Graf comes from behind to win in Oklahoma
ATHENS, Ala. – Steve Graf came from behind to win the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series South Central Regional Championship, held Oct. 4-5, 2013, at Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Okla.
Running out of Taylors Ferry Landing in Wagoner to fish the 19,900-acre lake, the Natchitoches, La., angler caught nine bass weighing 33 pounds for the victory. Graff caught 12.77 pounds on Day 1 with a 4.88-pound kicker to hold ninth place. On a chilly, rainy Day 2, he jumped eight spots into the victory circle with a 20.23-pound bag, the only 20-pound sack brought in during the tournament. For the Boater Division victory, Graf took home a check for $9,611, plus a Triton boat and Mercury outboard package.
“I’m a river fisherman,” Graf explained. “I fish the Red River in Louisiana a lot so I went with my strength. I wanted to find something like that so I went up the river here. I had three key areas. I just rotated through those three spots. I used three lures, a 5-inch Yamamoto Stretch 40 worm, a black and emerald trick worm and a Biffle Bug. I caught about 33 fish in the tournament and culled four times on the final day.”
In second for the boaters, Lee L. Sanders of Stillwater, Okla., landed two consecutive five-bass daily tournament limits going 31.01 pounds. Sanders held seventh place on a warm, windy Day 1 with 14.09 pounds. He leaped five places on the final day with a 16.92-pound bag that included a 5.20-pound kicker. He collected $5,504 for second place.
“I went up the river to an area that I always fish and stayed there for two days,” Sanders revealed. “I threw a Texas-rigged green pumpkin brush hog with a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight with 20-pound test Seaguar line. I caught a lot of fish, but only 13 keepers.”
Jeffry L. Wade, a 37-year-old Air Force member who lives in Cabot, Ark., finished third among the boaters with nine bass going 27.51 pounds. He held 13th place on Day 1 with 11.64 pounds. After a morning weather delay, he added 15.87 pounds on the second day to vault 10 notches and earn $3,204.
“I threw a black and chartreuse XCalibur square-bill crankbait and caught half my keepers on it,” Wade said. “I caught the other half on a black and red flake Yum Woolly Bug. I dragged it in front of the wood around some rocks. I only caught nine keepers, but caught 25 small ones. I never lost a keeper.”
In fourth for the boaters, Brett Brumnett of Wagoner, Okla., finished with a 10-bass limit for 27.25 pounds. He held sixth place on the first day with 14.20 pounds and added 13.05 pounds on the second day to move up two places. He collected $2,242.
Day 1 leader Trenton L. Whitehouse of Bristow, Okla., fell four places to fifth among the boaters with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 27.25 pounds. On the first day, he led with five bass weighing 17.17 pounds including a 5.63-pound bucketmouth that took tournament lunker honors. On the second day, Whitehouse brought in a 10.08-pound bag and went home $2,623 richer including the big bass bonus.
In the Co-Angler Division, Donny Murrell of Sapulpa, Okla., won with a perfect six-bass limit for 15.92 pounds. On Day 1, Murrell brought in 7.19 pounds for 10th place. On the second day, he caught 8.73 pounds to jump nine places. The Day 2 bag included a 4.39-pound kicker that won Co-Angler Division big bass honors. Murrell pocketed a check for $5,156 including the lunker bonus. He also won a Triton boat package.
“I went a long way up the river on the first day,” Murrell recalled. “We looked for eddies. I used a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Craw with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight and let the bait roll through the eddies. On the second day, we went on the other end of the lake. We fished more current breaks in 15 feet of water. I used a 3/4-ounce peanut butter and jelly jig with a craw trailer. I used Seaguar 20-pound line and that helped. I caught a lot of short fish, but only eight keepers.”
Taking second for the co-anglers, Patti Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, brought in two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for 15.52 pounds. Campbell held fifth on Day 1 with 7.73 pounds and added 7.79 pounds on the second day to win $2,402.
David R. Doonan of Caldwell, Texas, placed third among the co-anglers with six bass going 14.74 pounds. On Day 1, Doonan held 12th place with 6.78 pounds. Jumping nine spots, he caught 7.96 pounds with a 4.11-pound kicker on the final day to earn $1,602.
Taking fourth place for the co-anglers, Jim Brock of Tulsa, Okla., landed a six-bass limit for 13.86 pounds. He held 15th place on Day 1 with 6.51 pounds. On the second day, he vaulted nine places with a 7.35-pound bag. He took home $1,121.
Bobby S. Boyd of Kemp, Texas, rounded out the top five co-anglers with six bass and 13.41 pounds including a 3.97-pound kicker. He held eighth place on the first day with 7.49 pounds and moved up three spots on the final day with 5.92-pound bag to win $961.
This event featured the top 40 boaters and co-anglers representing the Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Southeast Texas and East Texas divisions. After this regional event, the best anglers from this tournament will compete against the top anglers from three other regional events during the BWS National Championship tournament, set for Nov. 6-9, 2013, on Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. The Boater Division champion will compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.