Lakecaster Online

Metcalf wrangles Rayburn Red Man

By Ed Snyder

"I had 3 locations to fish today," explained the Hemphill TX angler. "I just couldn't get lined up on two of them, but the 3rd spot produced the bass I needed for winning this tournament."

And so it went, on this final day of February, as 265 anglers competed in the Cowboy Division of the Red Man tournament circuit, on Lake Sam Rayburn, where they launched into post-front bluebird conditions. Becalmed by light northwest winds, the lake would make for some easy running for most, but a high pressure "ripple-front" kept the bigger bass "lock-jawed".

As the Red Man Tournament was being held on a lake that had suffered an extreme bass kill the previous year, the weigh-in bags were not expected to fill out the normal Rayburn weights that most anglers have associated with "Big Sam," but the competitive level was thought to be at high levels as most weights would hover around an expected 12 to 15 lb. weight average. But as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd flites came in to digitize their day of fishing, it's with a sad note that this writer/angler must report that Rayburn has been seriously wounded, as the bigger bass just were not to be found. But even so, the tournament provided a keen sense of excitement as no one could guess-timate just who the winner was to be. That is until Mike Metcalf, of Hemphill TX, showed up with his weigh-in bag.

"Five Bass, all alive," announced Red Man Director Dan Grimes, and as he eyeballed the digital readout. "Your new leader folks, with 14 lbs. - 5 ozs., Mike Metcalf of Hemphill TX.

"How'd you do it Mike?" Dan began to dig. "Oh," Mike almost whispered, "I had three locations that were holding bass, but I just couldn't get lined up on two of them, but the third spot, a northlake 12'-14' flat, of about 200 yds, managed to bless me with some fish, and I was able to catch at least 3 limits to cull my 5 bass / 14 lb. 5 oz. win from." The Capt. Kirk's Marine team angler managed to maneuver his Fisher/Mercury bass boat around the inside-grass lines of finger points, as he worked Castaway rods Carolina rigged with green-pumpkin/chartreuse Zoom lizards, 6" blue-flake Berkely Power Worms, and Stanley jigs for an early bite that paid him a 1st place bass check for $3,852.

"BassCat 'tuff'," grinned Bill Guillory of Jasper TX, as he explained his day of bassing that produced a 5 bass / 14 lb. 2 oz. stringer for a 2nd place finish. "I used Castaway rods and Lews reels spooled with 20# Triple Fish," Bill informed as he spoke of fishing Carolina rigged green-pumpkin/chartreuse Zoom lizards along 12'-14' inside grass lines, which were within site of Twin Dikes Marina. "I managed to catch at least 2 limits by 7:30 a.m. to cull my 2nd place check for $1,926 from," adding that he caught his 6 lb. - 4 oz. big bass on a 1:00 p.m . bite over on Needmore Point. Bill Guillory "almost" had the tournament "overall" big bass, that would've been worth another $1,000, but Spring Texas angler, Mark Hooker, landed a tie with Guillory's bass, as he caught a 6 lb. 4 oz. "kicker" from a Veach Basin 12' inside grass line, while using a St. Croix rod and Ambassadeur reel "Mo-Jo "rigged with a 6" watermelon-seed/chartreuse Zoom lizard. The big bass pot was split between the two anglers.

Overall big bass tie (6 lbs. 4 ozs.) Bill Guillory, Jasper TX $500 and Mark Hooker, Spring TX $500.

All bass were live released at the tournament site by the Red Man live release team with 500 bass weighing 1,023 lbs.

The next Red Man-Cowboy Division event will be held on March 28, at Cypress Bend Resort, Lake Toledo Bend LA. For more information on this, as well as other Operation Bass events, clic to <operationbass.com> or call 502-362-4880.

Tournament Sponsor: Ranger-Evinrude-Citgo-Humminbird-Stren-Old Milwaukee-Abu-Garcia-Chevy Trucks-Land-O-Lakes-Black & Decker-Energizer-David-Coleman and Ramada Inn of Jasper TX.

Michael Metcalf, Hemphill TX 5 bass /14 lb. 4 oz. $3,852
Bill Guillory, Jasper TX 5 bass/14 lb. 2 oz. $1,926
Devin Bowden, Longview TX 5 bass/12 lb. 12 oz. $1,130
Al White, Jr. Gonzales LA 5 bass/12 lb. 8 oz. $724
Shane Allman, Sam Rayburn TX5 bass/11 lb. 7 oz. $687

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