Lakecaster Online

Father/son take All-American
by James Allen

The Lake Livingston All-American Bass Tournament was set to go that Saturday out of Lakeside Marina. As late as Friday afternoon, Chip Sewell had no intention of entering. He was at the Coldspring Baseball Park helping Darin Bartel coach the Trojan baseball team.

A few innings into the game Brian Sewell arrived. Son started doing arm-twisting exercises on Dad. Chip relented a few hours later and decided he and Brian would enter. A few hours after that the Coldspring bass fishing duo picked up a $2,000 first place check.

"I had no intention of fishing today," laughed Chip. "I thought it was going to be too windy. Guess it's a good thing Brian changed my mine. It was a little choppy out there this morning, but it settled down a little later. It wasn't too bad at all."

Chip and Brian are well known throughout the Lake Livingston area for their fishing skills. The win was Chip's 13th first-place fishing tournament since 1992. Brian has been his partner during many of those wins. Chip has been in the money 32 times since 1992. His Lake Livingston fishing earnings top the $17,000 mark.

Getting a 50-yard-line seat at the Super Bowl might be easier than getting Brian and Chip to divulge fishing tips. Can't blame them for not wanting to give up their trade secrets. On the weigh-in stand Brian was asked how he and Chip landed their winning 18.44 pound five fish limit.

"We left out here this morning and turned left at the bridge." Laughed Brian. "That's about all I remember."

One known fact is the Sewells always travel south to the wide open waters of Livingston's southern spaces. This win required a little extra fuel.

"We had to do a lot of running today," commented Chip. "It wasn't a real easy day. We fished spots on both sides of the lake. We caught a fish here and a fish there."

"We didn't have a limit until about 11 o'clock this morning," said Brian. "And two of those were barely keepers. We caught some good fish later in the day and were able to cull the small ones. It worked out OK, but I was kind of sweating it for awhile."

At the weigh in , the Sewells sweated it out to the end, watching every team that brought in fish weigh in ahead of them. They watched Cullen Vailes and partner Stanton Marsh tote a 15.88 pound bag to the scales.

Vales' 5.81 kicker turned out to be the big bass of the tourney. It helped put him and Stanton in a second place finish. The Livingston team collected a $700 second place check and $260 in big bass cash. During a recent locally-sponsored tourney, Vailes and Marsh brought in a 24 pound plus stringer. Vailes and Marsh traveled south to the Penwaugh area. The third place team of Jeff Vavra and Michael Lewis sped north to the Waterwood area. Using Gary Yamato lizards and spinner baits, the Onalaska duo bagged 14.66 pounds. It earned them $420..

We pretty much caught fish all day," said Vavra. "I caught 12 keepers. We got a limit pretty early. We just moved around and tried to find some bigger fish. We had a pretty good day out there."

Twenty-six teams entered the tournament. Through the summer season the All-American Bass Anglers will host three more team tournaments scheduled for May 29, June 26 and July 24.

Brian / Chip - 1st Place

Brian Sewell - 1st Place

Cullen Vailes - Big Bass

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