Tuff Man – Belton 12/12/09


104 teams fished, 65 teams weighed in and 10 places were paid. Use the scroll bar on the right to view all the results.

The fifth and final qualifying event of the 2009 Tuff Man tournament season was held on Lake Belton Saturday, Dec 12th. Proving once again this circuit has the right name, Saturday remained in the 40s for the better part of the day, and drizzling rain and some variable winds made the cold even more unbearable for the competitors. But this was the last chance for those who had not qualified with a top 12 finish yet to do so and the final day to rack up points for those trying to qualify through the points option, so it was not a time to keep the boat in the garage.

The first place finishers were the team of Crawford and Warren. At 16.54 pounds, they nearly lapped the field with a near three pound margin over the second place finishers. We had a chance to speak with Ryan Warren after the event and he stated they caught all their fish throwing rattle traps on points and a 5″ green pumpkin F5 Hag’s Tornado on a shaky head.

“We didn’t get a lot of bites but the ones we got were quality. Our 6 pound black came off the Hag’s Tornado just moments after catching our 5th keeper that was just barely over 14″. I had just put that fish in the livewell, walked to the front of the boat made and made a long cast to the bank; she hit it almost immediately. It’s one of those things that we were fortunate to have happen to us.”

Ryan also mentioned he was throwing E21 Carrot Stix rods and the rattle trap of choice was a Strike King Red Eye Shad in the Orange Craw color. For more info on Hag’s Tornado please visit www.hagstornadobait.com. You can also purchase the Tornado locally at FishFinders Marine in Round Rock.

Finishing second with a nice sack at 13.90 pounds was the dominating team of John Guerra and Paul Stokes. This second place finish anchored their stellar year and guaranteed them a much deserved Angler of the Year title. Congratulations!

The team of Andy Nuyen (TTZ team member) and Jacky Roberts (owner of FishFinder’s Marine) came to the scales with a nice limit over 11 pounds anchored by a healthy smallmouth bass. Their bag was enough to get them a 7th place finish and a ticket to the big show. The team focused on areas by the dam for the first half of the day and put three keepers in the boat throwing Texas rigged and wacky rigged plastics. Around 11 am they made a move up the Cowhouse to finish their limit and cull a 14″ fish. The 4 pound smallmouth was caught by Jacky on a black and blue Oldham’s jig with a black and blue E’gr Craw trailer. “I was watching my line and my bait hadn’t even hit the bottom when it ticked and started taking a little swim!” It was the biggest smallmouth Jacky has caught to date in a tournament and it couldn’t have come at a better time! Andy let us know the anglers caught the majority of their fish on a Yamamoto Senko and a Pro’s Choice E’gr Craw (only available locally at FishFinders). An efficient team, Nuyen and Roberts qualified for the championship in January having only fished this last event; well done guys!

The big bass of the day was a Belton monster at 8.14 pounds! We pulled James Isaacs aside for the skinny and he shared it was the only keeper the team had all day. But, if you are going to catch just one this was the one to catch; in fact, that one bass bested most of the field’s total team weights! James was pretty pumped and said, “She bit on the fourth cast of the day. I just threw my jig out in about 8 feet of water off some rocks and she was there. We celebrated a little, and said man this gonna be a good day!”

Our old friend Gerald Poboril also spent some time with us after the tourney. A threat to win in any event out there, as proved earlier this year with a 22.78 pound Bass Champs winning stringer worth over $20,000, Poboril and Powe had a bag that went 10.11 pounds.

“We caught ‘em on creek channel drops with timber. The dropoffs were in about 9 feet of water, and dropped to about 17. We caught ‘em on jigs.” When we asked what color, Gerald looked at us in amazement. “Black and blue man, the ONLY color to throw on this lake when it’s cloudy!” We’ll keep that in mind Gerald.

The stage is set, the finishes are in the books and the anglers are already starting to prepare for the championship on Lake Stillhouse Hollow January 9th. This event is set in the heart of the Central Texas Boat Show at the Belton Expo Center. Once again, TTZ will be there to cover the event and we can’t wait!

In addition to the 12 qualifiers at each of the four qualifying tournaments, the top 12 teams in points that did not qualify through an event are also invited to fish the championship. From preliminary totals here are the teams that qualified based on their points standings:


A complete list of the 2010 Championship qualifiers is available here.

We’d like to congratulate all the teams that qualified including the following TTZ teams: James Roberts and Brian Burns, Tom Lorden and Grant Schnabel, Andy Nuyen and Jacky Roberts and Dan Taylor and Steven Malina.

Texas Tournament Zone and its anglers would like to thank Rick Smith, Cliff Brown and Gary Wendeborn of Marine Outlet and Texas Boat World for another great year and a heck of a tournament trail. Please support these folks for their hard work by going to see them for any of your boating needs.


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