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Tight Lines, Tight Weights at the Fishers of Men Tournament - Sam Rayburn
By Patty Schaefer

The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail Texas Division came to Twin Dikes Marina on Lake Sam Rayburn for their tournament May 11, 2002. Tough fishing conditions greeted the 45 teams who came to participate with winds in excess of 20 mph. Weights were tight as there was just over a pound difference between 1st and 4th place. Fighting the high winds and 4' swells, the anglers and their equipment were put to the test to stay on their fish.

Steve Kirkpatric and Chris Hallum, both of Lake Jackson took 1st place with a limit weighing 13.62 lbs. Using a Texas rigged watermelon red Senko, sour grape wacky worms and Devils Horse, this team was able to cull 3 bass to their final weight. Taking their Cobra / Johnson bass rig to 4-8' grassy points, they reported that the bite was consistent all day, but better in the afternoon.

Coming in at a very tight second with 13.38 lbs was Wayne White & Pete Shivers. Taking their Skeeter / Yamaha to grassy coves, they enjoyed a great morning bite with Chug Bugs. After the morning bite, they switched over to plum apple worms and fished them in wacky, Texas and Carolina rigged styles. Late in the afternoon they were able to cull 2 bass up to their final weight.

3rd place team of Gordon McBride of Zavalla and Audie Aultman of Lufkin weighed in a 5 fish limit of 12.77 lbs. They took their Pro Gator / Mercury bass rig up the Attoyac River to fish flooded willow trees in 4-5' with green pumpkin craw worms. Their best bite came between 10:00 & 12:00 and culled 5 fish to their final limit.

The father / son team of Richard & Ricky Belsey secured 4th place overall with 12.57 lbs and took 1st place Big Bass with their kicker weighing 5.89 lbs. They raced to Farmers Flats in their Pro Gator / Mercury bass rig to fish cotton candy lizards in 11' grass.

Weighing in at 12.27 lbs, Randy Lewis of Lufkin and Frank Williams of Huntsville secured 5th place. Starting out the morning with topwaters such as Zara Spooks and Spit'n Images, they found this pattern worked well just off the banks in the main lake near Twin Dikes Marina. Once the morning bite was through, they went to a wacky worm pattern in a plum apple and concentrated in 6-8' depths on the edge of the needle grass.

1st place - 13.62 lbs Steve Kirkpatrick / Chris Hallum
2nd place - 13.38 lbs Wayne White / Pete Shivers
3rd place - 12.77 lbs Gordon McBride / Audie Aultman
4th place - 12.57 lbs Richard & Ricky Belsey
5th place - 12.27 lbs Randy Lewis / Frank Williams
Big Bass - 5.89 lbs Richard & Ricky Belsey

Teams from 36 divisions encompassing 22 states are competing to qualify as one of the 25 teams to represent their division in one of the 4 Regional Championship Tournaments where over $35,000.00 in cash & prizes will be awarded including a fully rigged 2002 Triton TR-185 bass boat with a 150 HP Mercury motor. The top 25 teams will be determined after next month to fish the Championship at Ferguson Lake in Greenville, MS September 13 & 14.

For more information on the Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail East Texas Division, please contact Duck Wright, Director at (936) 897-9951, email or visit their website

Sponsors include: Triton Boats, Spike-It Bait Company, Mercury Outboards, Cabela's, World's Foremost Outfitter.

1st Place - (13.62 lbs) Steve Kirkpatrick and Chris Hallum

2nd Place - (13.38 lbs) Wayne White & Pete Shivers
< photos by Patty "Schaefer>

"3rd Place - (12.77 lbs) Gordon McBride & Audie Aultman

Big Bass (5.89 lbs) & 4th Place (12.57 lbs) Ricky & Richard Belsey

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