March 22, 2014 by David A. Brown
MANY, La. - Ronnie Ray Jr. wasn't particularly fond of bed fishing, but after incorporating some precision spawning season action into his Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win on Toledo Bend, he's probably looking at it a little differently now.
Paired with second-place pro Clark Reehm, the co-angler from McKinney, Texas, spent most of his time blind casting open water, while his pro partner nosed in toward the bank to flip plastics to the beds. However, when Reehm determined that certain bed fish wouldn't help his weight, he positioned Ray for convenient shots at locked-down fish.
"I was just fishing out in the middle (of the pocket) and letting Clark have all the bed fish," he said. "Once he had his, he said `Hey, I'm going to go past this one right here and it's locked on. If you can catch it when I go by, catch it.'
"I caught it and we did two of them like that. I made two flips on each one as we went by and they were ready. He knew it - the guy I amazing."
Ray said his bed fish were sitting shallow, while his blind-casting efforts targeted grassy areas in about 8 feet. He used Zoom Trick Worms and Brush Hogs for blind casting, while craw worms worked for the bed fish.
The only co-angler to catch a day-three limit, Ray's winning total was 32 pounds, 9 ounces.
"I've never fished a bed-fishing tournament, I hate bed fishing, but (Reehm) showed me some stuff today and I may take it up," Ray said.
Power surges up to second
He only caught three bass on the final day, but a hefty kicker anchored Mike Power's 10-pound, 4-ounce sack. This effort continued the upward course that took Power from 21st on day one to fifth on day two. On day three, he settled in second place with 31-7.
Throughout the week, Power caught his fish on Senkos, but he used an Alabama rig with Gene Larew swimbaits. He fished the rig on 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
Kitchen finishes third
Jeff Kitchens, of Henderson, Texas, made a big move from 10th to first on day two after sacking up 17-12 - the largest bag of his division. Day three proved tough and with only one fish, he slipped to third with 29-11.
Barnett fourth, Bailey fifth
Day-one co-angler leader Kerry Barnett, of Waldron, Ark. took fourth with 25-3. In fifth place, Ryan Bailey, of Humble, Texas had 24-3.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Rayovac FLW Series Toledo Bend event:
6th: Travis Kelehan, of Broussard, La., 23-8
7th: Clint Lipham, of Conroe, Texas, 22-3
8th: John Martin, of Buna, Texas, 21-12
9th: Dan Wilson, of Pilot Point, Texas, 20-6
10th: Neil Herline, of Silsbee, Texas, 18-6