Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Before you read the article you have to know that my favorit part is the guy who caught the 13+ lb bass on a Beetle Spin. It's the same lure I caught my personal best with when I was a kid fishing with my papa and my dad on Lake Sam Rayburn.


ATHENS, Texas—The 2005-2006 Budweiser ShareLunker season ended April 30 with 32 entries, the most 13-pound-plus fish since 33 were entered in 1991-92 and the third-highest total ever.Lake Alan Henry led with nine fish weighing a total of 124.23 pounds for an average of 13.80 pounds. Lake Fork’s six fish totaled 85.04 pounds and averaged 14.173 pounds. Lake Amistad produced four fish weighing 55.54 pounds, an average of 13.885 pounds each. One of those fish weighed 15.68 pounds and was a new lake record. Amistad also produced Budweiser ShareLunker No. 400. Lake Conroe took the crown for highest average weight with three fish that weighed 43.5 pounds in the aggregate and averaged 14.5 pounds.The average weight of the 32 entries was 13.77 pounds, just 0.08 of a pound less than the 20-year average of 13.85 pounds. In addition to Amistad, four other lakes saw new water body records set. Lake Lewisville contributed only one fish to the program, but it was a 13.63-pound lake record, the fourth such since June 2005. Lake Ratcliff, in the Davy Crockett National Forest, has new record of 13.65 pounds. San Augustine City Lake’s new record fish weighed 13.13 pounds. Lake Alan Henry’s new record was also the third-largest entry of the year, an even 15 pounds.
Two of the fish made the list of the 50 biggest largemouth bass ever caught in Texas. Sutherland’s new Lake Amistad record vaulted to the number 27 spot on the all-time list. Billy Pfeil’s 15.5-pound Lake Fork lunker took over the number 36 spot.Three new public lakes were added to the list of those producing ShareLunkers, bringing the total to 54. The spawning season at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens went very well, with 11 ShareLunker spawns producing 159,800 fry so far. Jason Baird’s Budweiser ShareLunker No. 400 produced a record 46,678 eggs. Most of the fry will be raised to fingerling size (about 1.5-inches) and then stocked into public waters. As part of Operation World Record, 26,000 fish will be raised to 6-inch size, tagged and stocked into research lakes so their growth rates can be monitored.ShareLunker program manager David Campbell will be putting a lot of miles on the Budweiser ShareLunker truck in the next few weeks as he returns ShareLunkers to the lakes where they were caught. Anglers catching ShareLunkers may request the fish be returned and may personally release the fish if they choose. Below in chronological order are the details on Budweiser ShareLunker entries for the 2005-2006 season.November 28, 2005. Jon Babich of Lewisville became the fourth angler in five months to set a new largemouth bass water body record on Lake Lewisville with a 13.63-pound fish. Babich’s fish, which became Budweiser ShareLunker No. 392, was caught on a 3/25-inch Fin-S-Shad. It was 24.25 inches long and 21 inches in girth and was the first ShareLunker recorded from Lake Lewisville.December 11, 2005. Frank Brown of Houston was crappie fishing with minnows on Lake Conroe when a 14.22-pound bass took his bait. The fish was 25 inches long and 23 inches in girth. December 28, 2005. Tom Sutherland of Del Rio posted a new lake record with a 15.68-pound largemouth that was 28.3 inches long and 21.75 inches in girth. It was caught on a Norman DD-22. Sutherland’s fish was the second-longest ever entered into the Budweiser ShareLunker program. A Lake Fork fish caught in 1988 by Jeff Neighbors was 28.5 inches long. Only those two entries exceeded 28 inches; five others have measured 28 inches even.Sutherland will be honored as Angler of the Year at the annual Budweiser ShareLunker banquet in Athens on June 3. In addition to the usual prizes of a replica of his fish and ShareLunker clothing, Sutherland will receive a lifetime fishing license. Prizes are paid for by Anheuser-Busch and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.January 23, 2006. Jim Lee of Winnsboro caught the season’s only entry from a private lake while fishing in Wood County. The 13.07-pound fish was 25.75 inches long and 21 inches in girth. Lee was using a 1/8-ounce jig with a 4-inch white Zoom fluke.February 5, 2006. Lake Conroe produced again, giving up a 14.8-pound fish to Harry Durham of Houston. The fish was 25 inches long and 22.75 inches around. Durham caught the big-bellied brute on a crankbait.February 14, 2006. Jay Stevens of Abilene caught a Valentine’s Day present for himself from Lake Casa Blanca, a 13.2-pound bass. The 26-inch-long, 20-inch-around fish took a Bitsy flip jig with a pork trailer. February 21, 2006. Lake Fork waited until it could produce a real whopper for its first entry of the season, a 15.5-pound fish caught by Billy Pfeil of Alba. The fish was 25.25 inches long and 23.5 inches in girth. It took a black-and-blue 5-inch Senko.February 23, 2006. Kurt Wade Melville of Arlington caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 399 from Mill Creek Lake using a Yum Zellamander. The 13.1-pound fish was 25.5 inches long and 20.5 inches in girth. February 28, 2006. Budweiser ShareLunker No. 400. Jason Baird’s decision to hire guide Ray Hanselman, Jr., to take him bass fishing on Lake Amistad paid off handsomely. Baird caught Budweiser ShareLunker No. 400 and will receive a check for $5,240 and a G.Loomis rod and Shimano reel package valued at $600 at the ShareLunker banquet in Athens June 3. Baird used a Smallie Beaver creature bait to entice the bedded bass to bite. She was 26 inches long and 21 inches around. In April that fish produced the biggest single spawn in the history of the ShareLunker program, 46,678 eggs.March 2, 2006. March is big bass month in