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I apologize for the delay in getting this out but strange rumors were out that Lake Amistad NRA was raising tournament permit fees to 300 dollars and if that was the case we weren't going back. Clem finally chased down someone at the Park Service and I am happy to report all is the same for 2015 so we will start the season at Lake Amistad for 2 tournaments back to back like last year so people can leave boats in Del Rio or close by. The dates will be February 28th and March 1st for the first tournament and March 28th and 29th for the second tournament. We will also go back up to Navajo for a conjunction tournament with the Queens as we have for the last couple of years. The first place payout is about the same and it goes to support local youth baseball teams. The date for Navajo is May 16th and 17th. June 13th and 14th is Ute Lake and for right now July 11th and 12th is up in the air although it is penciled in at Ute but I am nervous about water conditions for sure. Championship works good in September and will run the 20th thru the 25th with a lake TBD (To Be Determined). I will work with Falcon and the Chamber but it is way to early to know for sure. I do know that without local support it is hard to go to just any lake and get the meals.
Late start today thanks to some lightning in the area but it went away and left us 7 hours to fish in about 5 inches of continuous rain. Great tournament to all and congrats to JJ Ducharme and Gary Carr on their win this week at Amistad. 30.31 pounds. 2nd place was the team of Trent Huckaby and Bubba Harrelson at 28.47 pounds, 3rd place went to Mike Chisum and Joe Bennett with 28.20 pounds, 4th place went to Doug Stewart and Joe Smith with 27.64 pounds and 5th place went to Mike Cones and Adrian Yeo with 26.89 pounds. Al lot of limits today even with the rain and a great Awards dinner at the Ramada Inn Del Rio. Complete results can be found here. Super Team results are posted on the Tournament Page along with Ranger Cup AOY final standings.
Day Two is complete and Gary Carr and JJ Ducharme narrowly held onto the lead as Trent Huckaby and Bubba Harrelson brought in over 11 pounds to move into second place. Second large Bass for Day two went to Gabe Rivera and Johnny Johnson which moved them up to third while Todd Town and Cecil Carter had another limit keeping them in the run at fourth. Big Bass of the day at 5.55 went to Tyler Dixon and Cliff Miller moving them up to fifth while Joe Smith and Doug Stewart stayed at sixth and Mike Chisum and Joe Bennett fell to seventh. The Top 7 are all within 5 pounds of each other and anyone bringing in a Big Bass will move up for sure. Day 2 standings are posted here.
Day one is in the books and fishing is still tough here at Amistad. Rising water, lots of grass, and 81 degrees water and you would think we would be sacking them, but 33 qualified teams showed only 3 limits. Gary Carr and JJ Ducharme have the lead with 12.93 pounds, Todd Town and Cecil Carter are in second with 10.03 pounds. 3rd thru 6th all have 7 plus pounds and are as follows, Mike Chisum and Joe Bennett 7.98, Gabriel Rivera and Johnny Johnson 7.92, Trent Huckaby and Bubba Harrelson 7.81 and Joe Smith and Doug Stewart with 7.17. Gary and JJ also had Big Bass at 5.35 while Dustin Lester and Bob Howard had second Big Bass at 4 pounds even. Full Results are posted and can be Day accessed here.
I am not sure if it was the late spawn or the falling water but to say fishing was tough would be an understatement. Conditions are conditions and all have to fish in them but with that said OH Ivie is looking good for next year to replace the Butte. More importantly congrats to John Newlun and Jimmy Patterson on their First place finish as well as their not taking the back door into thier second consecutive AoY. What a statement finish for them with 10.50 pounds as they edged out the return of Buddy and Mary Sanford who had 10.44 pounds who edged out Mario Carreon and Joe Gamboa with 10.40 pounds. Did I tell you Buddy and Mary also had Big Bass at 3.90 pounds and Mario and Joe finished in first for Ranger Cup. Randell Bell and Mike Bailey took Fourth place with 8.76 pounds while Byron Heiser fishing without partner Keith Counts finished Fifth with 8.59 pounds. Just out of the money was Mike Tweedy and Dudley Hardin with 8.08 pounds.
I have posted the Ranger Cup totals and although Byron and Keith don't have Ranger Cup AoY locked it will take quite some finishes to knock them out of the top spot. As I said John Newlun and Jimmy Patterson have won AoY honors but the Top 5 and the 21 teams who qualified for Super Team at Championship are posted also. All results are unofficial as I will have to go through them and make sure I haven't missed anyone. Kevin Rodriquez reminded me I missed them at the first Amistad Tournament which moved all the blanks down one point which shuffled the numbers a little.
Results are posted in the Tournament Section as well as Super Team and Ranger Cup results.
I have updated the Super Team standings thru Navajo and although John and Jimmy will have to show up and catch a fish they are most definitely in the drivers seat for AoY.
Although many may feel going to Navajo supporting the Queens Memorial is difficult because the locals know the lake so well we all know that isn't always the case. Well The Solversons (Jeff and Justin) from Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Colantonios (Butch and Angie) from Amarillo, Texas took first and second places proving that theory out. Jeff and Justin took a small lead Saturday and had a limit before motor troubles forced a tow to the Marina on Sunday where they managed to improve the limit just north of the bouy line ensuring a 2 pound victory with 19.17 pounds. Butch and Angie covered the lake finishing second with 17.01 pounds and two young men from Farmington with all the enthusiasm in the world (reminding me why we do it) took third place honors at 16.45 pounds, Big Bass and Ranger Cup. I wish you all could have been at awards to see their faces as the checks and plaques rolled in. John Newlun fished alone as Jimm Patterson is recovering from a vehicle accident and maintained his top 10 streak and may have locked Angler of the Year again for him and Jimmy finishing 4th. Johnny Johnson and Gabe Rivera rounded out the Top 5 in 5th place with 14.85 pounds and John Newlun with 15.44 pounds. Results are posted in the Tournament Section and Super Team results will be up later this week.
