October 13, 2012 by David A. Brown
LUFKIN, Texas - When Clint Farris saw his productivity cut by more than half on day two, he worried that the numbers would catch up with him in the end. He was nearly right, but the Joshua, Texas co-angler found himself on the right side of a whisper-thin margin as he won the FLW Tour Open on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
Farris jumped out to the early lead with a day-one limit of 16 pounds, 2 ounces - the largest co-angler weight of the tournament. The next day, however, several missed opportunities left Farris with just four fish that weighed 6-1. Fortunately, a big start provided enough advantage for him to hold the lead for a second day. The third round also yielded four keepers for Farris, but the heavier weight of 11-12 was just enough to secure a wire-to-wire victory with a total score of 33-15 and a winning margin of just one ounce.
"This feels really good because I know what it feels like to be on the other end," Farris said. "In 2010, at the TBF Championship, I finished second by 5 ounces. I lost several big fish. I weighed in the biggest bag of day three, but it wasn't enough - it was 5 ounces short. I know both ends of the spectrum and I'll tell you, it feels a lot better to be on this end of the close ones."
Farris caught most of his fish this week on a Texas-rigged 10-inch Berkley Power Worm in Junebug.
"It's just big baits - big fish," he said. "Junebug is a good color up here. Every time I put it down, I wasn't getting bit. I'd pick it up and get bit."
Gengler finishes close at second
Colorado co-angler Jeff Gengler posted to strong performances on days two and three, but in the end, he came up just a little short with a second-place total of 33-14. After placing 36th on day one with 5-9, Gengler rose to third a day later with 14-2. He ended with a 14-3 effort on day three, which moved him up to second.
Gengler started day three by fishing deep with a Carolina rigged Zoom Ultra-Vibe Speed Craw. The deep bite yielded an early limit before he and his pro moved to the bank. Fishing shallow grass, he culled up with one keeper each on a shallow running crankbait and a Rat-L-Trap.
Former National Guard College Fishing Series competitor Wilson Burton, of Groves, Texas placed third with 26-8, while Kip Passant, of Lake Charles, La. took fourth with 24-12. Fresh off his EverStart Texas Division win at Lake of the Pines, Keith Honeycutt, of Temple, Texas finished fifth with 24-6.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Tour Open event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir:
6th: Ryan Edwards, of Stuart, FL, 24-3
7th: Jeff Sprague, of Edgewood, Texas, 24-1
8th: Roy W. Cheaney, of Grand Saline, Texas, 23-5
9th: Darrel Denton, of Georgetown, Texas, 22-15
10th: John B. Moon, of Brookeland, Texas, 21-15