Texas. Appropriately, two fish came on the second day of the month. Patrick Starnes of Laredo caught a 13.06-pound fish from Lake Casa Blanca. The fish was 25.75 inches long and 20.25 inches in girth. It took a Yum Wooly Hawg.Also on March 2, David Utz of Lovelady began a remarkable two days of fishing with a 13.65-pound fish from tiny Lake Ratcliff, in Davy Crockett National Forest. A new lake record, the fish was 26.75 inches long and 20.5 inches around. March 3, 2006. Utz continued his run with a 13.03-pound fish measuring 25.25 inches long and 20.75 inches around. He caught both fish on a jig and pig. March 4, 2006. This proved to be another two-fish day. Lake Fork was heard from for the second time this season when Mark Smith of Allen pulled a 14.09-pounder from the lake. The fish was 24.75 inches long and 21 inches in girth. No bait type was recorded for Budweiser ShareLunker No. 404.Tanya Sorter of Hemphill proved equal to the task of landing a 14.25-pound Toledo Bend monster on a Rattlin’ Rapala. The fish was 25.75 inches long and 22 inches around. March 5, 2006. A new water body record for San Augustine City Lake took Nacogdoches resident Trey McCollum’s Beetle Spin. The 13.13-pound fish was 26 inches long and 20.5 inches in girth.March 7, 2006. Johnny Worley of Oakwood made the most of his trip to Purtis Creek State Park by catching a 13.31-pound largemouth from the park’s catch-and-release lake. The fish was 26.25 inches long and 21.75 inches around. Worley was using waterdogs for bait.March 10, 2006. Winter lingers longer in the northern reaches of the state and rarely makes an appearance in the far south, which is why the Budweiser ShareLunker season runs from October through April. The seven-month season covers the spawning period for all parts of the state. Spring arrived on Lake Alan Henry with a bang March 10 when Greg Hollers of Lubbock landed a 14.78-pound bass using a minnow for bait. The fish was 26 inches long and 21.5 inches in girth and was the first ShareLunker from that lake in the 2005-2006 season. However, it proved to be far from the last.March 11, 2006. Lake Alan Henry produced again the next day. Dustin Gilliam of Ropesville caught a 13.04-pound bass on a Hawg Hanger. The fish was 25.25 inches long and 21 inches around.March 22, 2006. Lake Conroe continued its comeback as a big bass lake when Edward Reid of Crosby pulled the third 14-pound-plus fish from the lake, a 14.48-pounder caught on a green lizard. The fish was 25.25 inches long and 21.75 inches in girth.March 25, 2006. Lake Fork’s second fish of the year also exceeded 14 pounds. Steven Hoover of Gladewater caught the 14.14-pound fish on a fluke. The fish was 25 inches long and 22.75 inches in girth.March 28, 2006. After producing Budweiser ShareLunker No. 400 on February 28, Lake Amistad was not heard from again until Wayne Lindgren of Minneapolis, Minnesota, caught his 13.18-pound lunker. The fish was 26.5 inches long and 20.75 inches in girth and took a wacky-rigged Senko worm.March 31, 2006. March came in like a lion with two fish and went out the same way. A.R. Sachtleben landed a 13.2-pounder from Lake Fork using a Senko. The fish was 25 inches long and 21 inches around.Lake Alan Henry produced another fish on the last day of March, a 15-pound lake record. The huge fish was 25.25 inches long and 22 inches in girth. Angler Billy Greeson of Amarillo was using a black-and-blue jig.April 5, 2006. Robert Jones of Clute, fishing Lake Fork, caught a 13.01-pounder on a watermelon seed Brush Hog. The fish was 25.5 inches long and 21 inches around.April 13, 2006. Lake Alan Henry caught fire in April, living up to the promise it showed in March. Francisco Vallejos of Albuquerque, New Mexico, caught the first of four fish in a row from the lake, a 13.05-pounder. The fish was 25.75 inches long and 20 inches in girth and took a waterdog.April 14, 2006. Two fish on the same day from the same lake are a rarity, but Lake Alan Henry achieved that this season. In an odd twist, the two fish were caught by brothers about an hour apart—and the weights of the fish were almost identical. Mike Trulove of Carbondale, Colorado, caught a 14.24-pounder on a Tiki-Stick. The fish was 26.5 inches long and 21.25 inches in girth.Tim Trulove of Silt, Colorado, not to be outdone by his brother, landed a 14.26-pound fish on a rubber bluegill bait. His fish was 25.75 inches long and 22 inches around.April 18, 2006. Jamie Bonner of Amarillo, also fishing Lake Alan Henry, caught his 13.43-pound lunker on a 4-inch white Mad Man Craw Worm. The fish was 25.75 inches long and 20.75 inches around. April 19, 2006. Remember Lake Amistad? Travis Darley of Del Rio did and was rewarded with a 13.58-pound largemouth. The fish was 27.25 inches long and 20.25 inches around. No bait was reported.April 21, 2006. Lake Fork’s final fish of the season was caught by Sam Trinca of Monroe, Louisiana, using a Grande Bass Mutant. The fish weighed 14.02 pounds and was 26 inches long and 21 inches around.April 22, 2006. Lake Alan Henry rewarded Rodney Hill of Floydada with a 13.22-pound largemouth that was 25.75 inches long and 20 inches in girth. The fish took a blue flake Power Worm.April 24, 2006. Curtis Norrod of Lubbock helped make April 2006 the best April in the history of the Budweiser ShareLunker program. He caught the ninth program entry of the month, a 13.21-pound fish that was 26 inches long and 20.13 inches around. He used a Junebug jig.The Budweiser ShareLunker program is made possible through support from Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Since 1991, Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, has contributed millions of dollars in funding to support conservation causes and fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation programs in Texas.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Texas Classic Bass Club May Tournament on Stillhouse Hollow.

