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2014-03-08 10:03:48

Despino opens season with Sam Rayburn win

ATHENS, Ala. – Randy Despino opened the divisional season with a win during the American Bass Anglers Weekend Bass Series Southeast Texas Division 10 tournament, held March 8, 2014, on Lake Sam Rayburn.

Running out of Umphrey Pavilion near Jasper, Texas, on a cloudy, misty day, the Colfax, La., angler caught five bass weighing 18.77 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 5.69-pound kicker. For the Boater Division victory, Despino took home a check for $2,246.

“I fished in about six to seven feet of water,” Despino explained. “In practice, the fish were shallow. During the tournament, they pulled out deeper. I caught four fish on a 3/8-ounce black and blue V&M jig and one on a green pumpkin senko. The key was working the bait slow on light line. I was using 15-pound fluorocarbon.”

In second for the boaters, Clayton Boulware of Zavalla, Texas, landed a five-bass tournament limit going 18.57 pounds. For second place, Boulware collected $1,123.

“I started throwing a Rat-L-Trap early, but I stuck with an Alabama rig most of the day,” Boulware explained. “I put a Yum Money Minnow behind a Flash Mob Junior and I also used 3.5-inch Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers. I covered a lot of water and moved out to the edges of main lake drains in slightly deeper water. I caught about 15 keepers, but I lost one fish.”

Tommy Rascoe of Converse, La., took third for the boaters with five bass going 17.42 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 6.49-pound kicker to earn $749.

“Bigger fish have been moving up as the weather has been changing,” Rascoe advised. “The cold front that came through earlier in the week helped me catch fish on an Alabama rig off secondary points. A tipped the Alabama rig with white flukes. I also caught several good fish on a square-billed crankbait. I caught about 12 fish and culled twice. I lost one 4-pounder that cost me the tournament.”

Finishing fourth, Brian Branum of Jasper, Texas, landed a five-bass limit for 17.27 pounds including a 6.44-pound kicker. Johnny McKee of Woodville, Texas, rounded out the top five boaters with five bass at 15.89 pounds topped by a 5.23-pound kicker. Howard J. Marlowe of Lewisville, Texas, landed the division big bass, a 7.21-pounder.

In the Co-Angler Division, Brian “B Dawg” P. Murphy of Sulphur, La., won with three bass going 13.22 pounds. The 23-year-old angler sealed his victory with a 9.73-pound bucketmouth that won the tournament lunker title. For the win, Murphy collected $1,123 and an extra $64 for the big bass.

“I really didn’t have a pattern,” Murphy admitted. “The first fish I caught was the biggest one. I caught it in deep water on a three-arm Alabama rig with white swimming flukes. I tied a length of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to the Alabama rig. I reeled it super slow over the bottom. Later, I caught a small spotted bass that hit a Texas-rigged trick worm in about eight feet of water. I caught another bass in about four feet of water on a chartreuse and white chatterbait. Those were the only three keepers I caught. I also caught one throw back.”

Taking second for the co-anglers, Steven J. Woodie of Sour Lake, Texas, brought in a three-bass division limit for 11.07 pounds including a 4.08-pound kicker. Jose L. Narvaez of Brookeland, Texas, placed third among the co-anglers with three bass going 11 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 4.25-pound kicker.

In fourth place among the co-anglers, Allan Shivers of Vidor, Texas, brought in three bass for 9.87 pounds. Brent Kemp of Orange, Texas, finished fifth with three bass at 9.57 pounds topped by a 5.51-pound kicker.

Slated for April 12, 2014, the next divisional tournament will also be held on Lake Sam Rayburn out of Umphrey Pavilion. At the end of the season, the best WBS anglers from across the nation will fish the 2014 Ray Scott Championship, slated for Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., from Nov. 15-18. The champion boater will receive $100,000 and possibly up to $50,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money. The co-angler champion will win $50,000 and possibly up to $25,000 in Triton Gold Bonus money.

As a special Ray Scott Championship bonus, the Boater Division and Co-Angler Division champions will each receive entry fees and sponsorship into the one of two professional bass fishing series of the angler’s choice. The sponsorship includes entry fees into three professional events and sponsorship support. This sponsorship will put the champion within striking distance of one of two professional bass fishing championships.

At WBS events throughout the season, boater and co-angler competitors may also win hefty bonuses from such sponsors as Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, MotorGuide and T-H Marine. See the manufacturer web sites for specific details on how to qualify for these bonuses.

For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing 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, the Weekend Bass Series, the American Fishing Tour or the American Couples Series, visit

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