UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Dickerson leads charge of heavy brigade

Dickerson leads charge of heavy brigade
Tommy Dickerson leads day one of the Stren Texas event on Sam Rayburn with 24-6.

JASPER, Texas - A lunar eclipse is on tonight's horizon, but as Texas Division competition began Wednesday at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, it was Tommy Dickerson who overshadowed the competition to start this Stren Series tournament.

The Orange, Texas, pro pulled in an impressive five-fish limit of largemouth bass on day one weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces to grab a 1-3 lead heading into day two.

"I threw a red Rat-L-Trap, ¾-ounce, up north to scattered grass in about 6 feet of water," Dickerson said of his successful game plan. "I threw one rod all day."

According to Dickerson, who won the Stren Central Lake Texoma event in 2006, there was "nobody really around" his hot spot on the north end of Sam Rayburn, where he caught about 15 keeper bass.

"It's a tough bite out there," said Dickerson. "I practiced for five days and my biggest fish was 4 Pro leader Tommy Dickerson of Orange, Texas, weighs his day-one kicker.pounds. I have not been getting the big bites until today. I started the tournament with 35 GPS spots that I found in practice, where I could catch keepers.

"We caught 'em all day," he added about his reversal of fortune. "The lord blessed me."

One fisherman's blessing could be another angler's curse, as Dickerson said, "It should get better every day."

Vining climbs to second

Morgan City, La., native Gary Vining was one of the last pros to weigh in, but spectators who weathered the drizzly conditions were not disappointed by his 23-pound, 3-ounce limit, good for the runner-up slot. Like many of the day's top contenders, he was fishing a Rat-L-Trap, this one colored Rayburn red.

Pro Gary Vining of Morgan City, La., is in second at Sam Rayburn with five bass for 23-3."I was just ... throwing a Rat-L-Trap to grass," he said, "in anywhere from 2 to 15 feet. I've got certain spots where they are biting at certain depths."

When asked about the deep end of his pattern and whether those bites, too, came on a trap, Vining said he intended to keep one bait a secret. He said he only fished one area today on the south end of Sam Rayburn, where "there were only a couple other boats around," but added that he found other areas to fish in practice if his spot dries out.

Crouch springs into third

Brandon Crouch of Buna, Texas, is in third place in the Pro Division with five bass, 22-8.Only 11 ounces behind in the third-place position was Brandon Crouch with a five-bass limit weighing 22 1/2 pounds, anchored by a 9-12 kicker that was only 4 ounces off the big-bass mark.

The Buna, Texas, pro said he was "fishin' drains" on the north end of the lake with creature baits: "just plastics, really - brush hogs, lizards."

Crouch said he ran around his area throughout the day to find groups of bass, which wasn't easy, but that "if you find 'em, they'll eat it."

Pro Bradley Stringer of Huntington, Texas, is in fourth at Sam Rayburn with five bass, 21-3.Stringer lives up to name

Pro Bradley Stringer of Huntington, Texas, fished the south end of Sam Rayburn Reservoir near the Farmers' Flats area, collecting a solid five-bass sack weighing 21-3. He reported catching all his bass on a Rat-L-Trap at depths of anywhere from 6 to 10 feet.

"I was just trying to find as much grass as I could find," he said. "I was just searching around for that and then picking up one or two at each area."

Cecil in fifth

Texas stick Russell Cecil of Willis positioned himself well for a possible 10th FLW Outdoors top-10 in the Lone Star State, which would be his second on Sam Rayburn. He held down the fifth position with a five-bass limit weighing in at 20 pounds, 11 ounces, but admitted it wasn't easy as he never happened upon a single school.

Pro Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, holds down the fifth-place position with five bass weighing 20-11.Cecil used a chartreuse Academy H2O crankbait, fished in anywhere from 4 to 12 feet of water in the midlake area, to entice his bite.

"I think it's tough," he said. "I had to run around a lot and ... (the bite) was really random. I'd catch four or five babies and then a good one in an area."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros on day one of the Stren Texas event on Sam Rayburn:

6th: Dean Alexander, Florence, Texas, 20-6, five bass
7th: James Stricklin Jr., Jasper, Texas, 19-6, five bass
8th: Tim L. Webb, Olpe, Kans., 18-15, five bass
9th: Michael Herron, Paris, Texas, 18-13, five bass
10th: Toby Hartsell, Livingston, Texas, 18-12, five bass

Notable

Mickey Horn only managed two bass Wednesday and a 74th-place showing, but one was a whopping 10-pounder, good enough for the Snickers Big Bass award worth $268. Only two pros currently residing in the top 10 are outsiders to Texas: second-place Vining from Louisiana and eighth-place Webb from - Kansas.

Less than 6 pounds currently separates 10th place from first in the Pro Division, and the top-10 cut Neil Ward Jr. of Brookland, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a Stren Texas victory on Sam Rayburn. He caught five bass weighing 20-8 while fishing with pro David Gregg of Haslet, Texas.weight stands at 18-12 after day one, considerably heavier than expected prior to tournament time.

Ward takes command of co-anglers

Neal Ward Jr. of Brookeland, Texas, took nearly a 2-pound lead in the Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch from the back of Texas stalwart Stephen Johnston's boat. Ward's limit weighed 20 pounds, 8 ounces, which would have been good enough for fifth place on the pro side and bested his pro by 2-3.

"We ran everywhere today, and we had fish everywhere," Ward said of his day with Johnston, who he said is a tremendous fisherman.

Ward caught his 7-4 kicker on a Carolina rig, hosting a Zoom Baby Brush Hog, near a patch of grass in Co-angler Jonathan Simon of Orange, Texas, is in second with five bass, 18-12.about 2 feet of water. The rest came on a red-gold Rat-L-Trap at a depth of about 2 to 3 feet.

Simon says `second'

Co-angler Jonathan Simon of Orange, Texas, who fished with pro Jeremy Guidry, secured the runner-up position with a five-bass catch weighing 18-12. He caught his fish on Rat-L-Traps and Senkos in grass off main-lake points in 2 to 6 feet of water.

"At first in the morning, we were fishing fast," Simon said, "then slower in the afternoon."

Jared Dean of Lufkin, Texas, placed third in the Co-angler Division with four bass, 16-15, including his 8-12 big bass.Dean sows up big bass, third place

Jared Dean of Lufkin, Texas, fished his way into third place among co-anglers with four bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces, anchored by his 8-12 monster that earned Snickers Big Bass honors and $138.

He said he fished a Rat-L-Trap around the edges of grass in 4 feet of water in the midlake area, using the "same lure, same everything all day."

Rest of the best

Fourth place in the Co-angler Division went to Woodville, Texas, resident Ryan Oneal, who sacked five bass for 16-13 that he caught on Rat-L-Traps, mainly in crawfish red, "in shallow water over the top of Ryan ONeal of Woodville, Texas, placed fourth among co-anglers at Sam Rayburn with five bass, 16-13.the grass" on the south end of the lake.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on day one of the Stren Texas event on Sam Rayburn:

5th: Allan Shivers, Vidor, Texas, 16-9, five bass
6th: Darin Deatherage, Shawnee, Okla., 16-0, five bass
7th: Carl Fox, Belton, Texas, 15-14, five bass
8th: Rich Dalbey, Greenville, Texas, 15-11, five bass
9th: Kenneth Fowler, Grand Saline, Texas, 15-7, five bass

Day-two takeoff commences at 7 a.m. at Umphrey Family Pavilion located at 5438 RR 255 W. at Sam Rayburn, Texas.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2008-02-20-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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