UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Wade’s world

Wade’s world
Pro Wade Middleton caught Wednesday's heaviest limit. His five Sam Rayburn bass weighed 19 pounds, 2 ounces.

JASPER, Texas - For Wade Middleton, today was a pivotal day in his Stren Series Central Division season. Coming into the tournament in 43rd place, Middleton sat right on the edge of qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship. When day one ended, the San Antonio, Texas, pro could exhale, knowing he had executed when it mattered most.

Middleton led all competitors with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces, which was anchored by a 5-pound, 10-ounce kicker. Middleton was ecstatic last night when he learned he would be boat No. 3 Wednesday.

"I was throwing a Sebile topwater bait that is entirely new to the United States," Middleton said. "I don't mind saying it because I know nobody else has them."

Middleton, the host of several Texas fishing shows, said he picked up an early limit on the walking bait and then decided to fish new water with soft plastics. Altogether, Middleton said he caught about a dozen keepers by running a lot of water. On day one alone, he went through a tank and a half of gas.

"These fish are just chasing bait. I'm not going to beat up any of my key water tomorrow. I think I can duplicate this all over the lake. The fishing is getting better. Prefishing was tough, but the bite is improving with the stable weather."

News flash, McCall at it again

Chris McCall is off to yet another successful tournament. He is second among the pros with five bass that weigh 18 pounds, 1 ounce.In typical fashion, Stren Series Central Division points leader Chris McCall ended the day in the No. 2 position with a limit of five weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. The Jasper, Texas, pro is well on his way to making the top-20 cutoff in each of the four divisional qualifying events.

"I felt like I could catch five decent fish, but it went way better than I thought," McCall said. "It was a great day; the only problem is that a lot of people saw me catch those fish."

McCall said his plan all along was to fish one side of the lake today and then switch to the other side Thursday.

"The new Chris likes to fish a different area each day. Now I don't script my day. I may go into a place I never even practiced."

The local pro said he caught his fish on both a Gambler Cane Toad and a Santone spinnerbait. If he is able to boat a decent limit tomorrow, the Central Division Angler of the Year title is all but his.

"Going into the year, winning the points race was a definite goal. But I can't think about it that way. I've just got to go fishing and not worry about it. I struggle here in May just about every time. This time I went out and fished the way I wanted to fish."

Bond sits in third

Coming in third place on the pro side was Alan Bond of Vidor, Texas. Bond caught a five-bass limit Wednesday that weighed 17 pounds, 7 ounces.Alan Bond of Vidor, Texas, brought in five bass weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces today to land in the No. 3 spot. Vidor caught his bass employing plastics and fishing them really slow in deep water.

"I feel like I'm fishing stuff that not many guys are fishing," Bond said.

After a prosperous opening day, he hopes to catch about 12 pounds tomorrow and let his other spots rest.

Nolan jigs for fourth

Jim Nolan shows off his kicker fish from day one on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.Jim Nolan of Bull Shoals, Ark., brought in 16 pounds, 11 ounces on day one to claim the fourth position. Nolan's biggest fish, a 6-pound, 15-ounce brute, was just an ounce short of the big bass, which went to Derek Remitz.

In practice, Nolan was on a solid drop-shot bite. But as he started on day one, that pattern folded. He then switched to a green-pumpkin Spot Remover Jighead with a Lake Fork skirt and Zoom Vibercraw. Nolan targeted clumps of flooded willows in 7 to 12 inches of water.

"I was drop-shotting good fish, but they wouldn't bite," he said. "With that wind, it acted like cloud cover and cut down the glare. I only saw one other fish caught the entire day."

Martin fifth

Lendell Martin finished Wednesday in fifth place on the pro side.Pro Lendell Martin Jr. of Nacogdoches, Texas, finished the opening day in fifth place with a Sam Rayburn limit weighing 16 pounds even.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pros on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir after day one:

6th: David Mauldin of Tomball, Texas, five bass, 15-12
7th: Phil Addison of Baytown, Texas, five bass, 15-3
8th: Michael Lowery of Etoile, Texas, five bass, 15-0
9th: Charles Simmons of Waco, Texas, five bass, 14-14
10th: Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas, five bass, 14-13

Rogers busts 18-10 to lead co-anglers

Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas, has become the co-angler equivalent of pro Chris McCall. What that means is that Rogers is dominating his division at an unprecedented pace. On day one, he caught five bass, weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces, while fishing with pro Sid Havard of Simsboro, La.

Co-angler Bill Rogers showed why he is won of the deadliest sticks on tour regardless of division. On day one, Rogers sacked 18-10 to lead the co-anglers."I caught all of my fish in 20 feet of water on a watermelon-seed Zoom Baby Brush Hog," said Rogers, who has 15 top-10 finishes in his FLW Outdoors career. "We dropped those Carolina Rigs down to a brush pile and caught all of our fish by 8:30 this morning. It was one of those deals that I just happened to catch the kicker fish and he didn't."

While pleased with his performance, Rogers has been here before, having led both days one and two on Lake Texoma before faltering on day three.

"The only thing that this means is that I'll probably make the top 20. I'm glad to get these, but I could go out there and zero tomorrow. The guy I'm fishing with tomorrow doesn't fish deep; he's a frog fisherman, so it will be a completely different deal. I just hop in the back of the boat and fish."

High fiveTim Webb caught just four bass on Wednesday but they weighed 15 pounds, 8 ounces, which was good enough for second place in the Co-angler Division. Webb

In second place on the co-angler side is Tim Webb of Olpe, Kan. Webb caught the biggest bass of the day, regardless of division. His 7-pound, 7-ounce lunker anchored his four-fish total that weighed 15 pounds, 8 ounces. Webb caught these fish despite some interesting boat problems that left him and his partner stranded for over 30 minutes.

"I want to give Mark Richard a big thank you," Webb said. "Without him, I wouldn't have been able to bring these in."

Before the tournament started, Webb sat in 20th place among the Central Division co-anglers. On Wednesday, Webb fished deep hydrilla with watermelon-colored plastic worms. With his day-one performance in the bag, it looks like Webb has punched his ticket to Decatur.

"I'm really wanting to go to Alabama (for the championship)," he said.

Mike Wisenbaker shows off a Sam Rayburn bass that weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces. Wisenbaker sits in third place in the Co-angler Division.Behind Webb is Jourdanton, Texas, co-angler Mike Wisenbaker, who brought in a limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces.

Co-angler Ray Burnett finished day-one on Sam Rayburn in fourth place.Sitting fourth is Ray Burnett with 13 pounds, 1 ounce. The Cleveland, Texas, native was one of only 17 co-anglers to register a limit.

In fifth place after day one is Emmet Barnett of Waldron, Ark., with four bass weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir after day one:

6th: John Cure of Jasper, Texas, five bass, 11-11
7th: Kenny Moser of Alba, Texas, five bass, 11-8
8th: Rodney Dotson of Silsbee, Texas, five bass, 11-5
9th: Henry Wayland of Pleasanton, Texas, five bass, 11-3
10th: Monte Knight of Quitman, Miss., four bass, 10-15

Day two of the final Central Division qualifying event on Sam Rayburn begins at 6:30 a.m. Central time Thursday from the Umphrey Family Pavilion in Jasper. Following tomorrow's action, both fields will be cut to the top 20 anglers apiece, based on two-day total weight. The top 40 pros and top 40 co-anglers from the division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake Nov. 1-4.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2006-05-17-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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