Lakecaster Online

Louisiana team wins Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament
By Patty Lenderman

The Baskins Wrangler Angler tournament trail had their fourth of six events March 8th at Cypress Bend Resort, Toledo Bend. Twenty six teams fished this 100% payback tournament where one place per eight boat entries is paid.

The temps did not quite reach the 79 degree mark the weathermen had promised, but it was a nice overcast day to fish none the less. The anglers and tournament crew came to the launch site which was crystal clear around 6am, but then a blanket of fog came to rest on the lake by 6:30, delaying take-off until just before 10:00. "You could barely see 50 feet" many reported. Due to the extensive delay, the weigh in was re-scheduled for 4:00 to try to give the anglers more fishing time.

With the influx of freshwater from all of the rain we've recieved combined with the water being let out at the dam, some of the anglers decided to back out into deeper water to find their fish. Even though anglers in recent past have been following the bass progressively shallower inching up to the bedding areas, when all of the factors of lake conditions like water temperature, fluctuating lake levels, where the bass have been and where they would go given the elements of the situation were put together, the top three teams saw that it added up to deeper fish, which paid off.

1st place - 19.15 lbs - $3,000 - Craig Hall of Leesville fishing with 18 yr old partner Phillip Grooms, Jr of Rosepine secured first place by using Carolina rigged watermelon flukes in 23' tree tops in and near channels. "The bite was good all day. As soon as we got to our spot, BAM-BAM!" All total they caught around 30 keepers. The tournament directors and some of the other anglers remarked that with a little sponsorship, 18 yr old Phillip Grooms could very easily be the next up and coming Rick Clunn.

2nd place - 15.32 lbs - $2,000 - Malcom Williams and Wayne White, both of Bronson, TX used black/blue jigs for their catch. Fishing 10-12' grassy main lake humps in the south end of the lake, they worked their jigs like worms. "That's just how the fish wanted the bait presented" this team explained.

3rd place - 12.19 lbs - $1,150 - Father/son team of Terry and Chris (14 yrs) Helgeson of Fort Polk, LA used crank baits as well as Carolina rigged christmas tree colored senko's for their catch. Fishing 14' depths off of main lake points, they found timber to be the key. "If you could throw your bait out there and bump a stump, you'd get bit" they reported as their system for catching fish. They reported catching 20 bass in 1 ½ hours using this method.

Big Bass - 5.54 lbs - $350 - Kerry Oschmann of Franklin, LA fishing with partner Danny Miller of Lafayette caught the big bass of the tournament on a Texas Twister 3/8 oz camo jig. Fishing 2-4' depths in coves and creeks with points, Kerry found his fish holding in the brush. "I feel very blessed just to be able to get out there and play" Kerry said and then added "Grandma - I love you". Kerry is sponsored by PIC Pro Control.

1st - $3,000.00 19.15 lbs Craig Hall / Phillip Grooms, Jr
2nd - $2,000.00 15.32 lbs Malcom Williams / Wayne White
3rd - $1,150.00 12.19 lbs Terry & Chris Helgeson
Big Bass $350.00 5.54 lbs Kerry Oschmann / Danny Miller

The next event is scheduled for April 12th at Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn. For more information please contact the Baskin's Wrangler Angler Tournament Trail at 936-967-FISH or visit their web sight <>

Sponsors Include: Baskin's - Wrangler Rugged Wear - All American Bass - Justin Boots - Pepsi - Pinecrest Mercury of Livingston - Ford - Brookshire Brothers - Super 8 Motel - Holiday Inn Express - LaCrosse Footgear - Academy Sports & Outdoors -

1st place team of Craig Hall & Phillip Grooms hoist four of their 19.15 lb catch

Malcom Williams & Wayne White secured 2nd place with 15.32 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Father/son team of Terry & Chris Helgeson take home 3rd place honors with 12.19 lbs

Kerry Oschmann took Big Bass of the tournament with his 5.54 lb catch fishing with Danny Miller

(L-R) Tournament Director Steve McLauren, 1st - Craig Hall & Phillip Grooms; 2nd - Malcom Williams & Wayne White; 3rd - Terry & Chris Helgeson; (Front) Big Bass - Kerry Oschmann & Danny Miller

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