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Lake life

FOM on the Ouachita

For most folks, fishing last Saturday morning on the Ouachita River wasn’t much fun. That cold front that dropped temperatures from 80 degrees earlier in the week to a record low of 39 degrees Saturday morning wasn’t very pleasant for those on the water. Throw in a three-foot drop in the river level over the week and it was tough fishing.

But don’t count Brian Leonard of West Monroe and Bert Perry of Monroe among those that didn’t have fun. Cold? What cold? The team bested 30 other teams to win $2,763 for first place in the North Central Louisiana Fishers of Men tournament out of Forsythe Park.  Leonard and Perry’s five biggest fish weighed 11.78 pounds to win the tournament.

Brett Perry and Brian Leonard with the FOM winning stringer from the Ouachita River.

Bert Perry and Brian Leonard with the FOM winning stringer from the Ouachita River.

They caught their fish on spinnerbaits around cypress trees in Bayou D’Arbonne.  They also earned a $250 bonus for having an account with platinum sponsor Crawford Financial.

Mark Etier and E.K. Koserog used soft plastics in river lakes to catch more than 25 fish during the day, but couldn’t get a kicker and came in second with five fish weighing 10.74 pounds to earn $738 payout. Scott Smith and Stacy Boggs were third, targeted fish in the current eight to ten feet deep off the ledges in D’Arbonne Bayou.  All twelve of the fish netted by Smith and Boggs were caught using jigs with the five largest weighing in at 10.50 pounds and producing a payout of $522.

Other money winners in the tournament included: 4th place—Michael Holmes and his son, Michael Holmes, Jr. (5 fish, 9.77 pounds), 5th place—John Ross and Patrick Daniel (5 fish, 9.65 pounds), 6th place—Jeremy and Jason Parker (5 fish, 9.10 pounds) and “just out of the money” consolation prize—Ches Struben and Jeremy Mason (5 fish, 9.08 pounds).  Randy Brister, fishing with his nephew, Clay Brister, was the big bass winner with a 3.20 pounder caught off a spinnerbait on the first cast of the morning.

The pre-tournament meeting held the evening before the tournament was hosted by McClendon Baptist Church in West Monroe.  Freddie Hightower of Chatham served as guest speaker and shared an inspiring message coupled with fishing tips gleaned from his 30 years of tournament fishing experience. The final tournament of the North Central Louisiana Fishers of Men division’s 2013 season will be held June 1 on Caney Lake and will determine which team will take the crown as season points champions and receive an automatic berth to the national championship.  Currently, reigning champions Kenny and Courtney Harris are leading the race, followed by Leonard and Perry in 2nd and the team of Matt Willis and Corey Harris in 3rd. For more information, log on to the website at http://www.fomntt.com or contact Tournament Director Brent Crawford: (318) 548-4196 or brentwade@aol.com.

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