I fished the Texas Classic Bass Club May tournament on Stillhouse Hollow with Mike Amescua, 6:00 to 4:00 on Saturday. We got second place, and continued our string of fishing success this season. The combination of a front a few days a head of the tournament and a full moon with clear skies the night before the tournament made for some tough fishing conditions. The wind was calm and still early in the day, but picked up about 10:30 AM and blew at a steady 10 mph for the rest of the afternoon. Stillhouse will normally produce some nice stringers of bass this time of the year, but the big fish were not biting on Saturday.

The Tournament:

AT 5:00 AM I met Mike at the Wal-Mart in George Town. We loaded his gear in the boat and headed off to the lake and talked about our fishing strategy on the way. Mike commented about the full moon all night making for tough fishing. We arrived at the launch 10 minutes before start time, got launched and headed out at 6:05 AM. Running a little late, but not to much behind I decided to stop and fish the grass around the big island. I made two passes over an area known for producing big fish and neither of us even had a nibble. It wasn't light enough to navigate to the spot I really wanted to fish, so I decided to fish the brush around the island. The second or third cast I made into the brush produced our first keeper a little over 2 lbs. We pounded the brush with nothing else biting and decided to make a move.

We moved out on to the grass flats in 4 feet of water and went to work. There was some schooling going on and it seemed like all they would bite was a spinner bait. Mike tried a top water, rattle trap, and carolina rig, but couldn't resist using a spinner bait also when I kept catching bass. We put three bass just over 14 inches in the live well quickly and also caught several short fish when we decided we had plenty of time to get the fifth fish and went looking for bigger bass.

I moved the boat out of the grass flats into deeper water with stumps and trees where I picked up two more 2+ lb bass on my spinner bait. We culled out or first fish at 9:00 AM. With a solid catch in the live well we decided to start looking for the big fish. We moved up the lake to fish the area known as the swimming hole. By this time I would guess that area had been pounded, since there were other bass tournaments on the lake at the same time as ours, but we decided to give it a try. After a few passes with nothing but short fish, we decided to move on.

