad Hoke, both of Conroe, TX weighed in 18.12 lbs today and got a check for $1,400.00. They fished with white Stanley spinnerbaits in 2' of water near creeks in the south lake area. Their best bite was mid-day. These men started their day by losing their net, then the ice froze on their rods & reels, froze their live wells shut and their throttle in place.

1st Place Big Bass - Ken Hayes of Leesville and Kraig Welborn of DeRidder, LA won Big Bass with their 7.07 lb kicker winning them a check for $1,000.00. Their total stringer weight was 17.65 lbs which took 5th place overall for another check of $1,200.00. This team got to the tournament with their Green Chevy Pro Team truck and Procraft/Mercury boat. Their Abu Garcia's, spooled with Berkley Trilene 17 lb test was their choice with their Cyclone chartreuse/white spinnerbaits with a white Reaction curl-tailed trailer. They fished in 6' grass in the south lake area and reported their best bite came between 8-10:00.

Thank you to the sponsors: Hawg Caller; Lunker Lure; Rat-L-Trap; MotorGuide; Shimano; O'Reilly Marine Parts; Lowrance; Sketter / Yamaha; Dual Pro Charger;; Super 8 Motel - Hemphill, TX; Costa Del Mar sunglasses; Izorline; McFerrin Insurance - Beaumont; Need More Tackle - Sam Rayburn; Check-It-Stik; Piney Point Plaza - Sam Rayburn; Holiday Inn Express - Jasper, TX; Toledo Town & Tackle - Many, LA and the participating Anglers.

For more information on any of the Bass N Bucks tournaments please contact Dave or Trish Concienne at (409) 727-8941, email at or visit their website at

2nd Place - Bill Egres & Gary Paris with best 4 of 2nd place 20.54 lb stringer

Big Bass - Ken Hayes & Kraig Welborn with 7.07 lb Big Bass
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

1st Place - Ricky Guy & John Salamone with 4 of their 20.70 lb 1st place catch

1st thru 3rd- (Front) 1st-Ricky Guy & John Salamone; (Back) 2nd-Bill Egres & Gary Paris; 3rd-Vince Oliva & Ray Beck; Big Bass - Ken Hayes & Kraig Welborn

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