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Hults grabs Co-angler Division crown on Red River

Hults grabs Co-angler Division crown on Red River
Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., proudly displays his first-place trophy after winning the co-angler tournament title at the Stren Series Red River event.

NATCHITOCHES, La. - After the first day of Stren Series competition on the Red River, Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., found himself in fifth place. By the end of day two, Hults was firmly atop the leaderboard - and he never looked back from there.

Using a four-day total weight of 28 pounds, 11 ounces, Hults easily cruised to victory - capturing his third Stren Series co-angler tournament title since 2007.

"The last two years have been really good to me," said Hults, who won $5,000 cash as well as a brand-new, fully rigged Ranger boat. "I got to fish with a lot of great people this week, and it was really great to have my wife here as well. She's managed to be at every top-10 finish I've ever had. So I'm really happy."

Although Hults ultimately won by nearly 3 pounds, he said the final day of competition was far from easy.

"It was a tough, tough day out there for me," said Hults, who only managed to bring two fish to the scales during the finals. "Right off the bat I lost a fish. Then I missed two more right away. I wound up catching my first fish around 11 a.m. and caught my second fish at about 1 p.m. This was probably the most nervous I've ever been coming back to weigh-in - especially since I only had two fish."

Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., shows off his first-place catch at the Stren Series Red River event.However, even though Hults only landed 3 pounds, 9 ounces in the finals, the rest of the field stumbled as well. In fact, when all was said and done, Hults actually wound up with the second-largest stringer of the day in the Co-angler Division.

To land his catch, Hults said that he targeted fish with a variety of baits, including spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits, mostly keying on stumps.

In the end, Hults walked away with the knowledge that in two short years he has produced three Stren Series tournament wins as well as five top-10 finishes.

"Every win is great," said Hults. "The competition is so tough in the series, and they're all pretty special. I'm just tickled to death right now."

Francis nets runner-up position

Co-angler Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas, finished the Stren Series Red River event in second place.Although Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas, didn't practice at all for the Red River event, he still managed to turn in a Herculean effort, capturing second-place overall with a four-day catch of 25 pounds, 14 ounces. And he couldn't have been happier.

"I did the best I could, but (Hults) is a pretty good stick," said Francis, who won over $2,600 for his efforts. "But I'll tell you what: I've had more fun than a tornado in a trailer park. I just really enjoy fishing. And I can't say enough about the graciousness of the people of Natchitoches."

Francis said that he targeted bass in anywhere from 6 inches to 8 feet of water. He said his primary bait was a 31/2-inch neon tube.

"I pretty much fished that bait the entire time," he said. "I'm pretty hard-headed that way. I think I just beat my spots to death. But I had not even wet a line until the first day of the tournament. So, overall, I'm really happy."

Honeycutt nets third place

2007 Stren Series Champion Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, took third place at the Stren Series Red River event.2007 Stren Series Championship winner Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, once again showed his mettle on the final day of competition, leapfrogging from ninth to third place overall with the day's biggest catch of 8 pounds.

"I was sitting in 10th place overall in the (year-end) standings, and I just wanted to come down here and have a good tournament," said Honeycutt, who boated a four-day weight of 24 pounds, 11 ounces to earn over $2,100 in prize money. "So I was more than happy to have made the top 10 this week."

Best of the rest

Co-angler Chris Weaver of Lawton, Okla., turned in a solid top-four finish with a total catch of 23 pounds, 2 ounces. Chris Weaver of Lawton, Okla., turned in a solid top-four finish with a total catch of 23 pounds, 2 ounces. Weaver won $1,600 for his efforts.

Meanwhile, Bennie Anderson of Grand Prairie, Texas, finished in fifth place overall with a catch of 21 pounds, 14 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler finalists at the Stren Series Texas Division event:

6th: David Underwood of Waco, Texas, 21-9
7th: Mark Oakley of Davis, Okla., 20-6
8th: Jimmy Brumfield of Madison, Miss., 19-14
9th: Matt Hults of Gautier, Miss., 19-2
10th: Bo Middleton of Elgin, Okla., 16-2

Next up on the schedule for Texas Division co-anglers is the $1 million Stren Series Championship, slated for Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2008-09-24-red-river 

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