Cecil uses Big Bite Baits to capture Stren at Rayb

Pro Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Stren Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 58-11. For his victory, Cecil earned $25,000 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat.He caught his fish on two baits from Big Bite Baits,

4″ Fighting Frog and the 5″ Swim Minnow.


“I changed up every day, but I don’t think I made the right changes today,” said Cecil, whose 11-pound final-day weight was almost half of each of his first two days’ weights. “Obviously there were more and more people on the water as the week went on. It wasn’t bad the first day, and I got mine real early the first day and got out of there. I came back in there about 2 p.m. just to see what it looked like, and there was Cody Bird and Scotty Villines … it was murderer’s row in there, and I thought, ‘Man, this is not good.’”


Cecil said he returned to his spot the second day of competition and caught fish early and caught two big ones at the end of the day. Cecil said he made the decision to return to his spot on the final day of competition even though he knew there were heavy stringers taken out of it the previous two days.


“It just all worked out,” Cecil said. “The Lord just blessed me. This was the worst day I had by far, but I had my big one on a swimbait before the sun really got up.”


Cecil said the swimbait was more productive for him than any sight-fishing techniques during the tournament. Cecil said he caught a few sight fish on the first day, a couple on the second day and none the third day of competition. Cecil said he flipped a creature bait at the few shallow sight fish he targeted.


Cecil opened the tournament in second place Thursday with five bass weighing 23-4. He then caught five bass weighing 23-9 Friday to make the crucial top-10 cut in first place.