UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

It's anybody's game

It's anybody's game
Waylon Bullard (left) and Danny Cherry were all business before heading out on the final day of the Stren Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad. Both anglers start the day in eighth place.

DEL RIO, Texas -- With lighter than normal weights prevailing, the championship is very much undecided as the final round of the Stren Series Texas Division tournament gets underway this morning on Lake Amistad.

Less than six pounds separates first from 10th places in the pro division and less than four pounds separates first from 10th in the co-angler division. The big bass in both divisions each day has weighed seven pounds or more, meaning it might take just one big fish to decide the winner.

Friday, Waylon Bullard of Del Rio, Texas, pulled off one of the more remarkable feats in Stren Series history when he jumped from 134th place into eighth place. He started the day with 8-pounds, 5-ounces and then caught the heaviest sack of the tournament, 21-pounds, 14-ounces, to join the top 10 and qualify for today's final round.

"I didn't think it was possible," said Bullard, who's fishing his first tournament as a pro. "I fished the same spots both days. I gave up on one of them the first day. But I stayed the second day."

Bullard knew he was on a good spot Friday when the first two fish he caught weighed 6 and 7 pounds, respectively. Then he caught a 5 pounder. He filled his limit with two smaller fish and then lost another brute he says weighed about 7 pounds just minutes before he had to leave for weigh-in.

Like many of the top 10 qualifiers, Bullard is fishing more than20 feet deep, which is somewhat deeper than bass would normally be this time of year. It's not that fish aren't shallow - several anglers have had good success throwing topwater baits into shoreline brush - but the heavier weights have come mostly from deep water.

Bullard felt it would take at least 20 pounds per day to make the cut. But only 15 pounds was needed, pointing to the lack of big bass at this tournament.

"I'm not sure what's happening," Bullard said. "The water level kept going up, then it went down about a foot over the last month. The fish have moved into deeper water. Some people are catching them in 40 to 70 feet. Normally it would be 20 feet or less and in the grass."

Bullard's day three partner, co-angler Danny Cherry of Kountze, Texas, has made three previous top 10s on the Stren Series and was 11th at Sam Rayburn Lake in March, missing the cut by less than an ounce. He's been very consistent on Amistad, weighing a 12-14 bag Thursday and a 12-15 bag Friday.

"I've drawn two good partners and I'm doing what they're doing," Cherry said. "We've been fishing 26 to 32 feet."

Cherry estimates he's caught 25 to 30 fish per day while Bullard estimates he's caught 15 to 20.

The weather has changed again, with winds shifting to the east, which Bullard says isn't ideal for Amistad.

"It's better from the south," he said.

Today's final weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. at Walmart in Del Rio. The public is welcome to attend.

Today's weather

Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees.
Sky: Cloudy.
Wind: Calm.
Barometric pressure: 29.93 and steady.
Forecast: Party cloudy with a high temperature of 88 degrees. Winds light and variable.

Tags: vince-meyer  morning-story  2009-05-21-lake-amistad 

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