The second of the three weekend Oklahoma Bass Federation qualifying tournaments was held on Lake Eufaula April 2 and 3. The 56 anglers faced muddy to heavily stained water for the second qualifier, matching the conditions in our first weekend qualifiers at Texoma. During the practice days the Gentle Giant was very accommodating, the winds were at a minimum and the weather was very mild. The only problem was the water was very murky, some areas muddy. There was not any areas on the lake that provided clear water. Also, it appeared to many that the lake dropped about 2 to 3 feet Thursday night, making the practice days difficult to locate fish.
The day started with colder weather compared to our practice day, a low wind and not a cloud in sky. The biggest catch was Michael Morris’, Ada, five fish weighing 14.38#. Michael’s stringer was anchored by a 4.37# lunker. Ron Fuller, NEO, was second with 5 fish weighing 14.09#. Brandon Moss, Bedlam, followed at 3rd with 13.43# while Jody Linder, Ponca City, had 12.65# for 4th. Dean Matts, Central, was 5th with 10.98#. Jeffrey Linder, Ponca City, nosed out his partner, John Becerra, Bedlam, by 0.01 pounds. Jeff had 10.52 while John had 10.51. Brannon Whipple, NEO, garnered 8th with 10.15# while Johnny Babb, Ada, at 10.08# and Donnie Combrink, Ponca City, with 9.73 rounded out 9th and 10th, respectively.
The first day resulted in 134 fish being weighed in weighing 272.34#. That resulted in an average weight per fish at 2.02#. There was 14 limits brought to the sales and 13 anglers that were not able to find an elusive keeper. All 134 fish were returned to the lake which gave us a 100% of the fish weighed in were alive. The average daily weight per contestant was 4.85#.
The second day was greeted with another 43 degree morning. As predicted, the skies were clear and the winds increased during the day, however, the lake seemed to stabilize overnight. The result was that the wining weights were somewhat larger. Don Linder, Ponca City, weighed in his largest stringer during his 43 years of competing in OBF events with a 5 fish limit and the biggest weight during the weekend at 17.9#. The limited was anchored with a 5.74 pounder. Mike Morgan, Ada, was 2nd with a 15.75# limit with a 4.41 kicker. Adding to the 15# class for the day, Wes Cary, NEO, had 15.01# with a 5.07# big bass, for 3rd. Fourth went to Stewart Ryan, Ada, with 13.14# supported by the big bass for the day, a 6.47# lunker. Donnie Combrink, Ponca City, and Ron Fuller, NEO, repeated their 10 place finishes the first day with catches of 11.67# and 11.59# for 5tth and 6th, respectively. Wyatt Ryan, Ada, was 7th with 10.96# followed by Shawn Lewis, Ponca City, 9.86# at 8th. Shawn’s weight included a 5.29# anchor. Michael Morris, Ada, after winning the first day dropped to 9th with 9.74#. Keltyn Hendrix, Ada, made his first finish in the top 10 with a 9.33# stringer.
The total fish weighed in the second day was 140 that averaged 2.11#, a little larger than the first day. The total weigh for Sunday was 295.24#, 25k# more than day one. The number of limits were 12, a few less than day one. However the average weight per contestant increased to 4.85#. All 140 fish were returned to the lake alive. An historical note for this second day is that the oldest angler, previously, for winning an OBF event was L.E.”Porky” Collins from Chickasha at 68 years of age. That record was at Eufaula in 1990 and his boater was Don Linder. Collins’ record as oldest contestant to win an OBF event has now been replaced by his 1990 partner, Linder, who is 77 years old.
STANDAINGS AFTER TEXOMA
The leader after the first four qualifiers is Jody Linder with 378 points. Dean Matts has 368 for second followed by Michael Morris only one point back at 367. Fourth is held down by Ron Fuller with 362, followed by Donnie Combrink with 360. Rounding out 6th and 7th is father/son pair, Don and Jeffrey Linder at 355 and 352, respectively. Brandon Moss at 350 holds down 8th followed by Brandon Beck, 345, and Kyle Tudor, 342, at 9th and 10th. Wyatt Ryan, 331, and John Beccera, 330, round out the top 12, respectively. The road to the National Seimi-Finals will include the top 34 anglers, 17 boaters and 17 co-anglers. After the first four events, 34 place is 244 points.
The Ranger Cup winners for each day were Michael Morris on day one and Don Linder for day two. Each will receive $75 for their efforts. Ranger will award the top registered Ranger Cup finisher at each of our next 2 qualifiers a check for $75. If you are a Ranger Boat owner, go to bassfederation.com or Rangerboats.com web site and sign-up.
The next tournament weekend is April 30 and May 1 on the Arkansas River in Muskogee. The weigh-in each day at the Three Forks Marina. Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and Recreation and Tourism committee will be our host at this event.
We are fishing for the top six boaters and next six point getters to round out our State team that will represent us at the final Central Division Tournament on Truman Lake in Missouri, June 19 -24. We will also be accumulating points to select the top 34 anglers that will qualify for the National Semi-Finals to be held on the Arkansas River in Muskogee with Arkansas. The top boater and co-angler at that event will qualify for the TBF National Championship. Entry to the NSF will be $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers. There will be a 75% payout for the top 20% entered. Also, we may have as many as two boaters and two co-anglers qualify if we have 50 or more Federation anglers enter the NSF. Of course, each club that participates in our qualifiers, can enter a boater and co-angler into the NSF tournament. After our six qualifiers, you will also have an additional chance to qualify by entering the Top 6 or the Team Tournament in September.