Gilbert Herald takes title at Tyler in Texas
ATHENS, Ala. – While others searched the banks for bedding bass, Gilbert A. Herald went deep to win the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, East Texas Division 11 tournament, held March 10, 2012, on Lake Tyler.
Running out of Lake Tyler Marina near Tyler on a cool, breezy day with some rain, the 45-year-old Pittsburgh, Texas, angler caught five bass going 18.41 pounds to win the Boater Division. He sealed his victory by boating an 8.98-pound bucketmouth that took tournament big bass honors. For the victory, Herald pocketed $2,797 with an extra $335 for the lunker.
“We stayed out deep throwing a jig,” Herald revealed. “I dragged a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce black, brown and amber jig tipped with a watermelon red Xcite chunk dipped in chartreuse dye. It was slow fishing. I’d catch one fish here and one there, but they were good fish. I probably caught about 15 fish. The big bass went under the boat and jumped on the other side. The wind was blowing really hard and I didn’t think we’d land that fish.”
In second for boaters, Brian Clark, 36, of Haltom City brought in a five-bass tournament limit for 18.32 pounds. He caught about 25 fish and culled 12 times, taking home $1,398.
“I found four good fish on beds in practice and caught them during the tournament,” Clark admitted. “I try to find beds out on the main lake in places that are not so obvious. For the bedding fish, I used an Xcite bait in green pumpkin. I spent the rest of the day throwing a square-bill copper green and shad RC 1.5 crankbait around docks leading into spawning areas.”
Todd L. Pierce, 33, of Tyler took third with five bass and 15.84 pounds. Looking for pre-spawn fish, he earned $932.
“I was fishing for staging fish moving back into short pockets,” Pierce explained. “I stayed out of the man creek arms. The wind helped me. I was throwing an XCalibur One Knocker rattlebait in Foxy Mamma parallel to points. I was sitting in about seven feet of water and throwing in to three feet of water. I was ripping the bait out of the grass and pausing. I lost one four-pounder.”
Patrick L. Fuller of Tyler placed fourth with five bass weighing 14.36 pounds. In fifth for the boaters, Trent Menees of Saginaw, Texas, also came in with a five-bass tournament limit for 12.76 pounds.
In the Co-Angler Division, John J. Semken, 56, of Tyler won it all. He landed three bass going 12.43 pounds for a 4.14-pound average. He greatly upped his average with an 8.15-pounder that won the division lunker title. For the win, Semken collected $1,377 with a $165 bonus for the sowbelly.
“We fished a ditch leading back into a bay,” Semken advised. “The big fish came out of grass. The ditch had some brush piles on it. I caught some smaller fish out of the brush piles. I caught my fish on a 5-inch Texas-rigged green pumpkin senko with a 3/8-ounce bullet weight I dragged it like a worm. I caught four fish and culled once.”
Jose “Joey” Ahumada of Irving landed a three-bass division limit for 8.66 pounds. Dillon J. Pechal of Ennis followed in third for the co-anglers with three bass and 8.61 pounds. Close behind, Richard M. Easley of Grand Saline landed a three-bass limit weighing 8.54 pounds. Brad L. Hearron, also of Grand Prairie, rounded out the top five co-anglers with three bass and 8.13 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.
-- John N. Felsher
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.