UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Temperamental Texoma

EverStart Texas Division finalists met with cold, cloudy conditions on Lake Texoma.

DENISON, Texas. - Lake Texoma alters its look more than Lady Gaga. That means EverStart Series Texas Division finalists will face more changing conditions for their last round of competition.

Day one saw warm, cloudy conditions with scattered showers, while a passing cold front delivered high, bright skies and big winds yesterday. This morning, anglers were bundled up a little heavier for the coldest morning of the tournament. Cloudy skies will last through late morning but the afternoon should be mostly sunny.

Todd Castledine, of Nacogdoches, Texas leads the pro field by a margin of 3 pounds, 6 ounces with his two-day total of 31-1. His day will likely hold a mix of bed fishing with a blue Texas-rigged Kicker Craw and casting to shoreline rocks with a watermelon/red flake Zoom fluke.

"I don't have any idea what effect (these conditions) are going to have," Castledine said. "I don't think I ever caught five in one day during practice. I'm kind of stumbling on some things and going day-by-day.Pro leader Todd Castledine will fish a Zoom Fluke around chunk rock and a Kicker Craw on beds. Yesterday was totally different from what I did the first day.

"I don't think (the conditions) will hurt, but this is Texoma and zeroes like to show up on people real quick."

Castledine said he came up with the fluke idea late in the evening of day one, after bed fishing yielded only four fish in the opening round. He said the key to the fluke presentation is targeting chunk rock with a particular look. He's hopeful that the pattern will hold again today.

"I did that because I couldn't catch fish on anything else I was doing," Castledine said. "I just kept going through stuff until I figured it out. I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to do. Luckily, it worked right off the bat. I don't know if it was just a one day deal."

Castledine said his fluke offers him the option of a traditional plastic presentation or a reaction style look. "There's two different ways you can work it," Castledine said. "Nine times out of 10, they'll hit it one way, but every once in a while, you'll get them the other way."

Second-place pro Gary Vining will stick with a Texas-rigged Berkley Power Worm most of the day.Today's windy conditions - up to 15 mph - may prove limiting. Castledine said he's unsure of whether the blow will allow him to run to where he wants to fish. He has an area that replenishes daily, but he'll have to make good use of his time by not fighting the waves.

In second place, Gary Vining, of Morgan City, La. will put his faith in a straightforward Texas-rigged Berkley Power Worm. "Sometimes, you have to go back to the old school. I'll probably throw that all day, unless something changes and I have to switch up."

Vining has increased his bullet weight size to 5/16 to account for the wind. He'll fish his bait mostly around submerged wood. Vining noted that, due to Texoma's low water level, much of the wood that he would have fished now stands dry. He's hopeful that the fish are congregating around the wood that remains wet.

Rice Krispies pro Jim Tutt led day one but dropped to third on day two with only three keepers. A Zoom trick worm on a Gambler Giggy Head was his main bait and he'll use that rig again today. Sitting about 6 pounds off the lead, he may look for an early topwater bite with a Lucky Craft Sammy, but by mid-morning, he'll be back to the slick banks he has be prospecting for two days.

"I'm going to slow down even more today, which is hard because I fished very slowly this week," TuttStarting the day in third place, Kellogg said. "It's going to be tougher to catch them today. The fish have been pounded on for a while, it's Saturday and the fish seem to know when the weekend is here."

Although victory hinges on a limit catch, Tutt won't hold back for the sake of quantity. "I never play conservative - I try to catch the big ones all day long, so I'm swinging for the fence right off the bat.

"This is one of the few lakes where a 6-pound lead is really not anything. It's an up-and-down lake where you can catch them good one day and not catch them the next. Maybe I'll have one of those good days and if anybody stumbles a little bit, I'm going to be right on them."

In fourth place, Don McFarlin, of Gordonville, Texas will throw the same spinnerbait and Texas-rigged worm he used yesterday, but if the fish need extra coaxing, he'll go to a 5/16-ounce Stanley jig (black and blue with pumpkin highlights).

"I'll try something a little bigger," McFarlin said. "The water is pretty dingy and they haven't seen a lot of jigs. That will attract bigger fish, but I'm going to get a limit early before I start trying to upgrade. Most of my fish will come on that worm."

Don McFarlin, who starts day three in fourth place, hopes to entice stubborn fish with a jig.Fifth-place pro Jerrel Pringle will take advantage of the wind and clouds to work rocky points with his Bandit crankbaits. He had three different sizes on his deck - all in the parrot color.


Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 401 US North Highway 75 in Denison, Texas. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

The EverStart Series tournament on Lake Texoma is being hosted by the Denison Area Chamber ofWith a morning of clouds and wind, fifth-place pro Jerrel Pringle believes he Commerce.

Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:30 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 50 degrees
Expected high temperature: 65 degrees
Wind: NW 10-15 mph
Humidity: 30 percent
Day's outlook: Cloudy early, sunny later

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-05-12-lake-texoma 


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