43 teams fished and 8 places were paid.
October 22nd and 23rd saw 43 boats throw into the ring for the Lone Star Series championship event on a considerably smaller Lake Sam Rayburn. With lake levels at a severe low of over 13 feet, this was truly a neutral location for the qualifiers. Even anglers that had fished the lake their whole lives reported fishing a “new” body of water. With falling, cooling water in a potentially difficult time of fall transition, most anglers reported a fun couple of days in regards to fish catching; particularly fish of the spotted variety. But only a select few got into the size Big Sam is known for.
Weather was pleasant throughout the tournament with highs in the eighties and cool evenings. Sunday even brought some much needed scattered thunderstorms, with a nice storm for over an hour just before sun-up. Wind was essentially a non-factor on day 1, but day 2 played an interesting role in the successful anglers’ strategies. Keep reading.
Central qualifiers Derick Kuyrkendall and Forrest Wilson had an impressive two day total of 34.19 pounds, earning them the 2011 Lone Star Series championship title and a 2011 Nitro Z7 valued at $25,000! We talked to Derick at weigh-in.
“We were only able to pre-fish the Thursday and Friday leading into the tournament, so we were pretty happy with the way things turned out! On Thursday, Forrest caught a 4 right away on a Pop-R, but after that all we could catch were small ones. On Friday, we found ‘em a little better.”
We’ll say. On Friday they located a creek with a grass line out to about 4 foot of water, and some pretty thick pads to boot. With the falling water levels, most other anglers found pads as well…they were just 100 yards up on the bank. Derick and Forrest’s pads actually had water under them.
“In pre-fish we had some big fish blow up in those pads. Forrest had one about 6 lbs that came off. We also had a Carolina rig spot we fished mid-day that we caught a lot of fish off of, just no size. But every fish we caught in practice and during the tournament was under 4 foot of water.”
Derick and Forest had a very respectable day 1, but a phenomenal day 2 with over 22 pounds! No one else even came close to that single day bag weight throughout the tournament.
We asked Derick what made Sunday so special.
“That Pop-R didn’t work as well on day 2 as it did day 1. We had more luck with a swimbait. But those pads were so thick it was really hard to get a fish out. In fact, we shook one that was a legitimate 8-10 pounds…we did get more fish out of them than we did in day 1 though.”
So, what was already a very impressive bag could have even been better! We’d like to congratulate Derick and Forrest for staying consistent and locating a winning pattern in such a short timeframe. Derick would like to thank Boerne Marine, South Texas Tackle, Skeeter, Yamaha and JoBaby Lures. Most of all, he’d like to thank his wife who allows him to do this. If he keeps bringing home boats, we think she may let him keep doing this for a while.
Taking second place honors and very close to winning it all with 33.66 pounds, were North qualifiers Bill and Kelly Ferguson. They also had big bass honors by a landslide with a healthy 9.64 pounder for $800. Add this to the $2,000 they received for second place, and you could say they had a pretty profitable weekend.
Congratulations to Bill and Kelly for an awesome event!
Central qualifiers Charles Whited and Lee Beuershausen took home third place with 29.13 pounds, good for $1,250. More importantly, they placed high enough to take Angler of the Year honors from the North AOY team of Chris Tilton and Greg Yates, who had a great year themselves. The overall AOY title taken by Charles and Lee was good for an additional $1,000. We talked to Charles about their event, and the Angler of the Year title.
“We had three days total on the water on Rayburn. We’d fished the Bass Champs two day event, and then we pre-fished the Friday of the LSS championship, so not a whole lot of time to figure ‘em out. On day 1 we fished grass until about 10 o’clock. Caught those fish on the Pro’s Choice E’gr Craw in the green pumpkin gold, and a weightless fluke on the outside of the grass. After that we fished pads where we caught ‘em on Spro frogs, and then hit brush piles for the rest of the day. Man, there were exposed brush piles all over the lake. But there were some out deeper around those visible ones, where crappie fishermen had dragged ‘em out to where the top was in about 6 to 8 feet of water. We tied on an 8 foot crankbait and tipped those piles to get reaction bites. We also did good doing that with a 1 ounce Oldham’s spinnerbait.”
Charles went on to describe how they adjusted to catch their 15 pound sack on day 2, and the fishing on Big Sam in general.
“On day 2 things changed. The wind shifted and came out of the north, so we knew we had to change. That is real important this time of year. Fish are relating to shad, and the shad relate to wind. Based on the way the wind was blowing in our areas, that meant the inside cuts and grasslines were now vacant, and the fish moved out to the tips of points and outside edges of the drains…so we went with ‘em. You really gotta follow the wind; the fish can change in just a few minutes when it changes. When you get in the shad piles, you get bit.”
Fishing in Harvey Creek, Indian Creek and in the Black Forest area, Charles and Lee lit the fish up over 2 days. But we’ll let him tell this part.
“We had a good time. Both days we caught over 30 fish in the first 30 minutes. Each day we easily had 75 fish, and over 25 keepers. But it was something you had to make some adjustments to do. We were fortunate to have fished pretty clean, and only had one break off that would have really helped us…a 5 pounder on a Fluke on day 2.”
Charles talked to us about the AOY title.
“We’re happy about it man. This trail is full of good anglers, and we are pretty pumped up we pulled it out. It was a good year for us. We have really enjoyed fishing this trail this year, and are looking forward to the 2012 season.”
Congratulations to Charles and Lee, obviously a team to be reckoned with. Charles would like to thank Power Tackle, Triton boats, Texas Boat World, Xcite baits, Pro’s Choice and GrandeBass.
Here are the remaining teams that finished in the top eight and cut a check:
Well, 2011 is in the books. We’d like to thank everyone who supported this trail this year, and we hope you enjoyed it. Please stay tuned here for details on the 2012 season to come; there will be some changes we think you’ll be interested in! More to come. And remember, in our 2012 schedule we are guaranteeing $3,000 for first place in each and every event! Pray for rain and see you all next year.