Saturday’s MAJESTIC Big Bass Classic on Lake D’Arbonne delivered as promised. Or I should say, the fishermen (and women) delivered. Kendall Parent of West Monroe delivered the first place catch to the scales, an 8.33 pound largemouth that netted him $3,190. That’s almost $400 a pound! He caught the fish Saturday morning and weighed it in during the 11 a.m. weigh-in at Ludwig’s Marine. All the fish that were brought in alive were kept in a live tank and released back into the lake. The winning big bass easily beat last year’s top fish by more than a pound and a half (Some readers may remember that I predicted last week it would take a bigger bass to win this year, but I won’t bring it back up because I’m way too modest).
* We’ll have photos and more information on the tournament this week*
Randy Brister of Ruston came in second in the tournament with a 6.91 lunker caught Saturday night during the 26-hour event. Sean Vines of Ruston also caught a big night fish to finish third. His bass weighed 6.42. Todd Murry of West Monroe caught a 6.23 and Ryan Hanson of Bernice a 6.08 to round out the top five. The top three fish each hour won prize money and no fish under 4 pounds won money. That’s pretty awesome.
The heavy stringer award went to Sontus Mitchell of Grambling. He caught five bass during the tournament that weighed 21.13 pounds and won $3,610.
There was quite a battle going on for heaviest stringer in the women’s division where Carmen Lemons of Pineville, Bethany Hearne of Choudrant and Alicia Holmes of West Monroe were within hundreds of an ounce of each other going into the night. Holmes eventually won, and came in tenth in the overall tournament, with five fish weighing 16.08.
One of the most amazing stories of the tournament was Bax Young, a six year old fishermen who stayed on the lake through the tournament with is dad. He caught 6.48 pounds of bass overall to win the 12-and-under category. Taylor Kolb of West Monroe won the 13-16 year old division with 13.16.
Congratulations to the winners and special thanks to Dale and Gayle Taylor who put on this fantastic event. It means a lot to the fishermen, to area businesses and to the lake. People come from at least three states to fish as well as almost every neighboring area. Nobody knows how many hours they put in to make it happen, not to mention staying up pretty much all weekend weighing in everybody’s else’s fish instead of getting to catch their own (which, by the way, they are pretty dad gum good at!).