April 13-14- Jasper, Tx- Having cancelled it's first two tournaments of the season, it was a make up weekend for the Ford SETX HS Champions Series Presented by Skeeter Boats. "We had scheduled our final qualifying tourney of the season for the 13th of April and decided to try to squeeze in at least one of the cancellations in on Sunday the 14th and make this weekend a dual tourney weekend" said SETX President Bryan Thomas. Weather and lake levels have really taken a toll on the Rayburn area this season and it has left many tournament trails scrambling to try and make up these canceled events, including SETX. "There just isn't a lot we can do when we see conditions like we have seen this spring on Rayburn" said SETX board member Tom Selman. "We are not the only ones. Other trails are having to do the same thing and it leaves all of us scrambling to use the same facilities. We really hope we are rewarded with better weather next season", concluded Selman.
Tackle Addict First Place Team- 22.77 LBS-Lumberton HS- Drake Boykin and Jace Bridges- Boat Captain Jeff Bridges
Having learned a bit from pre fishing prior to the tournament, the team from Lumberton applied that knowledge on Saturday and was able to gather 22.77 lbs of Rayburn bass to capture the Saturday event. The team reported launching at Twin Dykes and focusing on mid lake clay points in the 8-10 foot range with crank baits and jigs to gather their winning creel of fish, which included a 6.27 LB kicker. "We had a few issues with the bad weather, but other than that, everything went pretty smooth" reported Capt Bridges. The team wished to thank all the SETX volunteers and Mr Bryan Thomas of Lumberton HS.
Second Place Team- 19.91 LBS- Diboll HS- Trent Webb and Marcus Wilson- Boat Captain Josh Webb
Sometimes things just seem to fall into place. Having broke his left thumb in baseball practice on Wednesday, Trent was unable to comfortably throw any "moving baits" so the team was forced to slow down a bit and use a more "subtle" tactic in attracting their nearly 20 lb bag of bass, which included one that went 6.49 LBS. Launching at Monterrey Park, Captain Webb reported fishing in the Canyons area and targeting perch beds in the 2-3 foot range. Their bait of choice was a black/blue senko rigged wacky style and just letting it soak. "The fish seemed to really turn on during the rain and just after the rain. They caught all of their fish in a 20 yard stretch just outside the bushes" said Capt. Webb. The team wished to thank Gary and Janet Webb for providing the boat, mothers and wives for supporting us, Clinton Walker and Judy Silva for organizing the DHS fishing team, and all of the SETX Volunteers for enabling the kids to experience this wonderful sport.
Third Place Team- 17.17 LBS- Diboll HS- William McGuire and Korey Kubiak- Boat Captain- John Sikes
Helping maintain the "Diboll" theme on Saturday was the team of McGuire and Kubiak. Launching and Townsend Park, the team focused on mid lake shallows to produce their 17 LB bag, which was anchored by a 7.89 LB Rayburn monster. "We had to dodge a few storms, but the kids fished well and stayed focused. We had our limit by 10 o clock and just about ll of those fish came shallow on spinnerbaits" reported Capt Sikes. The team wished to thank SETX and everything they do to help keep the kids safe. Thank you to the sponsors that allow these kids to fish, we could not do this without them. And most importantly, thank God for keeping everyone safe this weekend.
Rest of Top Ten
4th Place- 15.37 LBS- Buna HS- Trace Marks and Denton Peveto
5th Place- 14.49 LBS- LCM HS- Garrison Byerly and Will Henson
6th Place- 14.41 LBS- Livingston HS- Kaden Mueck and Breckett Long
7th Place- 14.38 LBS- Huntington HS- Hunter Matchett and Dalton Morton
8th Place- 14.03 LBS- Hamshire Fannett HS- Trent Buchholz and Grady Doucet
9th Place- 14.02 LBS- West Sabine HS- Hunter Muncrief and Landen Mccary
10th Place- 13.91 LBS- Orangefield HS- Kayson Dubois and Cade Kylie
Top 3 Big Bass
1st Place- 8.52 LBS- Hamshire Fannett HS- Korbin Winckler and Vance Moore
2nd Place- 7.89 LBS- Diboll HS- William Mcguire and Korey Kubiak
3rd Place- 7.77 LBS- Porter HS- Jason Braughton and Justin Braughton
V&M Baits/Leak Sealers Conservation Prize Winners
After a tough day on the water, the team of Austin Bradley and Lance Hodgkins of LCM decided to snap a photo of their small fish and release it. They then showed that photo at the LEAKSEALERS Conservation Booth and entered their team # into the Conservation Prize Drawing and were the lucky winners of $500.00 from LEAK SEALERS. Thank you to LEAK SEALERS sponsoring this wonderful program!! For more information on how your team can be the next winner, please contact your advisor.
