Lakecaster Online

David Dominates ESPN Bassmaster Tournament
By Contributing Writer Donald Gervais


Hemphill, TX. -Scott David did not practice for the second tournament of the Texas ESPN Bassmaster Series on Toledo Bend but that did not hinder his fish catching as he site fished his way to victory Sunday in the boater division with a five-fish limit weighing 22 pounds. David's co-angler partner claimed top place in the non-boater division while Tomball Texan David Mauldin claimed big bass honors with a 9-pound 14-ounce in the boater division and Nederland Texan Robert Flores claimed Big Bass honors in the non-boater division with a 9-pound 7-ounce lunker bass.

Toledo Bend Reservoir is a familiar fishery to the Bassmaster fishermen however, the new ESPN Bassmaster Series is new and the Texas Division held its first tournament here on Sunday as 173 boats left from the host marina Frontier Park. In the ESPN Bassmaster series anglers compete as boaters or non-boaters in the five-tournament season. Anglers compete for points in each tournament in hope of qualifying in the top 30 positions at season's end and a chance to compete for a regional berth and an eventual chance to compete in the superbowl of bass fishing, the CITGO Bassmaster Classic.

Boaters have full control of their boat and their co-angler, drawn by chance the day before the tournament, fish from the back of the boat. Boaters are allowed to bring a five-fish limit to the scales for their weight while the co-anglers are allowed a three-fish limit. The co-anglers catch is combined with their boater partner for their total weight.

"I didn't get to practice prior to the tournament," David told Bassmaster tournament director Jon Stewart and the crowd gathered at the weigh-in, "Friends told me that the bass were on the beds and I went looking for them." David motored his Ranger/Mercury bass boat to Indian Mounds, put his trolling motor down and began searching for bedding bass in 1-3 feet of water. His first fish was a five-pounder.

"Every bass I caught I saw, said David. He caught his first bass and then motored down the lake to Housen Bay to catch two 5-pound fish. "We caught fish all day."

David pitched a white Zoon Speed Craw to bass on beds with a Castaway rod and Shimano reels, spooled with 20-pound Suffix line to claim the first place check of $5.400 and the all important points. His co-angler managed two fish but combined with his partner's 22-pounds gave him a 25-pound and 5-ounce weight to take the non-boater first place and a check for $2,722.17.

Second place honors in the boater division went to Brooklyn Texan Lindy Hadley with a five fish limit tipping the scales at 18-pounds and 14 ounces. Hadley used a ¾-ounce Bulldog Spinnerbait to entice his fish bites. He slow-rolled the chartreuse and white spinnerbait, tipped with a white trailer, in 3-4 foot water in the Solus area of the lake. Hadley used a Castaway rod and Shimano reel, spooled with 20-pound test, green-colored Trilene Big Game line. He concentrated his efforts along grass ridges. Hadley's co-angler, Dudley Abshire, managed three fish to place him only 5-ounces from the top co-angler spot.

Louisiana angler Jeff Holder managed a five fish limit weighing 18-pounds and 3-ounces to claim third in the boater division. Holder also used a chartreuse/white spinnerbait slow rolled in 3-4 foot water for his catch.

Boater Chip Robinson had not caught a fish until 1:10 p.m. but managed to bring four fish to the boat before the 3 p.m. weigh-in . His fish weighed 17-pounds and 13 ounces, enough to claim fourth place. An 8-pound 15-ounce kicker fish anchored his catch. He motored his Champion boat, powered by a Mercury engine, just north of the Pendleton Bridge where he used a ½-ounce silver/blue Rat-L-Trap. He cast out his lure in 9-feet of water, using a Kissler rod/Shimano reel, targeting stumps.

"I lost 3 fish that would have given me the win," said Robinson, a Baton Rouge angler.

Rounding out the top six boating division finishers were Johnny Grice, Frisko, Tex., with 17-pounds in fifth followed by Rickie Goodman of Livingston, Tex., in sixth with 16-pounds and 7-ounces.

Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Michael Cammack in third (23-12), Danny Moore in fourth (23-10), Frank Kirk took fifth place (22-2) and Tracey Griffin placed sixth (20-10).

In the boater division Mauldin claimed the Puralator Big Bass honors with a 9-pound-14 ounce lunker caught site fishing.. Maudlin motored his Legend boat, powered by a Mercury motor, to Housen Bay where he used an Americanrodsmith rods and Shimano reels-spooled with 20-pound triple fish line, to pitch a white Zoon fluke to the bedding bass. The big fish bit at 11:45 a.m.

Flores claimed the Puralator Big Bass in the non-boater division with a 9-pound 7-ounce lunker. It was his second 9-pound plus fish in two weeks, with a 10-pound 8-ounce fish caught 2 weeks prior on the Big Bend. Flores used a Zoom Lizard, watermelon with red flakes, rigged Texas-style with a 1/4-ounce sinker to entice his big fish bite. The angler's tools were a Castaway rod and Shimano reel, spooled with 14-pound P-Line. He caught the fish at noon in 2 feet of water around reeds.

Weather conditions were mild, with take off temperature in the low 60's, reaching low 70's at midday. Hazy morning skies turned into partly sunny skies by weigh-in. There were 41 limits brought in by the boaters and 34 by the co-anglers for a total catch 687 fish weighing 1612 pounds. Only four of the fish brought to the scales were not released alive by the Bassmaster's Triton Live Release barge.

This was the second of five tournaments for the Texas ESPN Bassmaster Series Division, all events are scheduled for Lake Sam Rayburn or Toledo Bend. The next contest will be held on Lake Sam Rayburn on Aril 10. Payback is to 20% of the field. For complete tournament standings as well as the season point standings go online at Interested competitors can also go online for registration information or call Jon Stewart at 888-227-7899. Sponsors of the ESPN Bassmaster Series include: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis.

Additional ESPN Series information:
80 one-day events
4 Regional Championships
1 Second-Chance Tournament
1 National Championship
16 divisions: from Texas to Florida and up the eastern coast
Season starts in January and runs through October
Regional events begin in October
National Championship to be held in the spring of 2006

Boater Champion Scott David (left) and co-angler champion Brad Williams show off part of the catch that captured the winners' title at the ESPN Bassmasters Series Texas Division tournament held March 6 on Toledo Bend.
Photo by Donald Gervais

Big Bass co-angler

Robert Flores set the hook and managed to bring in this 9-pound 4-ounce Toledo Bend lunker to take the co-angler Puralator Big Bass honors. Photo by Donald Gervais

Winner Boater Division

Boater Scott David displays part of his 22-pound catch that captured the top spot at the ESPN Bassmasters Series Toledo Bend event held March 5, 2005. The Tomball Texan angler site fished various south end lake coves to claim the honors in the 173-boat field.
Photo by Donald Gervais

Big Bass Boater

David Mauldin claimed the Puralator Big Bass at the ESPN Bassmasters Texas Series tournament on Toledo Bend with this 9-pound 14-ounce Toledo Bend lunker. Mauldin finished 16th in the second of five events in the inaugural season of the new weekend series. Photo by Donald Gervais

Second Place
Boater Lindy Hadley (left) and co-angler Dudley Abshire show part of the catch that helped them claim 2nd place in their divisions at the ESPN Bassmasters Series Texas tournament on Toledo Bend on March 6. Photo by Donald Gervais

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