Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
JOHN PRESLEY

On March 29, Wayne Crumpton of Royal, Ark. had his first Bass victory in the Bassmaster Missouri Central Invitational held March 25-27 at Table Rock Lake. He clinched his 1st place victory with a three day total catch of 58 pounds, 13 ounces. This first place finish won him the $42,000 first place prize of cash and a Ranger Bass boat fully rigged with a Mercury Outboard, AC Delco Batteries, Hummingbird Electronics and a MotorGuide Trolling Motor. Crumpton found his fish in 6 to 8 ft of water. He caught some of his better fish on a 4 inch Smithwick Rattlin Rogue with 8 pound line. Several of his other fish were caught on a green crawfish Storm Wiggle Wart crankbait on 10 pound line. John Sappington of Wyandotte, Okla. finished in second place with 50 pounds to take home $27,000 second place prize of cash and a fully rigged Ranger Bass boat. Sappington used a combination of lures to catch his fish. He would start with bottom - bouncing a 5/16 ounce jig head rigged with a watermelon- red flake Chompers twin-tail plastic grub. The other lure he used was a J&J Brush Hog spinnerbait. He caught most of his fish on windblown rock ledges on main lake and secondary points. The $25,000 third place prize of cash and a fully rigged Ranger Bass boat went to Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kansas, who finished with 46 pounds. Chapman used a blue crawfish WiggleWart on 10 pound Berkley Xtline on chunk rock banks to catch his fish. In this tournament I was in 10th place the first day, 21st place the second day and finished in 34th place with 29 pounds 4 ounces good for $1700. I caught my fish on a bottom bouncing ounce jig head rigged with a Chompers watermelon twin tail plastic grub on 6# PEE Line I fished rock bluffs and main lake points.

On April 29 - May 1st, the final Bass Central Invitational was held in Eufaula, Oklahoma on Lake Eufaula. As a result of the flooding rains in northern and western Oklahoma, during the first day of practice the lake was rising about 2 ft every 10 to 12 hours. And by the last day of practice we were launching our boats on the parking lot. This made some really tough fishing conditions not only to find the fish but to get to them. The rising water was causing large logs and debris to be floating in the lake. This made it very treacherous getting to your fishing spot. During practice I had been catching some real good spinner bait fish in about 2-3 ft of water. These fish didn't move shallow instead they staying where they were which was now 6-8 ft of water. In order to catch them I had to flip for them. The first day of the tournament my partner and I went to my fish early. My partner caught one about 4 pounds and I never had a bite. Then we went to his fish and we each caught a couple of none keepers. Later he wished we would have stayed on my fish because they were bigger. That day they bit later in my area but we had gone to his fish. The second day of the tournament, I went back to my fish. I was flipping a black Zoom lizard and caught two that went 8 pounds 12 ounces and lost another one. My partner had two that weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce. Later that day I found out that the boat that was across from me was the leader of the tournament so I knew I was in the right area and there were some good fish. Every time you got a bite it would be 4 pound fish or better. The last day we went back to my fish and the first one I caught flipping weighed 5 pounds 7 ounces .My partner then caught two that totaled around 8 pounds then I caught another good one that gave me a total of 9 pounds 12 ounces for the day and four fish totaling 18-08 for the tournament. I finished in 44th place good for $1400. The winner of the tournament was 56 year old Leo Osborne, a machine shop owner from nearby Crowder Okla. Under these unusual conditions, the lake had risen more than 7 ft in a couple of days but he fished good enough to win his first B.A.S.S. event. He had a total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds even to win the $ 42,000 first- place prize of cash and a fully rigged Ranger Bass Boat with a Mercury Outboard . He was also the only angler in the entire field of 280 fishermen to weigh in three five bass limits each day. Osborne used a Texas rigged 7 inch blue pearl Gene Larew plastic worm that he flipped into the outside flooded bushes in 3 to 8 ft of water. Gary Yamamoto finished second with 12 bass weighing 42-13, good for $27,000. Yamamoto was fishing the same area of flooded cover as the winner. He used his own 8 inch Yamamoto grub that was blue with a black tail fishing it very slow in the bushes. Scott Rook of Little Rock , Ark finished third with 14 bass weighing 36-06 to take home $25,000. Sam Newby of Pecola, Okla. finished fourth with 34-04 for $9,000 and fifth place was Brent Chapman of Kansas with 30 -12 good for $7,000.

The five Bassmaster's Classic qualifiers from the Bass Central Invitational are Brent Chapman 1,154 points 2 nd Jay Yelas 1,132 points 3 rd Kevin VanDam 1,102, 4th Ken Cook 1,081, and rookie John Sappington with 1,078 points. These anglers will join 35 other anglers in the Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 29th - 31st. This will be one show you won't want to miss. It's not that far, so try to see the super bowl of bass fishing .

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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