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5 Bass/23-15 Lbs Lands Boater/Win For Rayburn BFL
By Ed Snyder

-5 Bass/16-13 Lbs Takes Co/Boater Win-

Wal-Mart/Operation Bass -Bass Fishing League- Cowboy Division-
Saturday, March 16, 2002, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

With a lingering front providing cloudy, peek-a-boo sunshine, with slightly cooler fishing conditions, the 402 teamed Co/Boater and Pro/Boater anglers fishing this tournament were expected to bring in some heavy bass-sacks for this event, especially after the previous day bass-chats were that the majority of Rayburn's bass were holding on shallow beds in 65 degree waters. "But, not all of these BFL tournament anglers were expertised at being "sight-fishing" anglers, and only the after the final weigh-in at Twin Dikes Marina finalized this tournament would the winning pattern be revealed for this qualifying $7 Million Dollar tournament tour.

Angling teams for this event are made up of Boaters -(boat owners)- and Co/Boaters -(riders)- who then fish for separate 5 bass limits that will be weighed-in for separate Boater and Co/Boater awards for each division. The top 30 boaters and co/boaters from this event then qualify for the regional championship and a shot for the Wal-Mart BFL All American Championship.

(Contingency awards are initiated for this tournament that can greatly enhance the cash awards given out at these events.)

1st place Boater-(5 bass/23-15)-In his first Pro/Win of a BFL event, Tomball TX, Pro/Boater, David Mauldin, put his BassCat/Mercury bass-rig over Buck Bay shallow brush to work American Rod Smith rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The winning Pro/Boater concentrated on sight-fishing bedding bass in 3 coves with watermelon/red Lake Fork Tackle ring-craws. Fishing "bank-shallow" bass beds in 2'-3' buck-brush patches, David managed to catch his winning weight, which included a 6-15 big bite at 7:15 am.

2nd place Boater-(5 bass/21-04)- Pro/Boater Charles King of Shreveport LA, ran his Pro-Gator/Mercury bass-rig over south-lake brush to work Lews rods and Browning reels spooled with 20 lb test Stren Super-Tuff line. The 2nd place pro/winner fished shad colored Zoom flukes and Zoom watermelon floating worms around "bank-shallow" brush to catch his weight, which included a 6-7 big bite at 11am.

3rd place Boater-(5 bass/20-13)- Goodrich TX, pro/boater, Scott David, put his BasCat/Mercury bass-rig to Buck Bay brush to work Kistler rods and Pflueger reels spooled with 20 lb test P-line. The 3rd place Pro/winner flipped bubble-gum Larew craws and Berkley Power Worms to catch his weight from "bank-shallow" brush-patches.

Overall Boater Big Bass-(9-03)- Pro/Boater, Mark Richards, of Houston TX, put his Champion/Evinrude bass-rig over "bank-shallow" mid-lake brush to work Castaway rods and Abu-Garcia reels spooled with 25 lb test Tri-lene XT. Mark was fishing a 2' brush-patch with a Texas rigged Strike King green-pumpkin tube when his 9-03 big bass hit on a 10:30 am big bite for $1,000.

Top 5 Boaters:
1-(23-15)- David Mauldin/Tomball, TX-$5,000
2-(21-04)- Charles King/Shreveport, LA-$2,500
3-(20-13)- Scott David/Goodrich, TX-$1,500
4-(20-06)- Archie Hayley/Mount Vernon, TX-$1,200
5-(19-13)- John Pierce/Rockwall, TX-$1,100

Ranger Cup Award-Not Available at print-$500

Boater Tally- 682 bass weighing 1,735 lbs.

1st Place Co/Boater-(5 bass/16-13)- Joe Daw of Spring, TX, fished with Leesville, LA, Pro/Boater, Ken Hayes while working Allstar rods and Shimano reels spooled with 12 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The Co/Boater 1st place winner fished gold/black/orange Rogues up in north-lake 2' buck-brush to catch his weight, which included a 6-5 big bass on a10:am big bite. Joe Daw had recently won another Co/Boater 1st place winning position at the Cowboy BFL event last month on Lake Toledo Bend.

2nd Place Co/Boater-(5 bass/15-12)- Rick Westfall of Houston, TX, was fishing with a Louisiana Pro/Boater while working Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb test P-line. The 2nd place co/boater fished "bank-shallow" Buck Bay brush with Zoom watermelon-seed super-flukes to catch his weight, which included a 6-15 big bite at 9am.

Overall Co/boater Big Bass-(9-01)-Michael Bass of Austin, TX, fished with Pro/Boater, Dean Morgan of Hamshire, TX, and while working his Falcon rod and Shimano reel spooled with 15 lb test McCoy line, Michael managed to hook and land a 9-01 big bite on a june-bug Zoom trick-worm from out of a 5' brush-patch for $500 as well as the 4th place co/boater slot for $750.

Top 5 Co/Boaters:
1-(16-13)- Joe Daw/Spring, TX-$2,500
2-(15-12)- Rick Westfall/Houston, TX-$1,250
3-(14-05)- Lee Saenz/Nacogdoches, TX-$750
4-(14-03)- Michael Bass/Austin, TX-$600
5-(13-07)- Teddy Mendoza/Pitkin, LA-$550

Co/Boater Tally- 380 bass weighing 883 lbs-

All bass were recovered and live released by Wal-Mart BFL fish recovery.

For more information on the Wal-Mart BFL circuit contact FLW Outdoors at (270)-362-4880- or click to www.operationbass.com

Wal-Mart/Operation Bass BFL Sponsors: Wal_mart- Faded Glory- Stanley Tools- Alpo- EverStart- Ranger Boats- Evinrude- BC Powders- ShopVac- Frito Lay- BF Goodrich- Conseco- Fuji- Stren- Garmin- Kellogg's- SNICKERS- Land-O-Lakes- Coleman- Chevy Trucks- MinnKota- U.S.Bank- Castrol- Poulan- Energizer- Yamaha- Pepsi- Weed Eater- Abu Garcia- Berkley- Eagle Claw- Laker- Plano- Solar Bat- and the Wal-Mart BFL tournament anglers.


Co/Boater Michael Bass hefts his 9-01 "overall" Co/Boater big bass

Co/Boater Joe Daw with reps to his 16-13 first place win
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Pro/Boater David Mauldin, with help from his co/boater, displays his 23-15 first place win

Pro/Boater Mark Richards hefts his 9-03 "overall" pro/boater big bass

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