Markum wins frosty East Texas opener
ATHENS, Ala. – Despite cold, windy conditions, Chase Markum opened a new season by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, East Texas Division 11 tournament, held Feb. 11, 2012, on Lake Palestine.
Running out of in the Villages Marina in Flint to fish the 25,560 -acre impoundment on the Neches River, the 27-year-old angler from Paradise caught only four bass all day, but made them count. He finished with a 16.22-pound bag anchored by a 7.59-pound kicker to win the Boater Division. For the victory, he took home $2,755, plus a $1,000 bonus from Mercury and a $500 one from MotorGuide.
“I was simply looking for a place to get out of the north wind,” Markum admitted. “I was looking for tall trees that would block the wind so I could actually make casts and feel the fish when it hit. About five minutes into the tournament, I had a 7.59-pounder on that hit a Rat-L-Trap in 2.5 feet of water. I just stayed in 2.5 feet of water all day and threw a Rat-L-Trap most of the day. Later, I threw a small grub at docks. I only caught one bass in the afternoon.”
In second for the 69 boaters, Terry Peacock, 49, of Royse City brought in a five-bass tournament limit weighing 14.56 pounds. He took home a check for $1,377.
“I fished this lake for 30 years,” Peacock said. “This is the lowest I’ve seen in about 19 years. The weather made the fish very finicky. I used a jig and a square-billed crankbait. I only caught six keepers.”
Trent Menees, 42, of Saginaw also landed a tournament limit. Catching 12 keepers, his top five bass went 14.49 pounds with a 5.30-pound kicker to win a third-place check for $918.
“I fish docks on this lake,” Menees explained. “I like the ones that have brush on them. I threw a Custom Baits Double ZZ on a shaky head all day. It floats a lot better than most finesse worms. I had to work it extremely slowly.”
Jackie W. Jayroe of Royse City brought in four keepers for 14.31 pounds with a 4.51-pound kicker to take fourth place. Terry Barnson of Bullard took fifth among the boaters with three bass going 13.77 pounds, but one weighed 9.12 pounds, enough to take the division big bass bragging rights for the day.
In the Co-Angler Division, Kent Andries, 24, of Tyler only found two fish, but won the tournament with 10.46 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 7.69-pounder and collected $1,420.
“We fished shallow, between four and six feet of water flipping and pitching to stumps with a black and blue jig tipped with a green pumpkin trailer,” Andries said. “The cold weather backed them off a bit and they held tighter to cover. It was a grind this morning. We had to make every bite count. I did miss a third bite that would have given me a limit.”
Darrell Hicks of Dallas only landed one keeper, but took second place. His 9.74-pounder earned tournament lunker honors.
In third among the co-anglers, Robert Yorgensen of Grapeland found a division limit of three bass weighing 9.07 pounds, followed by James R. Painter II of Grand Prairie with three bass and 8.85 pounds including a 4.17-pound kicker. Jerry Delaughter of Kemp rounded out the top five co-anglers with three bass going 7.98 pounds.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, seewww.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. 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 and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.