We moved up the lake to one of the islands near Dana Peak and made several passes down the side of the island where I've been told a 9 lb bass was caught. Well we didn't get a big one, but we did cull out another fish and caught a few more bass that wouldn't help the cause. I set the hook at one point and thought I had Moby on the line when it turned out I'd snagged a 100 yards of what I think was 50 lb mono with a carolina rig attached that was snagged on a tree. I managed to drag up the tree limb with my rod rigged with 17 lb Berkley Sensation. I got it off the bottom with part of the tree still attached and the broken line attached. This is the first time I've fished with Sensation line and so far I'm impressed with it's strength. It also doesn't have any line memory when it's wet, when it's wet. I have to stress the wet part, because after I spooled the reel, I decided to make a few practice casts in my front yard, bad idea. Every cast I made in the yard resulted in a back lash.

Back to the tournament, we decided to fish out in the middle of the lake with only a few hours left in the tournament. Mike directed me out to a spot he'd fished before and we caught several more small keepers that wouldn't help add weight to our catch so with 30 minutes left in the tournament we headed back to fish the marina. With 14 minutes left, Mike set the hook on our big bass 3.67 lbs. Never give up! That fish gave us the extra weight to push us into 2nd place. The first place team reported catching their big fish with only 5 minutes left to fish in the spot they were fishing. The bigger bite may have been turning on later in the day, because of the full moon.

Tournament in Review:

The sky was clear and sunny all day with the wind starting out calm and then blowing steady at 10 mph later in the day. We probably caught three limits of keepers, with a five bass total for 12.12 lbs. We caught about 25 bass all day long and had a great time. The majority of our fish were caught on white spinner baits. The big bass was caught on a brush hog.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Does this count as one that got away?

Wednesday May 10, 2006

A Hungarian fisherman has drowned while trying to catch a 150lb catfish.

Gabor Komlosy was dragged into a river when he refused to let go of the line.

The 53-year-old's body was later pulled from the Szamos river still clinging to his rod. ** NEVER GIVE UP!!!**

The 4ft monster catfish was still hooked on the end. Police in Hungary believe he had been yanked down the bank of the river by the fish. It had then pulled him through the water until he hit his head on a rock and drowned.

A spokesman said: "When we pulled in his line, the fish was still stuck on the end."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Wal-Mart BFL Tournament on Palestine Lake April 29th 2006.

I fished the Wal-Mart BFL tournament over the weekend on Saturday April 29th, 2006 at Lake Palestine. This is the fourth of five qualification rounds for the 2006 season. I was paired up with Blaine Leblanc for this event. There were 85 boaters and non-boaters entered in the event and the top 15 places were paid out. I placed 3rd with a nice five bass limit for 10 lbs 15 oz earning a trophy, check, and the Ranger Cup award for being the highest placing Ranger boat owner. It was a challenging event due to a front blowing in morning of the tournament and I had been suffering from flu like symptoms for the last 36 hours.

The Tournament:

On Friday and work up around 5:00 AM feeling like a train had run over me, headache, low fever, and my stomach was messed up something fierce. I used every ounce of strength I could gather to get through a half day of work and then help Kelly load up the kids and the trailer before heading out for the lake. Kelly was a true angle making the drive and letting me rest. When we arrived at camp, my mom was there ahead of us and she helped Kelly setup camp. I went to the pretournament meeting and sat on the curb in the parking lot instead of standing with everyone else. The pairs were announced and before I could walk to the meeting area I had forgotten which boat number I had drawn and who my boater was for the tournament. Whatever bug I had was doing a number on me that's for sure. The tournament crew helped me figure out who my partner was and Blaine told me he'd been prefishing over the week and caught a limit of fish each day on a variety of baits.

Saturday morning, about 1:00 AM storms blew in bringing 100 mph winds and tornadoes to East Texas. At 4:30 AM my mom woke me up and asked what time I was going fishing and I thanked her for waking me since I had not programmed the alarm correctly. Still not feeling well I took some Tylenol and set out in the rain to find the marina. I got a little lost on the way and wound up getting there around 5:30 AM and didn't find my partner for another 15 minutes, because torrencial down pour of rain occurring. The boat ramp at Villages Marina was flowing like a raging river about three inches deep, and lightning flashed lighting up the marina. It is moments like this that I question why I love fishing so much. I have a million reasons to head back to camp, but I am going fishing! In any other sport under conditions like this, the event is called off and everyone spends the day indoors watching TV. Not bass anglers, they get out in the worst conditions weather can produce and catch fish.

