Muncrief wins at Big Sam
ZAVALLA, Texas – Hunter J. Muncrief won the Boater Division in the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, Texas Southeast Division 10, the second event of the season, held March 11, 2023, at Lake Sam Rayburn.
Launching into Big Sam at Cassels-Boykin State Park in Zavalla, Texas, the angler from Pineland, Texas, brought in a 5-bass tournament limit weighing 20.55 pounds. The only angler to exceed 20 pounds, Muncrief bested his nearest competitor by more than 5.6 pounds.
Muncrief capped that catch with a 7.10-pound bass that took the tournament lunker title. That gave him a 4.11-pound average. Muncrief pocketed $2,200 for the win plus an extra $350 for the big bass. That gave him a total of $2,550 in winnings.
“I started in the morning off a little secondary point,” Muncrief explained. “I fished just outside the edges of the buck brush and caught a limit pretty quickly. I culled some small ones early and it was slow after that for most of the rest of the day. In the last two hours of tournament time, I got into a new area fishing some pockets at the outside edge of the buck brush. That’s where I caught that big one and two more solid fish. Some bass are still spawning, but I think most of them are done. The water temperature was in the upper 60s.”
In second among the boaters, Kevin L. Lasyone of Dry Prong, La. also landed his 5-bass limit. He brought in 14.91 pounds, topped by a 4.01-pound kicker. Lasyone took $950 back to Louisiana.
In third for the boaters, Richard L. Wagnon from nearby Jasper, Texas, found five good keepers going 14.47 pounds. He anchored that bag with a 4.91-pound kicker and received $650.
“We went all over the lake running and gunning,” Wagnon detailed. “We started fishing a Carolina rig in one spot and caught five fish. I had about 12 pounds. We left that spot and went flipping for the rest of the day. I had a limit by 8 a.m., but I culled almost everything we caught early. We hit 12 spots.”
Landing in fourth place for the boaters, Barrett L. Bennefield from San Augustine, Texas, caught a 5-bass limit to tally 13.35 pounds. For fourth place, Bennefield collected a check for $550.
Right behind, Wesley Dawson of Chester, Texas, caught his limit and finished fifth with 13.32 pounds topped by a 4.82-pounder. He earned $400 for the effort.
In the Co-Angler Division, Zach W. Retherford of Bronson, Texas, landed two bass going 8.77 pounds. One of them weighed 5.41 pounds. The other bass weighed 3.36 pounds for a 4.39-pound average. Retherford pocketed a winning check for $1,000.
“I threw a ChatterBait and a Senko,” Retherford recalled. “We were up shallow all day fishing the buck brush. I didn’t think I could win the tournament with only two bass. I hooked that third one a couple of times but didn’t land it. I didn’t catch a single fish until the last hour of the tournament. I caught both of my fish in 30 minutes. I think the fish are moving out deeper.”
In second for the co-anglers, Donny G. Davis came over from Livingston, La. to catch a 3-bass division limit going 8.47 pounds. Davis headed home with a check for $550.
“I had an awesome day,” Davis proclaimed. “I caught a keeper bass on my first cast of the day and one on my last cast. About 30 minutes into the morning, I had my limit. I caught a total of nine keepers. Everything I caught came off either a Texas rig tipped with a Baby Brush hog or a Strike King Hack Attack Pad Perch frog. We stayed around the buck brush all day long.”
Ryan J. Fallwell from Crosby, Texas, took the third spot among the co-anglers. He landed a 3-bass limit for 8.20 pounds. That put a check for $350 in his hands roughed up by catching a bunch of bass.
“We started in the mid-lake area,” Fallwell said. “I had a limit by 7:15 a.m. and caught about 20 fish early on a shaky head. The fish were in six to 10 feet of water. Then, we went to another spot in the southern part of the lake and caught another 20 bass. Besides the shaky head, I caught fish on a Rogue and a Carolina rig.”
In fourth place, Eileen E. Mast from Richards, Texas, found two keepers for 8.09 pounds. One of them weighed 6.37 pounds, big enough to take the division big bass honors. Mast walked off with a fourth-place check worth $275 plus a $175 big bass bonus for a total of $450 in winnings.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers, Eddy J. Gilder from Sulphur, La. crossed the Sabine River to landed a 3-bass limit weighing 7.61 pounds. Gilder pocketed $200 for fifth place.
The division returns Lake Sam Rayburn on April 15, 2023. That event also runs out of Cassels-Boykin State Park, located at 500 Cassell Boykin State Road in Zavalla. To register for the April tournament, Click Here.
Anglers can sign up to fish ABA Open Series divisional events and a 2-day division championship. In a Pro/Am format, boaters fishing the Open Series pay $210 in entry fees for each divisional 1-day tournament. Co-anglers pay $105 per 1-day event.
Anyone who wishes to fish an ABA event, must become an ABA member. ABA members can receive discounts from some sponsors. For example, Optima Batteries will give ABA members 25 percent off and free shipping on any battery. Membership costs $35 a year, but anglers can save money by signing up for multiple years. A life membership costs $450.
For more information about this tournament, call Tournament Director Chris Wayand at (256) 230-5627.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com and LurePartsOnline.com.
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, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression.
For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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