Mike Bock took the Louisiana Division 13 early points lead by winning the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, tournament held Jan. 22, 2011, on the sprawling Atchafalaya Basin near Morgan City. On a cold day, the 45-year-old angler from Meraux landed five bass weighing 16.43 pounds with a 3.28-pound kicker
On a cold day, the 45-year-old angler from Meraux landed five bass weighing 16.43 pounds with a 3.28-pound kicker to win the division season opener and landed $2,559.
“I jumped around a lot in pre-fishing,” Bock said. “Today, I just went to my area and sat on them. We bounced jigs and watermelon flukes down ledges. I caught five fish, but they were all keepers. They were all about the same size.”
The tournament launched out of Doiron’s Landing in Stephenville just north of Morgan City at the southern end of the longest river swamp in the nation. The Atchafalaya Basin covers more than one million acres of natural lakes, cypress-lined bayous, canals and swamps.
Taking second in the Boater Division, Wayne Tucker, 62, of Lafayette also caught a five-fish tournament limit weighing 15.44 pounds with a 3.85-pound kicker. He caught about 25 fish in all, but only those five keepers to win $1,292.
“I practiced one day and went into some old pipeline canals,” Tucker said. “I caught all my fish on willow-leaf spinnerbaits run slowly off secondary ledges in about three feet of water. Boat traffic actually helped me. As boats ran up and down the canal, the bass got tighter to the stumps and hit a little better. The bigger fish started hitting later in the day. I caught my last weigh fish at 1:30 p.m.”
Taking the division points championship for the past two years, Brett Sellers, 32, of Denham Springs weighed five bass going 14.74 pounds to pick up 248 points. Catching more than 40 bass including 13 keepers.
“We ran toward the back of the canals where the fish were getting ready to spawn. I had a limit by 9 a.m., and then went looking for big ones. They really turned on at noon. I threw a black and blue beaver on a Texas rig with 20-pound fluorocarbon by cypress trees and laydowns on the Lake Verret side of the landing. I just kept working it slowly.”
Sandy Gaudet of Belle Rose finished fourth with five bass weighing 13.65 pounds including one 3.36-pounder. Fishing his home waters, Robbie Percle of Morgan City landed five bass for 13.54 pounds and fifth place. Tommy Robichaux of Erath took sixth place with five bass going 13.12 pounds, but anchored his bag with a 4.95-pound tournament lunker.
Matthew Bates did very well for fishing his first ever bass tournament. Teamed with Bock, the 35-year-old Pineville angler won the Co-Angler Division with three bass going 10.21 pounds to win $1,279. He also took the division big bass title with a 4.84-pounder.
“I only caught three fish all day,” Bates admitted. “The conditions were really cold, so we knew we were going to fish slow. We caught some on flukes and tube jigs in hydrilla mats. Then, we got on a point and I caught a big fish on a black and purple jig and pig. The key was working the jig slow over the grass. The fish were a lot shallower than I would have thought on such a cold day. We threw the jig into about two feet of water and worked it into deeper water. I’m looking forward to my next tournament.”
Mike Templeton of Denham Springs also brought in a three-bass division limit for 8.05 pounds and second place. Justin Suchy of Baton Rouge landed three bass going 6.94 pounds to take third among the co-anglers. Britt Cavalier of Houma landed two fish for 6.80 pounds with one going 4.28 pounds. Rounding out the top five co-anglers, Anthony Plescia of Slidell brought in three bass at 6.75 pounds with one 2.54-pounder.
For more information, call ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, The American 150 Series or the American Couples Series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com