Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The 2nd Largest Bass of the FLW Tour 07 Season

When National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., caught an 8-pound, 12-ounce bass on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, at the first stop of the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, he knew he had a shot at winning the tournament’s Snickers Big Bass Award of $1,000 in addition to winning the day’s big bass award of $750. Little did he know, however, that the heavyweight fish would ultimately rank as the biggest bass caught on the FLW Tour in 2007. As such, the bass earned Martin an extra $5,000 as the Snickers Big Bass of the year. “I didn’t think that my 8-pound, 12-ounce bass would win the Snickers Big Bass Award, but I knew that if I was going to catch a big bass, it would be on Lake Travis,” Martin said. “The funny thing is that I looked at this ledge during practice but never fished it until day two of the tournament, and that’s when I caught the big bass.” Martin said he caught the Lake Travis beauty on a 7-foot Kistler rod spooled with 12-pound-test Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon. He was working a 3/4-ounce All-Terrain Tackle Jim Moynagh jig in 25 to 30 feet of water near a steep ledge. “I didn’t realize how big it was until I reeled it closer to the boat,” Martin said. “At first, I thought it was a 5-pound bass, and when I finally pulled it in, I knew it had to be at least 8-pounds.”

Rounding out the top five contenders for the award were co-angler Clint Bridges of Round Rock, Texas, with a 7-pound, 11-ounce Lake Travis bass. Clint said, “I've fished the same area for years and never caught a bass that size there before. I was very blessed today with a big fish and a great partner for the first day of the tournament.” Clint said he caught the Lake Travis beauty on a 7-foot G-Loomis rod spooled with 12-pound-test Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon. He was working a 1/4-ounce Carolina rigged Luck "E" Strike watermelon ring worm in 25 to 30 feet of water near a steep ledge. “When the fish bit, I thought I had hung on a rock, because I set the hook and the line didn't move, when it swam for deeper water I thought I had a big striped bass or catfish on the line,” Clint said. “I took my time wearing the fish down, because I wanted to see what I'd caught. It took four or five minutes fighting the fish from deep water, I knew it was going to be a big fish, but a dream came true when the bass surfaced. I hear the tour will return to fish Travis in 2009 and I can't wait!”

Co-angler Chad Hicks of Rockville, Va., who also caught a 7-pound, 11-ounce bass on Lake Travis; Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., who caught a 7-pound, 6-ounce bass on the Potomac River; and BP pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, who caught a 7-pound, 3-ounce bass on the Potomac. Snickers awards $750 ($1,000 at opens) to the pro and $375 ($500 at opens) to the co-angler who catches the heaviest bass on each of the first two days of competition in Wal-Mart FLW Tour regular-season events. Snickers awards an additional $1,000 to the pro or co-angler who catches the heaviest overall bass during the first two days of competition, and at the end of the season, Snickers awards another $5,000 to the pro or co-angler who caught the heaviest bass of the year.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series.

Lake Austin is open again.

Got out and fished Lake Austin for fun with Mike Amescua now that it's back open. Mike called and asked me to hit the lake with him since it was going to be a full moon and the weather looked good. We got out there around 8:30 and fished till 2:00ish because the fish were biting. I caught the big fish of the night seen in the picture above on a brushhog Texas rigged.