Tackle Addict First Place Team- 17.08 LBS-Livingston HS- Kaden Mueck and Breckett Long- Boat Captain Mark Mueck
Small adjustments can mean all the difference in bass fishing. That's exactly what happened to the Freshman duo from Livingston as the first fish they landed on Sunday morning went a hefty 8.28 LBS, earning the duo from Livingston their 4th SETX win!! "We did ok in the Saturday tourney, but felt as if the shad spawn was disappearing on us. We backed away from the shad spawn pattern earlier on Sunday and fished deeper. Saturday, we stayed shallower longer and we did not get the big bite we needed, we got it on Sunday" said Capt. Mueck. Launching at Monterrey Park, the team focused on secondary points and drains in the mid to upper lake area, using Strike King 5XD crank baits in 10-12 foot of water. The team wished to thank all the volunteers at SETX for their time and effort.
Second Place Team- 16.84 LBS- Barbers Hill HS- Lawson Cavarretta and Matthew Dunavant- Boat Captain Brian Cavarretta
Not being able to pre fish on Friday, the team from Barbers Hill used Saturday competition day to help them establish something on Sunday. Launching at Caney and fishing the same general area, the team targeted shallow buck brush with chatterbaits to gather their near 17 LB stringer of fish. "The wind was absolutely brutal and there was a very large concentration of boats in and around the Caney area. One thing we wanted to point out was the fact that all of the captains did a wonderful job of respecting others space on the water considering the extreme conditions." concluded Capt. Cavarretta. The team wished to thank the countless volunteers that make SETX possible. Lance Murphy and his wife Amy, Chris Baggett, Rick Caldwell, and last but not least, the Moms for allowing us the time and money to buy all the lures we needed. Thank you Liz and Kim!
Third Place Team- 15.83 LBS- Jasper HS- Hudson Faircloth and Logan Gaston- Boat Captain- William Gaston
Launching at Hanks Creek and focusing on mid-upper lake proved productive for the duo from Jasper. "One thing is for sure, we were not fishing pressured water. We pretty much had it all to ourselves and that means a lot when the winds blow on this lake and the boats tend the concentrate in protected areas" said Capt. Gaston. The boys focused on flipping bushes in 3-4 foot of water with Strike King plastics to gather their catch. "The boys fished clean and stayed focused all day" concluded Capt. Gaston. The team wished to thank all the SETX volunteers and a special thanks to Ms Kelli Bailey, the Jasper team advisor for all of her efforts.
Rest of Top Ten
4th Place- 15.38 LBS- Jasper HS- Bradyn Ratcliff and Kolton Splettstosser
5th Place- 15.13 LBS- Huntington HS- Hunter Matchett and Dalton Morton
6th Place- 14.73 LBS- Bridge City HS- Bryce Miller and Luke Mulholland
7th Place- 14.63 LBS- Jasper HS- Clayton Stephenson and Kason Street
8th Place- 14.28 LBS- Jasper HS- Sam Shofner
9th Place- 14.21 LBS- West Sabine HS- Hunter Muncrief and Landen Mccary
10th Place- 13.81 LBS- Hamshire Fannett HS- Blake Hall and Colton Romero
Top 3 Big Bass
1st Place- 8.28 LBS- Livingston HS- Kaden Mueck and Breckett Long
2nd Place- 6.00 LBS- West Sabine HS- Hunter Muncrief and Landon Mccary
3rd Place- 5.85 LBS- Jasper HS- Bradyn Ratcliff and Kolton Splettstosser
V&M Baits/Leak Sealers Conservation Prize Winners
After a tough day on the water, the team of Blaine Elliott and Jackson Harwell of Lumberton decided to snap a photo of their small fish and release it. They then showed that photo at the LEAKSEALERS Conservation Booth and entered their team # into the Conservation Prize Drawing and were the lucky winners of $500.00 from LEAK SEALERS. Thank you to LEAK SEALERS sponsoring this wonderful program!! For more information on how your team can be the next winner, please contact your advisor.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE SETX SPONSORS for helping make SETX the premiere HS Fishing Trail in the country!!!
South Texas Ford Dealers Assn, Skeeter Boats/Yamaha, Tackle Addict, Costa, Lews, Leak Sealers Inc., Rat L Trap, Rod Armorz, Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Vicious Fishing Line, Culprit Lures, Yu-Line, Big Bite Baits, Crystal Heigley and the Allman Real Estate Team.
Story by Jet Donovan