Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
By John Presley

The BASSMASTERS Texas Central Invitational was held on Sam Rayburn Reservoir February 18th- 20th. During our practice we had great weather and the wind was mild. I started off practice fishing secondary points next to the creek channels ,one of my best spots seemed to have a large concentration of staging bass on it. The first morning of practice I got a lot of bites on a Zoom Carolina rigged lizard and a zoom green pumpkin centipede. The next two mornings I also had a lot of bites on the couple of places I had decided to fish but during the tournament I had another tournament boat to share those fish with. During the tournament I caught 15- 30 bass a day but I only was able to find 5 keepers so I didn't do very well. I guess on those days the smaller fish just moved up on my spots. The lake level was up about 7 ft. above normal during the tournament and was dropping three to four inches a day. We also had several wind changes during the tournament the wind was zero m.p.h. one minute and 25 m.p.h. the next. The wind also changed its direction many times. The wind changing around and the dropping water made it very tough. The first days standings were 1st place Kevin VanDam of Michigan with 5 fish weighing 20 -06, 2nd place was Nick Prvonozac of Ohio with 5 fish weighing 17- 3 3rd place was Dan Morehead of Kentucky with 5 fish weighing 16- 04, 4th place was Lance Vick of Texas with 5 fish weighing 15-07, and 5th place was Marty Fourkiller of Oklahoma with 5 fish weighing 15-04. Dan Morehead had the largest fish of the day weighing 9-06. The second day of the tournament , we had blue bird skies.

After the days competition the standings were: 1st place Kevin VanDam with 10 fish weighing 34-10, 2nd place was Nick Prvonozac with 10 fish weighing 31-09, 3rd place was Tom Boehm with 10 fish weighing 27-08, 4th place was Marty Fourkiller with 10 fish weighing 27-05 and 5th place was Stacey King with 10 fish weighing 25-06. Mike Auten caught the largest fish of the day weighing 7-07. The last day of the tournament a cold front was approaching. We started with light south winds and cloudy skies which later turned into hard rain and a 20 m.p.h. north wind. The final results were in 1 st place Kevin VanDam of Michigan with a three day total catch of 15 fish weighing 48-12, winning $42,000, 2nd place Nick Prvonozac of Ohio with 15 fish weighing 42-09 winning $27,000, 3rd place Lee Bailey, JR. of Connecticut with 15 fish weighing 41-05 winning $25,000, 4 th place Marty Fourkiller of Oklahoma with 15 fish weighing 38-00 winning $9,000 and 5 th place David Wharton of Sam Rayburn who on the last day came in with over a 18 lb. stringer giving him a total weight of 37-02 winning $7,000. Randy Blaukat caught the third day's largest bass weighing in at 7-15. VanDam's pattern was stayed with groups of bass that were holding on inside grass lines at 14 ft .

The short hydrilla lines also had a creek channel on the outside and a sandy bottom on the inside in 12 to 13 feet of water. The bait he was most successful with was a Strike King Series 6 crankbait on green / 10-pound test Berkley Trilene XT line. He used three different colors Texas Red, Lime / Chartreuse / Orange and Chartreuse Claw. VanDam made long casts, parallel to the grass lines just making his crankbait tick the top of the hydrilla. The fish that he was catching were on little secondary points in creeks that had a channel next to them. These bass were staging fish getting ready to move to the shallows for the spawn. The next tournament on the Bassmaster' s Central Division is on Table Rock Lake in Missouri on March 25 ,26,27.

By the way , when I am not fishing tournaments I am a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sam Rayburn. If you would like to book a trip please call me at 409-698-9713 or Ann' s Tackle Shop at 409-384-7685.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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