Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Texoma presented by Evinrude with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 58 pounds, 13 ounces. Hanselman is the first person to ever win three consecutive tournaments in a single season on any Rayovac FLW Series circuit. For his win, Hanselman earned $30,431.
â€œThe win really hasn’t sunk in yet. I tried to keep the record out of my mind so I wouldn’t get nervous fishing,â€ said Hanselman, a six-year Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division veteran. â€œI just came into this event focused on winning Angler of the Year.â€
Hanselman said that he targeted mid-lake pockets, particularly where there was a separation between the bank and flooded weeds.
â€œThe fish feed in there and there’s some spawning going on so the larger males tend to guard the area,â€ Hanselman said.
â€œOn day one, I hooked two big smallmouths and lost them,â€ continued Hanselman. â€œAround 10 a.m. I decided to focus on the largemouth bite and boated a 3 ½-pounder. I caught three more comparable fish in 30 minutes, then went to a different pocket and caught another three. By 2 p.m. I had a quality stringer.â€
Using a Power Tackle rod and a Strike King Sexy Frog, Hanselman went into days two and three looking to capitalize on his day one pattern.
â€œOn day two I retraced my tracks and went to the same spots from Thursday and caught a 5-pounder early. By 10 a.m. I had about 18 or 19 pounds of fish in the livewell,â€ Hanselman said. â€œAfter bringing in 23 pounds for the day, I knew I could take the tournament.â€
Hanselman said the flooded creeks and tributaries that filled the lake with red, muddy water worked to his advantage.
â€œAnglers abandoned their favorite spots to try and find the cleanest water,â€ HanseIman said. â€œI was lucky and found water that was stained but not muddy. If that flood wouldn’t have happened a few days prior to the tournament, I wouldn’t have won.â€
On the final day of competition, Hanselman said he stuck to his original pattern and quickly caught his winning limit.
â€œThe day started out slow and I began to get nervous. Luckily, I caught my 5-pound kicker at 9:30 a.m. and finished out a solid limit by 10:45,â€ Hanselman said.
Hanselman went on to say that staying focused and fishing smart was his key to victory.
â€œI watched guys burn through their pockets in no time,â€ said Hanselman. â€œI went out there and did my best to fish calm and it worked.â€
The top 10 pros on Lake Texoma were:
1st: Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 58-13, $30,431
2nd: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., 15 bass, 46-13, $11,792
3rd: Nick Lebrun, Shreveport, La., 14 bass, 46-6, $9,129
4th: Joe Don Setina, Pittsburg, Texas, 15 bass, 45-13, $7,608
5th: Jeff Reynolds, Calera, Okla., 15 bass, 39-4, $6,847
6th: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 12 bass, 38-2, $6,086
7th: Brian Ankrum, Natalia, Texas, 10 bass, 33-3, $5,326
8th: Robert Brown, Round Rock, Texas, 10 bass, 32-9, $4,565
9th: Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, nine bass, 31-8, $3,804
10th: Craig Frilot, Breaux Bridge, La., nine bass, 23-4, $3,043
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Ray LaJeune of Eunice, Louisiana, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of eight bass weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Sam Rayburn Reservoir were:
1st: Ryan LeJeune, Eunice La., eight bass, 21-12, Ranger Z117C with 90 HP outboard engine + $5,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Randall Vaughan, Blanco, Texas, eight bass, 18-1, $3,851
3rd: Billy Cline, Grapevine, Texas, six bass, 16-2, $3,081
4th: Bill Gift, Lindale, Texas, seven bass, 15-12, $2,696
5th: Jimmy Ballard, Paris, Texas, four bass, 11-10, $2,311
6th: Rick Parker, Kaufman, Texas, six bass, 10-12, $1,926
7th: Chris Bobo, Denison, Texas, three bass, 9-13, $1,541
8th: Buddy Hicks, Port Neches, Texas, four bass, 9-4, $1,348
9th: Bubba Finstad, Ranger, Texas, four bass, 8-9, $1,155
10th: Hugh Rose, Davis, Okla., four bass, 8-6, $963