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32.41 lbs Wins the Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament - Sam Rayburn
By Patty Schaefer

9/08/02 - Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn

It was a fighting finish for the twenty three teams who came to fish the Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament. Winding up day one the weights were tight and it was anyone's game coming into day two. Winds gusting to 35 mph from tropical storm Fay, it was a challenge for some of these anglers to stay on their fishing spots. It took over 32 pounds to take first place in this event which raised important funds for the building of the Rayburn Pavillion.

Day 1 -
1st place leaders - (16.99 lbs) Corey Lowery and Kenny Jones
2nd place leaders - (16.03 lbs) Michael Lowery and Lance Lowery
3rd place leaders - (15.99 lbs) Francis Johnson and Johnny George
4th place leaders - (14.44 lbs) Donald Stringer and Bradley Stringer
5th place leaders - (13.74 lbs) Phil Addison and Ronnie Bates

Day 2 -
1st Place overall - (32.41 lbs) 2nd place leaders - (16.03 lbs) Michael Lowery & Lance Lowery of Etoile, TX weighed in back to back 16+ lb stringers and their consistency paid off bringing them a check for $2,300.00. At the end of day one they were second place on the leader board with their 5 fish limit. Having a good topwater bite with white buzz baits early, it was Texas rigged red shad worms that worked the rest of the day. Fishing shallow in 3-5' off of grassy points was their working pattern for both days of fishing. Their best bite was in the morning and began their cull by 8:00am. "It was rough out there, but the fish were biting good".

2nd Place overall - (32.11 lbs) Francis Johnson of Woodville, TX and Johnny George of Lumberton, TX secured their second place slot with back to back limits. Moving up from their 3rd place slot on day 1, their 16.12 lb stringer with a 5.71 lb kicker on day 2 brought them a $1,500.00 payday. They didn't have quite as much trouble fighting the wind and waves, as their fish were in protected areas of Buck Bay on day one and then in the Easley area on day 2. Starting with a black buzz bait early in the morning, then later switching to white, it was a working pattern they stuck with both days. They found their fish in 2-5' grassy points and pockets and said their best bite came between 7-9am, but caught fish the intire day. Their first four keepers came pretty quickly but they didn't start their cull until around 11:00.

Big Bass (8.25 lbs) - Mike Taylor of "The Stump" restaurant and Robert Marroquin of Orange, TX caught their big bass on a Stan Sloan Rattling Zorrow chartreuse/white spinnerbaits with Fenwick/Shimano combo's. Fishing off of 6-8' moss edgess near creeks in the mid lake area, 10:30am was their best bite, but having battery troubles they had to pack it in leaving the bass biting to get their Pantera Classic Bass Cat / 200 Evinrude bass rig quickly to get another battery then back to their fishing holes through the 3' swells Sam Rayburn was offering.

Final Standings -
1st Place (32.41 lbs) Michael Lowery & Lance Lowery
2nd Place (32.11 lbs) Francis Johnson & Johnny George
3rd Place (28.66 lbs) David Stringer & Bradley Stringer
4th Place (28.35 lbs) Phil Addison & Rodney Bates
5th Place (25.30 lbs) Bill Rodgers & Todd Driscoll
Big Bass (8.25 lbs) Mike Taylor & Robert Marroquin

This tournament has a 90% pay-back to the anglers with the other 10% being donated to the building fund for a much needed pavillion near the dam on Sam Rayburn. Col. Bill Marshall accepted the $600.00 check donated to the pavillion fund and was very gratefull for the large donation. He also thanked many of the other contributors such as Parker Lumber, Jeff Martindale, John Lewis, Warden Williams, Billy Rowles, Mike Taylor, Mary Taylor, Ed Holmes, Lakecaster Publications, Ed Snyder and many more for their monetary donations as well as time, work, supplies, etc. "We will have an 'Honors Board' built and placed at the pavillion site for everyone who has helped with the pavillion effort to recognize them for their part in making this dream become a reality."

Sponsors for the Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament Trail include: Baskin's Department Stores; Wrangler Rugged Wear; Justin Boots; All American Bass; Pepsi; Texas Burger; Brookshire Brothers Food & Pharmacy; Holiday Inn Express; La Crosse Serious Footgear; Pinecrest Ford Mercury of Livingston

For more information on the Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament Trail please call All American Bass at (936) 967-FISH or visit their website at `

Michael Lowery & Lance Lowery take 1st place with back to back 16+ lb stringers

Francis Johnson & Johnny George came in a tight 2nd place with 32.11 lbs
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

Mike Taylor of "The Stump" and Robert Marroquin brought in this 8.25 lb Rayburn Big Bass beauty

(L-R) (Tourn. Dir.) Wayne Lewis ;(1st)Michael Lowery/Lance Lowery(np); (2nd) Francis Johnson/Johnny George; (3rd)David Stringer/Bradley Stringer; (Tourn Dir.) Steve McLauren; (Front) Big Bass - Mike Taylor / Robert Marroquin

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