Blaine and I launch the boat and idle out to the marina entrance in the rain to hear Tim, the tournament director advising everyone to keep safe on the lake today and more bad weather was possible. Around 6:30 AM Tim began sending off the boats, I said a little prayer for the strength to compete and safety for all anglers on the lake. When boat number 66 was called we headed out, the rain was much lighter now, but at 50+ mph running down the lake rain drops feel like needles on your skin. We headed to the south end of the lake near the 155 bridge and hit a few points in some coves for the first hour of the tournament and Blaine managed a short fish on a white popper. I had no luck with a black buzz bait.

We switch up and ran to a point out on the main lake, where we boated five hybrid whites or striper between us on spinner baits and chatter baits. Blaine had one about 5 lbs on his chatter bait. We made another move, ran under the 155 bridge and back into a creek filled with stumps. Blaine was using a chartreuse/white chatter bait and caught his first keeper out in the middle of the stumps. I had made a cast with my spinner bait when Blaine called for the net, so I dropped my rod and helped him land his fish. When I picked my rod up, took up the slack, I set the hook and reeled in my first keeper. That's right, a 2 lb bass caught dead sticking a spinner bait believe it or not, ok so it may have hit the lure when it fluttered down. :-) Anyway so we work our way back into the back of the cove and Blaine tags a few small fish on the popper. As soon as we got back to the middle of the stump field where we had caught the two keepers before, I set the hook on another keeper about 3 1/2 lbs and put my second bass in the live well. We work our way out of the creek and decide to make another pass through the stumps again. I pick up another keeper on the spinner bait in the stumps and we each catch a short fish. We then go on a long spell of nothing in there, Blaine says, "I think we wore out our welcome."

We make a run to a new cove with the same type of cover. On the first cast to an isolated tree out on the front edge of the creek I catch my 4th keeper on the spinner bait. A few casts later I catch a short fish and Blaine decides it's time to switch to a spinner bait like the one I'm throwing. On his first cast, he catches a bass close to 14 inches. We work the area and catch several more short bass and Blaine hooks up with his second keeper.

A while later after not getting anymore bites we make another run to another creek, on the way in we have to pass under a bridge and Blaine slows down the boat enough for a few casts while we pass under it. I make a cast parallel to the bridge pilings, slow roll the spinner bait back to the boat, set the hook, and flip my fifth keeper aboard the boat. We get in the stumps in the creek and catch a few more short fish but no keepers to be found.

We head back out to the creek where we had the bigger fish early in the day. I catch another short fish and we see a local guy catch one over 3 lbs a few yards from us, but we can not find another good bite and time is running out. Blaine decides to fish some docks on the way out of the creek. As we approach the first dock a fish explodes on the surface and two casts later Blaine swings another near 14 inch bass aboard on the chatter bait. I switch to a 6 inch junebug worm rigged Texas style on a 8th oz weight to flip the docks. I catch a 6 inch bass off a small stump between docks. A few docks later I flip the worm under the center of a dock and set the hook on a solid fish, fight it to the back of the boat, when it surfaces mouth wide open and shakes the hook free. That fish would have given me 2nd place and possibly 1st if I could have gotten it in the boat. We finish out the docks with nothing else biting and two hours left to fish.

We make another run back to the point where we caught the hybrids early in the morning. Blaine catches a 13 inch bass after a few casts and I catch a hybrid about 2 lbs. A few casts later Blaine catches another 13 inch bass and I catch a 10 inch hybrid. I make several more casts and I set the hook only to have the rod nearly jerked out of my hands. Drag start peeling off the reel, Blaine jumps for the net and I say, "There's no way this is a bass." Sure enough, after three or four minutes of fighting I swing a 6 to 7 lb hybrid into the boat. That was fun, but not the kind of action I'm looking for right now. Blaine catches another near keeper before we give up on that point and decide to call it a day.

Tournament in Review:

The weather was rainy and cloudy all morning and then gave way to bright sunny skies later in the day. I caught 5 keepers on a fire tiger spinner bait sprayed with Fool-a-Fish. I probably caught 10 to 15 more non-keepers as well. Blaine had two keepers as well and I am not sure how many none keepers he caught, but his fish were caught on spinner bait, chatter bait, and white popper. Blaine was a great guide on the lake and I hope to fish with him again in the future. Good luck to Blaine as he continues to compete to make the regionals this season.

Special Thanks:

If not for Kelly, I may not have been strong enough to compete in this event because of the bug I had. Thank you so much for supporting me! Thanks to Kelly, my mom, and my kids for coming along to support me in this event. Thanks to Fool-a-Fish for providing me with a great product that allowed me to catch more fish.