The Texas Team Trail bass fishing tournament circuit continued their 2012 season this past weekend on Lake Ray Roberts. Another successful tournament is now in the books as many more anglers took a shot at winning the fully-rigged 18-foot Stratos boat. Earning the win was Denton, Texas resident, Barrett McClendon and Sanger resident Rusty Thomas, with a weight of 31.21 pounds of largemouth bass.
Throwing wacky rigged soft plastics, the duo won the first-place prize of an 18-foot Stratos 189 VLO boat/Evinrude 150 hp motor/trailer package equipped with a Minn Kota motor/charger/Lowrance electronics valued at $25,000. As an added bonus, the anglers also pocketed an Angler Advantage bonus of $1,168, bringing the pairs total to an estimated $26,168.
“Ray Roberts was a little tougher to figure out than we had anticipated,” said Thomas. “Fishing pressure must have shut the fish down in the morning, but as the afternoon heated up so did the fishing. This is one of the best tournaments that I’ve been part of. The entire event is fun to participate in and we look forward to fishing the next one on Lake Livingston.”
Big Bass honors went to Kevin Crittenden and Shirley Ponder. The big fish was anchored by Ponder, making it her first and largest bass she’s ever caught. With the 11.55-pound bass in the boat, the mother/son angling team brought home a $750 prize.
“Once the fish hit I thought I was just hung up on the bottom,” said Ponder. “I’ve never caught a bass before using a lure, and my son rigged me up a 7-inch pumpkinseed worm. I was Carolina Rigging when the big fish hit. I don’t think I could fish for another 30 minutes. It was simply amazing how hard these fish fight. We look forward to fishing the other Texas Team Trail events for sure.”
Coming in second was James Martin and Kenny Moser with a bag of 24.07 pounds. The second place finishers came away with $5,272 of total winnings, which included $3,750 cash payout, $1,022 Angler Advantage payout, $250 Ranger Cup contingency and $250 Mercury contingency. In third place, with 23.07 pounds, anglers Heath Moody and Zack Parker walked away with a final payout of $3,162, which included $2,250 cash payout, $876 Angler Advantage payout.
“The Ray Roberts event was great, and the turnout was tremendous,” said Mike Hastings, Texas Team Trail tournament director. “Our sponsors really did a great job. Their outpouring of support shows the dedication to our sport of fishing. I really can’t say enough about the amount of anglers that signed up to fish. They fished great and showed up big time.”
The Texas Team Trail Team of the Year race winners receive paid entries for the following year along with custom designed Texas Team Trail Team of the Year rings. The TOY race is a close one with Phillip Crelia and TJ Goodwin leading the charge with 284 points. Steven Johnston and Dicky Newberry are in second with 278 points, and Jeff Reynolds and Redndall Bruce round out the top three with 268 points.