Chad Brauer’s mastery of the Red River continued Saturday and left even local anglers shaking their heads in disbelief. Boating the week’s heaviest catch, 21 pounds, 3 ounces, to the scales as the last angler to weigh in, the Osage Beach, Mo., pro totally blew away the competition in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open here. His three-day total of 56-14 easily bested runner-up Craig Schuff by more than 16 pounds; Schuff weighed in 40-12.
“Tournaments like this don’t happen very often,” said Brauer, whose only other win in BASS competition came in 1996. “I had a large area completely to myself the entire week, so all I had to do was figure out what the bass were doing. I never had to fish defensively at all.”
Concentrating in an off-river oxbow he found on Internet maps and visited this past February, Brauer flipped a black/blue flake Strike King Rodent and cranked a Strike King Series 4S crankbait around various types of flooded timber. With water levels dropping daily, he followed the bass as they moved from the shoreline out to about 10 feet where they suspended in fallen timber.
“I had my limit today by 9 a.m.,” said Brauer. “But it only weighed about 10 pounds. Then, between 9:30 and 11 a.m., everything I caught was in the 3- to 4-pound range. I left the area at 11 a.m to come back to the weigh-in.”
Schuff, winner of the Central Division’s opening event at Lake Amistad, fished within site of the launch ramp, but had to work much harder. Rather than fish a floating frog over lily pads as most were doing, he swam a 5/16-oz. Eakins Finesse Jig with a NetBait Paca Craw trailer through the pads a foot under the surface. As unusual as the technique may have been, it kept Schuff in the top five all week.
James Biggs of Bedford, Texas, followed in third with 38-11; he was fishing laydown timber with nearby deep water and catching 15 to 20 bass a day with finesse-type plastic worms and light line. Keith Combs captured fourth with 32-10, after spending his tournament fishing a shallow backwater area with floating frogs and shallow-running crankbaits.
Dianna Clark, a former Women’s Bassmaster Tour champion and one of several former WBT anglers in the tournament, claimed fifth with 31-5, flipping a Lake Fork Trophy Tackle finesse lure to shallow stumps and laydowns. Rather than run to different areas, Clark, who’s known for her flipping skills, stayed in one small area and worked it thoroughly all three days.
Thomas Tysdal, an IBM program manager, won the co-angler division with four bass weighing 20 pounds, 14 ounces. More than half that weight came with one bass, an 11-pound, 3-ounce, giant he caught on a Spro Bronzeye Frog Jr. on Friday.
Saturday’s final weigh-in was conducted at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City where an overflow crowd watched as each pro and co-angler partner were pulled to the weigh-in stage in Toyota Tundra trucks.
The next Central Open tournament, to be held on Lake Texoma on Oct. 21-23, will close out the series and determine the two 2011 Bassmaster Classic spots and the seven qualifying berths into the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Leading the race is Schuff, who is followed by Texan Keith Combs and Bassmaster Elite Series angler Clark Reehm. The full standings can be found below.
All Bassmaster events are free and open to the public. Bassmaster.com will provide coverage of all Opens with daily results, analysis and photo galleries.
The local sponsor was the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority, www.lasportsauthority.org.
Bassmaster Open Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Bassmaster Open Official Sponsors: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Skeeter Boats and Yamaha
Bassmaster Supporting Sponsors: Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats and Triton Boats
BASS PRO SHOPS BASSMASTER CENTRAL OPEN STANDINGS- RED RIVER- PRO- FINAL
2010 Bassmaster Central Open Tour 2 – Shreveport, LA 06/03-06/05 Red River, Shreveport La.
(BOATER) Standings Day 3
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$
1. Chad Brauer Osage Beach, Mo. 15 56-14 310 $47,571.00
Day 1: 5 16-15 Day 2: 5 18-12 Day 3: 5 21-03
2. Craig Schuff Watauga, Texas 15 40-12 295 $21,143.00
Day 1: 5 15-08 Day 2: 5 14-14 Day 3: 5 10-06
3. James Biggs Bedford, Texas 15 38-11 290 $14,800.00
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 14-10 Day 3: 5 12-10
4. Keith Combs Del Rio, Texas 13 32-10 285 $10,571.00
Day 1: 3 5-10 Day 2: 5 11-06 Day 3: 5 15-10
5. Dianna Clark Bumpus Mills, Tenn. 14 31-05 280 $9,514.00
Day 1: 5 11-14 Day 2: 4 6-05 Day 3: 5 13-02
6. Frank Scalish Cleveland Heights, Ohi 15 30-04 276 $8,457.00
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 8-02 Day 3: 5 8-12
7. Russell Parrish Riesel, Texas 10 30-02 277 $7,400.00
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 2 4-09 Day 3: 3 6-15
8. Brian Clark Haltom City, Texas 15 29-09 268 $6,343.00
Day 1: 5 9-07 Day 2: 5 9-09 Day 3: 5 10-09
9. Ryan Piersdorf Forest Lake, Minn. 13 29-00 264 $5,286.00
Day 1: 3 7-08 Day 2: 5 11-08 Day 3: 5 10-00
10. James Stricklin Jasper, Texas 13 28-07 260 $4,757.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 3 6-00 Day 3: 5 9-07
About BASS For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, the Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN3.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.