UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Curtis clinches No. 2

Curtis clinches No. 2
Pro winner David Curtis holds up his checks for winning the 2007 TTT Championship on Sam Rayburn.

JASPER, Texas - Now that Chris McCall has moved up to fishing the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Series full time, David Curtis has emerged as the new king of Texas bass fishing. After catching a five-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces Sunday, Curtis claimed his second Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail Championship victory.

Texas has been good to Curtis, and Sam Rayburn in particular has been incredible. The Trinity, Texas, native now has four victories in his FLW Outdoors career, three on the TTT, including his first championship win in 2004. He also won a TTT qualifier in 2004 at Sam Rayburn. His other win was a Stren Series event on nearby Toledo Bend. In 2005, he also won the Stren Series points title as well as the TTT points title.

But today's $75,000 victory, which included a $40,000 Ranger 198VX powered by a 200-horsepower Pro winner David Curtis shows off his day-two catch.Yamaha outboard and equipped with Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and EverStart batteries plus $35,000 cash, was the biggest payday of his life. His career earnings with FLW Outdoors now sit at just over $400,000. That's a pretty impressive figure for an angler that primarily fishes the Stren Series, the TTT and the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League.

"Being that this was the last TTT and it was on this lake in particular, it means a ton," said Curtis, of his fourth victory. "The crankbait was the key to my better fish."

The sunny fall conditions suited Curtis' fishing style just fine. Each day his presentation consisted of throwing a shad-colored DD-22 crankbait around points, humps and drops. Some of his areas had brush piles on the bottom, others were natural breaklines. He spent most of his time in the middle and south portions of the lake.

Although he caught a solid limit Sunday, the pro winner did most of his damage on day one.

"To be able to get that many big bites in one day is incredible. It was a lot tougher on me today than A look at David Curtisyesterday. I had to work a lot harder."

Curtis said he fished somewhat conservatively on day two, knowing he had over a 10-pound lead. He caught 15 bass total on the day, seven of which were keepers. He finished with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 15 ounces. Although his primary pattern was the DD-22, he also threw a Lake Fork Baby Creature on a Carolina rig and a Stanley 3/4-ounce jig tipped with a Gambler Floppy Daddy.

"Although my home lake is Livingston, I've spent a lot of time here over the last 8-10 years. I enjoy structure fishing; I can't do that too much on Livingston."

Look for Curtis next season on the Stren Series Texas Division and possibly the FLW Tour. But before he looks forward to next year, he still has a Stren Series qualifier next week on Lake Texoma and the Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala.

Johnston jumps to second

Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas, was in fourth place after day one with a 16-pound, 14-ounce stringer and even improved that weight today, bringing in another five that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces for a two-day total of 36 pounds, 6 ounces. That should have been plenty enough to win this tournament, but with Curtis' atypically awesome day one, Johnston settled for second place.

"I caught what should have won," said Johnston, who won the 2007 Stren Series event on Sam Stephen Johnston continues to catch bass in Texas. After winning the Stren Series event in the spring, Johnston took second on Sam Rayburn at the TTT Championship.Rayburn and is leading the Stren Series Texas Division points race. "Coming into it, I was counting on 18 pounds a day winning it. When David caught 28 pounds yesterday I knew I was in trouble."

The difference between Curtis and Johnston were the kickers. Although he caught quality fish, he never caught the 6- and 7-pound brutes that Curtis did.

"I mainly looked at stuff from 15-25 feet. I knew I was going to catch them, I just didn't know what size they would be."

Johnston was dragging a Texas-rigged 11-inch Zoom Old Monster. He also threw a 3/4-ounce Falcon jig with a 4-inch craw worm. He worked those two baits around brush and bare ridges where the Sam Rayburn bass were chasing shad.

For his second-place finish, he took home $6,000 cash plus $5,000 in contingency money. That money might go towards 2008 entry fees.

"I've been looking at it for a long time and I'm going to step up and fish the FLW Tour next year."

Reagan third with 31-13

Charles Reagan finished third in the Pro Division with a two-day total weight of 31 pounds, 13 ounces.Charles Reagan of Marquez, Texas, slid into third place with a two-day total catch of 10 bass that weighed 31 pounds, 13 ounces. Yesterday's No. 7 pro caught 16-4 on day one and 15-9 on day two.

"The wind hurt me today," he said. "I had two places that I never got to. One of them was the place where I caught my big fish yesterday."

Reagan was primarily throwing a shad-colored DD-22 and dragging a Carolina rig in water 20 feet and deeper.

"I'm satisfied but I would have liked to have won."

Had he won, it would have been his second TTT Championship victory. Reagan won the 2002 TTT Championship on Lake Belton.

He earned $4,500 cash plus for his third-place finish.

Batson, Faske score top-five finishes

Taking fourth is Forney, Texas, native Lee Batson with a two-day weight totaling 29 pounds, 13 ounces. He followed his day-one, 13-pound, 2-ounce catch with a day-two limit that weighed 16 pounds, 11 ounces. He earned $3,500 plus a $3,000 Ranger bonus for his fourth-place finish.

Pro Lee Batson holds up his fourth-place check worth $6,500.
Behind him in fifth is Marcus Faske of Austin, Texas, with 29 pounds, 11 ounces of bass over two days. Those fish earned Faske $2,500 plus another $2,250 in Ranger contingency money.

Faske was in second after day one, but lost several key fish on day two that would have kept him in second. He brought in 17-12 yesterday and followed that up today with a limit weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces.

"They bit today but not as good as yesterday," Faske said. "I was working a Lucky Craft LV500 through the grass."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros at the TTT Championship:

6th: Michael Herron of Paris, Texas, 27-5, $3,500
7th: David Hogge of Nolanville, Texas, 27-3, $3,000
8th: Paul Ferguson of Whitehouse, Texas, 27-0, $750
9th: Randy Millender of Teague, Texas, 26-4, $2,250
10th: Ricky Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, 26-0, $2,000

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2007-10-13-championship-presented-by-abu-garcia 

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