TTZ Trail – Austin 3/16/13


128 teams fished and 18 places were paid.

TOTAL COLLECTED: $19,720 ($150 x 123 teams + $100 x 5 teams + $10 x 127 teams – $500 polygraph)

TOTAL CASH PAID OUT: $17,820 (90.4%)


TTZ headed home to Lake Austin to host the third regular season event of the 2013 season. After coming off a field of 149 teams and a 33.10 pound winning bag the previous month on LBJ, everyone anticipated another great turnout with plenty of big fish brought to weigh-in. You never know what to expect with Lake Austin, but the 1,600 acre gem of Central Texas did not disappoint and gave up 1,402 pounds of fish with an average weight of 3.03 pounds per fish for the 128 teams that competed!

It was a close race for first as the top five teams all had nearly 25 pounds or better and were separated by just over a pound, but in the end Jamie Slayden and Judd Fults walked away $4,000 richer with a five fish limit weighing 25.75 pounds anchored by an 8.62 pound kicker.

Jamie had been on some giant bags of fish before the tournament including a 39.10 pound bag with an 11.14 pound fish.

His pattern held up on tournament day and if they would have landed all their bites who knows what absurd weight might have come to the scales. Jamie was able to share just a bit of information with us regarding his very specific pattern,

“Caught them on jigs punching through grass. Started out slow and the bite stopped about 11 o’clock; we didn’t have another bite after that. Lost four and my partner broke off twice.”

It’s difficult to divulge specifics on such a small body of water, and with the TTZ Wednesday Night Tournaments starting March 20 we’re not surprised if everyone is a bit tight-lipped. Congrats Jamie and Judd on the big win!

Less than half a pound behind and finishing in second place were last year’s Anglers of the Year Lance Hale and Barry Mott. The runners up at last year’s TTZ Lake Austin tournament with 25.31 pounds brought in another impressive 25.39 pound limit, which included a 9.37 pound fish, worth $1,650.

We spoke to Lance after the tournament and he shared the details of his day from one end of the lake to the other.

“Barry and I decided we would go where everyone else wasn’t so we headed south and stayed there until around noon. Barry had our big fish around 9:30 on a Big Bite Baits junebug/bubblegum worm and I put my big fish of the day in the boat on a custom poured stick bait by Fringe Tackle, it was comforting knowing our fish would be well taken care of having the Fish Guardian on board. Stayed near any grass we could find and around lunch we decided to head up lake and try the grass up near Quinlan with no luck. We kept going north and found a grass line that produced our fifth fish for our limit and then two culls after that. Had a great time at the pre-tournament festivities and the tournament, thanks to the TTZ crew for another great tournament and congrats to Jamie and Judd for a close win!”

Talk about being consistent on a notoriously difficult lake to pattern, well done gentlemen!

After a record-setting 33.10 pounds at last month’s LBJ tournament, finishing third with 24.96 pounds good for $1,450 were the father and son team of Dale and Jake Read.

Dale and Jake stayed north of City Park all day and fished a couple of unproductive spots before finally getting things started around an area the locals call “The Fat Farm”.

“We pulled up to the Fat Farm area and Jake caught our largest fish of the day on a Senko along the grass line. We caught several more small keepers in that area and as the wind blew we continued fishing south for several hundred yards. We picked up again running above the Fat Farm and found what appeared to be boats 1-40 fishing the big flat on the bend,” said Dale.

As they worked their way down the lake boats were scattered all over along both the inside and outside grass lines, once they made it to another Lake Austin landmark things started getting good.

“We boated another four pounder under the clock dock and then it really turned on for us. We caught several solid fish and started culling to increase our weight, Jake and I were thinking we had 18-20 pounds and we might have a chance to win back to back. Then reality settled in and we both realized this is LA…everyone is only one cast away from a 10-13 pound fish and changing the ball game!”

The team eventually culled their way up to almost 25 pounds before they started looking for beds around 1:15. Dale headed back up the lake with the trolling motor on high until they finally stumbled upon a fish that was catchable.

Dale describes what happens next and what could have won them the tournament.

“We flipped everything we had on her from a lizard to jigs, she wouldn’t nose down on anything. I pounded her head with a heavy jig for 30-45 minutes and she kept circling the bed. Flint and Danny Ray came by and Flint tosses me one of his special baits, but she ignores that as well! Time is running out so I flip my 1/2 oz jig in there and my line starts moving off to the left, I set the hook and game on! When I boat flip her I see the jig hooked the side of her head so I unhooked her and put her back in the lake, she was between six and seven pounds.”

Dale and Jake would like to thank TTZ and all the sponsors who make this possible and left us with one final thought,

“After all the running around on the lake Saturday I stopped to fill up my boat and it cost me $32…I am defintely impressed with my new 2013 SHO 225 motor! Also, Skeeter Real Money for 2013 is simply amazing and I should get my $3,000 bonus from LBJ within the next couple of days. THANKS SKEETER BOATS!”

Well said Dale and congrats to both you and Jake!

Big Bass for the tournament was also a close finish; two Lake Austin giants were weighed and only two ounces separated the 11.99 weighed by Ronny Maynard and Dean Alexander and the 12.14 pound Big Bass of Kenneth and Jeremiah Woodrum.

Any cast could be the fish of a lifetime on this lake and Jeremiah proved it as he caught the fish on his very first cast of the day! The fish was Jeremiah’s first double-digit and paid them $1,270.

Here are the remaining teams in the money:

4th place – Phil Warren and Kenneth Fairly

5th place – Ronny Maynard and Dean Alexander

6th place – Scott Dawson and John Riley

7th place – Darrel Wuensche and Donnie O’Neal

8th place – Shawn Tamez and Chad McNeil

9th place – Charles Whited and Steve Magnelia

10th place – Steve Pack and Colin Pack

11th place – Mike Waldrop and Jack Waldrop Jr.

12th place – Phillip Smith

13th place – Adrian Barnes and Thomas Wells

14th place – Corey Johnson and Jordan Shipley

15th place – Brian Mater and Chris Woehl

16th place – Trey Groce and Gary Groce

16th place – Cody Smith and Chuck Smith

18th place – Tom Lorden and Andy Zavala

The AOY points standings have been updated after three events and are available here.

The AOYs after four events will win free entries to the 2014 TTZ Trail and the top three teams in points will have their 2013 Championship entry fee waived. You may qualify for the $10,000 Championship on Lake Travis October 26-27, 2013 by registering for at least three out of four regular season events or by finishing in the top 50% of the AOY points. With the number of boats we are drawing this year anything could happen, good luck to everyone heading into the last regular season event on Lake Travis April 13, 2013!


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