UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Dalbey does it

Dalbey does it
Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $5,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat worth $30,000, with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 58-1.

JASPER, Texas - It says it right in the rules for a Stren Series tournament: Pros supply the boat ... and are in control of its movement; co-anglers fish from the back deck. But it seemed like co-angler Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas, was in the driver's seat this week, and on Saturday he deftly navigated his way to a Stren Series Texas Division win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

After holding the lead since day two, Dalbey sealed the deal today with a five-bass limit weighing 14 Co-angler Rich Dalbey weighs one of the fish that earned him the Stren Texas win on Sam Rayburn.pounds, 10 ounces for a four-day total of 58-1. He received $5,000 cash and a $30,000 Ranger boat and trailer for the win.

"I've actually had an awesome week," he said, noting that he fished with great pro partners all four days including pro runner-up Russell Cecil today.

Dalbey came down early to practice for the event, and immediately began hooking bass in submerged grass with a Rat-L-Trap in about 4 to 6 feet of water. He was so confident of the pattern that he basically would wait for any of his pros, all of whom fished midlake areas, and then he knew he's start catching them with the lipless rattling crankbait.

The co-angler champion was also able to mix it up when need be and caught some of this bass this week on a Carolina rig with a Zoom Brush Hog and a spinnerbait.

Co-angler Nick Diberardino of Huffman, Texas, was runner-up with a 54-11 worth $3,659.Diberardino runner-up

Nick Diberardino of Huffman, Texas, used a limit of bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce today to contribute to his 54-11 total and to earn second place.

The second-year Stren Series competitor said: "I have throwed three baits: a Rat-L-Trap, a Rat-L-Trap and a Rat-L-Trap ... and I'm tired of it."

Diberardino joked that if the tournament had lasted another day, he'd have had to "put two grease fitting in both of my shoulders." Though he may have tired of throwing the same Rayburn red crankbait all week, it's doubtful he'll grow bored of picking out a new assortment with his second-place check for $3,659.

Co-angler Steve Evans of Lufkin, Texas, finished third with 54-10 worth $2,973.Evans ends up third

Steve Evans of Lufkin, Texas, wound up in third place after catching a 14-1 limit today, bringing his four-day total to 54-10, worth $2,973.

"It's work," he said. "The weather changed every day, but they kept biting. It's definitely worth it.

"Live everybody else, I pretty much caught 'em on a 'Trap and a Carolina rig."

Evans fished with pro Darrell Lyons today, who had found success using a large, odd-looking swimbait.

Evans said: "He told me, `Just put on the ugliest thing you can find, and you'll catch something.' I told him he was just scarin' the fish into biting."

Rest of the best

Several of the co-anglers finishing in the top 10 of this event are first-timers to Stren Series competition.

Coming in fourth in the Co-angler Division to earn $2,287 was Dan West of Ada, Okla. He caught four bass today weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces for a total weight of 49-11. This is his first year fishing the Stren Series and his second event.

Fifth place and $1,830 belonged to Jonathan Simon of Orange, Texas, who was fishing his first Stren Co-angler Mark Lester of Marion, Ind., placed sixth at Sam Rayburn.this week. He caught two bass today for 3-4 contributing to his 46-2 total.

Also fishing in his first Stren event was Mark Lester of Marion, Ind., who finished in sixth with a check for $1,738. He caught three bass for 7-14 today and a 44-5 total.

Yet another Stren Series newbie fished Saturday: Ryan O'Neal of Woodville, Texas, who took time away from his senior year at Sam Houston University to fish in his first Texas Division event. He caught three bass today for 6-5 and a 43-12 total, good enough for seventh place and a check for $1,646.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the Stren Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir:

8th: Danny Cherry, Kountze, Texas, 40-10, $1,556
9th: Randy Hicks, Lumberton, Texas, 40-6, $1,462
10th: Jeremy Brown (also fishing first Stren event), Ringgold, La., 35-8, $1,373

The next Stren Series Texas Division event will take place on Lake Texoma in Denison, Texas, May 7-10. The next Stren Series event is a Central Division event on Norfork Lake in Mountain Home, Ark., March 5-8.

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

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