We may have actually hit a new record!! Not only did we have decent weather as the cold front didn't actually hit until we were trying to print checks and pass out awards, but the fishing was actually really good for all three days if you count pre-fish. Thanks to Ray Gorman and Jimmy Liles for picking up the lake permit and arranging for us to meet at the American Legion. Now onto the fishing report. Kevin Rodriguez and Dougan Anderson found a pattern that might hold until the Logan Big Bass tournament in 3 weeks so I am not going to give out details but suffice it to say they had it dialed in. 2 days and almost 22 pounds and there was never an ounce of doubt as we saw them around 11am on Sunday and they had 3 fish and showed no concern. The nearest competitors were over 5 pounds back so it seemed easy for sure. Second place went to the Solversons (Jeff and Justin) out of Colorado Springs (blame the Gizzi's as they told them about the circuit) with 16.70 pounds edging out Butch and Angie Colantonio with 16.28 pounds who beat out Billy Dunson and Nolan Price by .02 pounds because of a dead fish on Sunday. Fifth place was rounded out by Jimmy Patterson and John Newlun with 15.44 pounds. Ranger Cup winners were Byron Heiser and Keith Counts with 14.58 pounds. Big Bass went to Chris Pierce and Tyler Decker with a 3.38 pound Largemouth but a lot of quality 2 and 3 pound Smallies were weighed in. 210 fish were weighed in over the 2 days and i know plenty of teams dumped and headed home to beat the storm on Sunday with only 2 dead. Great job on protecting that fishery. Complete standings are posted on the Tournament Page. Updated Super Team standings are posted also.
Don't forget about the Logan Big Bass tournament on May third and our next tournament will be at Navajo on May 17th and 18th in conjunction with the Queen's Memorial helping Farmington Little League teams.
Super Team is posted, I apologize I thought I did it before I went to Las Vegas to cheer on the Lobos. I just got off the phone with Paul Chynoweth and he let me know that Chris Neel, a long time friend and Sun Country angler passed away after a 5 week battle with cancer last night. It becomes ever more apparent as the years go along, that the friendships we have all made as a result of this sport and throughout life's adventures are special. Paul and Chris were going to fish the Amistad tournaments this year but he was aching and not feeling well so they didn't make them. Time is short and I appreciate all of you and the friendships that have grown over the years. Chris was a long time member of the Duke City Bass Bums and I know they will all miss him also.
Friday Pre-fish was decent enough and Saturday was almost too hot (91 degrees on the thermometer) but Sunday was typical for Sun Country! It went from needing a little wind to who pissed off mother nature. Fishing seems to be improving but with front after front coming through the fish are definitely confused. As usual some teams figured it out and others are still wondering where Amistad got moved to. Todd Town and Cecil Carter weighed in a strong sack on Saturday (over 16 pounds) so we know fish are there but two days in a row is tough unless your name is Randy Allen and Brendan Kennell or John Newlun and Jimmy Patterson. The new team fishing with us had two strong days to edge out John Newlun and Jimmy Patterson for first place with 23.67 pounds to 23.57 for John and Jimmy, while Todd and Cecil hung onto third with 23.14 pounds. Jimmy Liles bought a Ranger Boat and he and Ray Gorman finished 4th in it so if you want a top 5 finish talk to Kevin Smith or Jim Criswell about a Ranger boat for your next tournament. Kevin Smith and Karlton Reed finished 5th in his new Ranger and Bob Howard and Dustin Lester took sixt place and Josh Tidenberg and Bradley Jameson finished 7th. Adrian Yeo and Mike Cones showed that a 2 fish limit beats most 5 fish limits by weighing in Big Bass for the weekend again with an 8.55 pounder on Saturday but I am sure they want a full sack next time to go with the big one. Complete Standings are posted on the Tournament Page and I will catch up Super Team and Ranger Cup later in the week.
Sunday was less than cooperative with rain and a lot of wind so Saturdays results made for the final standings. Congrats to Tyler Vann Young , maybe its the boat but I have to believe he can fish after the weight he put up of 11.46 pounds. Second place went to Byron Heiser and Keith Counts with 11.13 pounds third and fourth both put up 10 plus pounds with Trent Huckaby and Bubba Harrelson in third and newcomers Randy Allen and Brendan Kennell in fourth. 3 teams had 9 plus pounds as it was great to see Adrian Yeo after his battle with cancer last year and he and Mike Cones took Big Bass with an 8.31 as well as fifth place, Justin Morris and Kris Bosley in sixth and Jim and Gail Criswell finished in seventh. Tough fishing proved out with 13 teams blanking and some less than stellar weights although 8 limits were weighed and 3 teams actually culled. Thanks to all the teams that showed up for this early tournament. Complete results can be found on the tournament page.
Eventually a decision has to be made and it will effect some but here I go.
Feb 1st and 2nd Amistad
Mar 1st and 2nd Amistad
April 12th and 13th Ute Lake
May 17th and 18th Navajo (Queens Memorial)
June 21st and 22nd Elephant Butte
September 21st thru 26th TBA (if Amistad we will open pre-fish on the 19th because of SIT)
I apologize for the confusion but I was brain dead on Easter and Fathers Day and this fixes both and hopefully will help Ute during an off time and the Butte fishes good in June.
This skips July and the Smith RV and Marine tournament is on August 2nd. We conflict with some club stuff for sure but it leaves UBTT and Federation open for those that fish multiple circuits and gets us done before October.