Lakecaster Online

Father & Son team up to win Bass 'N Bucks on Toledo Bend
By Patty Lenderman

The season of lunkers latching on to the end of anglers lines is here. Go into any store in the lakes area and you will see the pictures of the trophies being caught. We were not disappointed March 7th at Cypress Bend as big bass after big bass was brought to the scales. There were 4 big bass over 9 lbs weighed in! The father & son team of Ronnie & Douglas Wilkinson brought the heaviest 5 fish limit to the scales, almost a full 3 lbs ahead of 2nd place.

When asked what was the element that brought them luck in taking 1st place, Ronnie & Douglas looked at each other, laughed, and said "Mostly it is us being a team. You can't go wrong fishing with your dad or your son". They brought in a limit of fish that weighed 23.48 lbs, and said they caught a lot of fish - but all before 10:00, a total of 25 fish to cull from to make this winning stringer. "We caught all of our fish in shallow water. Practically on the ground, it was so shallow. They were on the beds on a main lake point. We caught all of them on a 3/4 oz black/blue Oldham jig with a Gene Larew craw trailer. This is our first time here this year, and I thought we blew it. We lost three 6 lb'rs right off the bat." Douglas pointed to his tattered shirt and said "I had my lucky shirt on, and we just kept at it, and we were able to put our limit together, then the bite just quit for us around 10:00. Nothing after that."

James Ausmus & Harry Thomas took 2nd place overall with their 20.58 lb limit. Their 6.2 lb kicker was the first big bass weighed at the scales, which sure helped with their total weight. They had a smaller window of time that the bite was on for them, only from about 7:15 - 7:45. They didn't catch another fish after 8:00. They also found their fish biting on black jigs with pork trailers. Fishing down a bank, they pitched the brush in about 2' depths.

Coming in a close 3rd place with 20.09 lbs was the team of Bob Walton & Mike Mahan. They had a different strategy, throwing chartreuse & white 3/4 oz Stanley spinnerbaits with tandem willow gold & silver blades. They also picked one up on a watermelon candy Texas rigged Zoom lizard. Fishing in grass pockets 1'-6' deep, they caught 15 keepers throughout the day.

Steven Moorhead and William Gaston brought in the 9.71 lb Big Bass of the tournament. Throwing a wacky worm in 2' depths, this hawg was not a willing participant. "We could see her, and tried to make her bite for 2 hours. We finally had to leave her alone for a while and come back to her an hour later. We just knew somebody else would see her and get her before we could. When we went back, we finally got her to bite that wacky worm and got her to the boat. There was a 3 ½ lb male with her too." They found her in the back of a cove. Steven said "The one thing that brings me luck at all my tournaments are my kids, Cole & Chance. They wake up at 4:00am on tournament day to give kisses and hugs."

This is the third tournament in the 1st of two series in the Bass-N-Bucks tournament trail. Bass-N-Bucks guarantees over $52,000 in prize money paid in 30 overall places plus three Big Bass places in this first series.

Top 10 overall:
1st - $10,000 - 23.48 lbs - Ronnie & Douglas Wilkinson
2nd - $ 4,400 - 20.58 lbs - James Ausmus & Harry Thomas
3rd - $ 3,200 - 20.09 lbs - Bob Walton & Mike Mahan
4th - $ 3,000 - 19.73 lbs - Cole Garrett & Dwaine Garrett
5th - $ 2,200 - 18.71 lbs - Scott Westerchill & Ben West
6th - $ 2,100 - 18.45 lbs - Ricky Guy & Larry Cotton
7th - $ 2,040 - 18.44 lbs - Butch Covington & Frank Lebaron
8th - $ 2,020 - 18.21 lbs - Bill Rogers & R J Petty
9th - $ 2,010 - 17.91 lbs - Cary Talbot & James Talbot
10th - $ 2,000 - 17.64 lbs - Billy O'Neal & Jeff Holder
And last place in the money - 30th place - $500 - 14.92 lbs - Randy Buck & Brad Carlton

Top 3 Big Bass -
1st - $1,000 (Kicker Fish Bait Co.)- 9.71 lbs - Steven Moorhead & William Gaston
2nd - $ 500 - 9.32 lbs - Randy Patin & Joe Rials
3rd - $250 - 9.16 lbs - Bill Rogers & R J Petty

All participating Champion Boat owners are eligible to win the Champion Boat Bonus. If a Champion boat owner comes in 1st place, the winner will receive an additional $2,000 or, for the highest finishing Champion boat owner a bonus check for $1,000. The top Champion Boat winners were Johnie Fountain & Johnie G. Fountain (13th place) who received a bonus check for $1,000.

The next event is scheduled for May 2, 2004 at Cypress Bend Park on Toledo Bend Lake. For more information please call 409-727-8941, email fish@bassnbucks.com or click to their website www.bassnbucks.com.

Bass 'N Bucks 2004 sponsors include: Champion Boats, Mercury Motors, Kicker Fish Bait Co., All Star Graphite Rods, Minn Kota, Lowrance, Rat-L-Trap, Continental Batteries, Dual Pro Charger, Check-it-Stik, McFerrin Insurance, FishingWorld.com, Bass Medics products and Aqua Innovations


The father & son team of Ronnie & Douglas Wilkinson took 1st place with their 5 fish limit of 23.48 lbs

Partners for over 40 years, James Ausmus & Harry Thomas won 2nd place with their 20.58 lb limit. James held up their 6.2 lb kicker that sure helped with their final weight
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Bob Walton & Mike Mahan brought in a 3rd place limit, just 1/2 lb behind 2nd place

Steven Moorhead & William Gaston won the $1000 1st place big bass honors with their 9.71 lb kicker

2nd place big bass was weighed in at 9.32 lbs by Randy Patin & Joe Rials (n/p)

It took a 9.16 lb bass to take 3rd place big bass position. This lunker was brought in by Bill Rogers & R J Petty

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