Clark Wins East Texas Division Championship
ATHENS, Ala. – Brian Clark lead wire-to-wire to take the title in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, East Texas Division 11 championship tournament, held July 14-15, 2012, on Lake Tawakoni.
Running out of Holiday Marina near Wills Point, the 35-year-old angler from Haltom City won with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 22.84 pounds. For the Boater Division victory, Clark took home a check for $3,520.85.
“I fish this lake often and had an idea of what I wanted to do,” Clark explained. “When the sun came out, that pushed bass and shad into darker areas. I flipped a homemade 1/2-ounce black and blue jig with an Xcite Baits trailer around the docks. I also caught a couple fish with a square-billed crankbait.”
On Day 1, Clark found a five-fish daily tournament limit to take the early lead with 17.89 pounds. He struggled on the second day, bringing in only three bass for 4.95 pounds.
“On Day 1, I culled good fish about five times,” Clark said. “On the second day, I couldn’t get a bite on a jig. I didn’t have a keeper until 12:47 p.m. In the afternoon, I fished a 6-inch Xcite Baits straight tail worm on a Texas rig to catch my three keepers. I fished it around stumps and brush piles. I only had five bites on the second day.”
In second for the 54 boaters, Chase Markum, 28, of Paradise finished with two consecutive five-bass limits for a total of 10 bass going 22.18 pounds to pocket a check for $1,761.15. Placing seventh on Day 1, he brought in 10.15 pounds. He finished with a 12.03-pound effort on the final day.
“I didn’t really have a good pattern coming into the tournament,” Markum said. “On the first morning, I just went down a bank trying to catch a fish with a white and chartreuse Strike King spinnerbait with gold double willow-leaf blades. The fish were up shallow in the grass and hit best when the sun was high and bright. I targeted any type of flooded vegetation and woody cover. I caught about eight keepers a day.”
Markum also won the East Texas Division 11 Angler of the Year title. As the division points champion, Markum will receive a package entry for the 2013 season, a set of Odyssey Batteries and an automatic berth into the BWS National Championship tournament among other prizes. The championship tournament will be held Nov. 7-10, 2012, on Lake Sam Rayburn in Jasper, Texas.
“It was an amazing year,” he said. “I’m excited, but coming into this tournament, I tried not to think about it. I just wanted to catch fish.”
Keith M. Jones, 44, of Texarkana finished third place among the boaters. He brought in 10 bass for a 20.61-pound tally to pick up $1,173.62. On Day 1, Jones held fifth place with 10.33 pounds. He upped his catch on Day 2, bringing in 10.28 pounds.
“The first time I had ever seen this lake was in practice for the tournament,” Jones said. “On Day 1, I had a limit by 10 a.m. I caught every one of my fish on a frog around the pads with 65-pound Power Pro braid.”
Terry Peacock of Royse City landed in fourth place among the boaters with five bass and 19.14 pounds including a 4.66-pound kicker. He held second on Day 1 with 12.65 pounds and followed with 6.49 pounds.
Rounding out the top five boaters, Joey D. Renfro of Quinlin brought in seven keepers for 18.80 pounds with a 4.63-pound kicker. He held sixth place on Day 1 with 10.28 pounds and added another 8.52 pounds on the final day. Raymond Hicks of Desoto only landed one bass, but his 6.86-pounder earned tournament lunker honors.
In the Co-Angler Division, Dillon J. Pechal, 24, of Ennis won with two consecutive three-bass daily division limits for a two-day total of six bass weighing 16.07 pounds. Catching seven bass on Day 1 and five bass on Day 2, he anchored his bag with a 3.07-pounder to collect $1,760.42. Pechal lead wire-to-wire, bringing in 8.56 pounds on Day 1 and 7.51 pounds on Day 2.
“On Day 1, we had a great limit within an hour,” Pechal said. “Then, the east wind kicked up and muddied up our spot. I caught my fish on a frog and a Rico popper topwater bait. I lost a good fish on Day 1. On Day 2, I didn’t get a bite until after noon. I caught another fish about five casts later and caught my third and final keeper about 20 minutes later. I caught my fish on a Stanley Ribbit.”
In second for the co-anglers, Joe C. Embry of Tyler landed five keepers for a two-day total of 9.96 pounds with a 3.16-pound kicker. He caught 4.95 pounds on Day 1 and 5.01 pounds on Day 2.
In third, Darrell Hicks of Dallas found four keepers for 8.50 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 3.19-pounder. He caught 5.31 pounds on Day 1 and 3.19 pounds on the second day.
John J. Semken of Tyler took fourth place with four bass going 7.99 pounds. On Day 1, he caught 5.79 pounds, but landed his biggest bass, 2.20-pounder, on the second day.
Robert Yorgensen of Grapeland wrapped up the top five co-anglers with two bass and 7.30 pounds. Fishing with Clark on Day 1, he set the Co-Angler Division lunker standard with a 5.66-pounder that hit a shaky head worked around a brush pile. On Day 2, Yorgensen caught a 1.64-pounder.
For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble at (318) 201-3474 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.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.