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2012-02-10 10:15:03

Texas Anglers Heading to Palestine for Season Opener

The East Texas Division 11 of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, opens its 2012 season Feb. 11 on Lake Palestine near Tyler, Texas.

The anglers will run out of the Villages Marina, located at 18270 Singing Wood Lane in Flint, Texas. The priority entry deadline is Jan. 22, 2012, with late fees beginning on Feb. 1, 2012. Registration and briefings will take place at Gander Mountain, located at 151 Market Square Blvd., in Tyler, Texas, beginning at 4 p.m. Feb. 10, 2012.

Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. All anglers must possess a Texas fishing license. For license information, see or call (800) 792-1112 or (512) 389-4800.

Anglers can fish anywhere on the 25,560 -acre impoundment on the Neches River about 15 miles southwest of Tyler. Impounded in 1962, Lake Palestine offers anglers more than 136 miles of shoreline and dips to about 58 feet deep in places. Lake Palestine can produce some big bass. Ronald George Ebaugh caught the lake record largemouth, a 12.51-pounder, on Feb. 24, 1991.

In the winter, many anglers flip jigs into hydrilla beds and other vegetation at the upper end of creeks. Also fish the vegetation and flooded timber above the Texas Highway 155 Bridge on the main lake with slow-rolled spinnerbaits, shaky head jigs or Texas-rigged plastics. Hot colors for soft plastics include watermelon, black and blue or green pumpkin.

Over deep creek channel drops and other holes, vertically jig a chrome spoon. Also run sexy-shad crankbaits over the tops of underwater humps. Some better creeks to fish on Lake Palestine include Kickapoo, the Neches River channel, Highsaw, Ledbetter, Cobb Creek, Stone Chimney Creek, Saline Bay and Flat Creek.

During a July 9, 2011, BWS tournament, Keven J. Hatcher of Flint, Texas, won the Boater Division with five bass weighing 23.21 pounds for a 4.64-pound average. Catching more than 60 bass in his first BWS tournament, Hatcher anchored his winning bag with a 6.42-pounder. He fished shallow grass with a frog and also caught some fish by flipping a black, brown and amber Black Angel Jig. Jerry R. Dolezal of Bullard, Texas, landed the tournament lunker, a 7.22-pound bucketmouth.

In the Co-Angler Division during that July 2011 tournament, Robert O. Richardson of Glenn Heights, Texas, won with three bass going 17.76 pounds for a 5.92-pound average. He anchored his catch and upped his average by catching a 6.49-pounder that took division big bass honors. Richardson caught most of his fish on a Lucky Craft Sammy topwater bait and a buzzbait. He caught other bass on a shaky head with a brush hog on the back dragged slowly across the bottom.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, visit

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