As promised, here are some more details from this past weekend’s Fishers of Men Big Bass Open on D’Arbonne.
I turn this space over to Brent Wade, director of the tournament trail, for the rest of the story….
The North Central Louisiana Division of the Fishers of Men recently held the 3rd Annual Easter Big Bass Open tournament on Saturday, April 19 on Lake D’Arbonne. A crowd of over 150 anglers, tournament staff, friends and family members started the Easter weekend with a Family Fun Night held Friday evening at the North Louisiana Exposition Center. In addition to activities for kids and adults alike, guests had the opportunity to hear guest speaker Chris Wells. A native of South Carolina, Wells spends much of his time traveling with the BASS Elite Series Pros in his role as the chaplain of the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society. The “BASS Chaplain”—as he’s come to be known—delivered an inspiring and often humorous message to those in attendance.
On Saturday morning, as the clock rolled to 6:00 a.m., the field of 100 anglers made their first casts and began their search for the big bass of the day worth $3,000 or one of the three places to be paid out each hour. Anglers across the lake tuned in throughout the day to Z-107.5 for updates broadcast live from the weigh-in site at Ludwig Brothers Marine and then had to make the decision of whether to keep fishing for a bigger bite or hope the time spent weighing their fish would pay off. Not long after the scales opened an hour later, Trent Dorris brought forth a 6.63 lunker that won the first hour and would hold the big bass lead for most of the day.
Over the course of the next 2 hours, Farmerville native Jerry Silmon weighed in a 5.73 and a 5.40 pound bass that won the 8:00-9:00 and 9:00-10:00 hours, respectively. Silmon, who earned $1,000 for the back-to-back wins, landed the bass using a combination of craw worms and senkos. The 10:00-11:00 hour was won by Matt Harvey with a 4.40 pounder. During that hour, Blake Johnson—competing in the Youth Big Bass Challenge—brought in his 5.98 pound bass that would earn top honors for the day in the Challenge and a payout of $500. The fish, which was the 4th largest of all fish weighed during the day, was caught by Johnson around 7:30 a.m. while flipping trees in 7 feet of water with a paca craw.
In the 11:00-12:00 hour, Robert George won big bass of the hour with a 6.59 pounder that nearly toppled Dorris’ then-current big bass of the day. Dorris’ luck would soon run out for, on the other side of the lake, West Monroe High School student Spencer Lambert was about to get the strike of the day. Pitted against many top anglers from around the area, the 17-year old and his partner had only caught 2 fish over the course of the day but they soon learned that it only takes one bite to change their luck. As Lambert was reeling a frog over the top of a shallow grass mat, a 6.87 pound monster bass exploded on the bait and a fight ensued as the angler wrestled the fish out of the thick grass and into the boat. With the 1st place win for the 12:00-1:00 hour and overall big bass honors for the tournament, Lambert took home a payout of $3,500.
The tournament was closed out with Mickey Fontana taking the top slot in the 1:00-2:00 hour with his 5.98 pounder. In total, nearly $10,000 in prizes were paid to the anglers over the course of the day. For a complete listing of the hourly tournament results, log on to http://www.fomntt.com.
The North Central Louisiana Division would like to thank our local sponsors that were instrumental in bringing the Big Bass Open to local anglers: Ludwig Brothers Marine; Z-107.5; Greg Terzia Bait and Tackle; Honey Hole Tackle Shop; and Crawford Financial. The Fishers of Men would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine national sponsors that make Fishers of Men possible: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Stren, Pflueger, Strike King Lure Company, Nester Hosiery, Marshall’s Marine, Kings Home, New Tech Global, Lowrance Electronics, Power-Pole, Duckett Fishing, Buckeye Lures, Keelshield, Solar Bat, Jacobs Glass, Hydrowave, Rejuvenade, Berkley, and Rayjus Sportsware.