Ryan Sweeps Eufaula Qualifier



By Marisa Dye
Eufaula is often known as the windiest lake in Oklahoma, which it proved on Day 2 of the tournament. Despite the anglers having a day of fishing under their belts, Sunday’s winning weight was 2.33 pounds lower than Saturday’s. Sunday’s 16 mph average winds plus gusts above that made for a rough day of fishing.
The weather leading up to the tournament was not ideal; there was a big drop in temperature a few days before the tournament along with heavy rains in Eastern Oklahoma. Sanford “Sandy” Hooker of the Ponca City Bassmasters described the water as murky.

Sandy, who said he’s known his partner Stewart Ryan “since Moby-Dick was a goldfish”, got only four bites throughout the day. They were all keepers, which was good enough for third place on Saturday with 14.38 lbs. total.

Jody Linder, also of Ponca City Bassmasters, had the opposite problem: he had a limit by 7:45 a.m. He said he moved locations a few times because other guys were fishing nearby and he thought he’d give them a shot at the fish. However, he kept catching, saying he got 15 keepers. He took second with five fish weighing in at 18.08 pounds.

His biggest fish of the day, a 5+ pounder, darted under a dock in an effort to wrap the line around a post. Luckily, the dock was missing that particular post and Linder was able to pull it in on 12 lb. test line.

Saturday’s top spot was taken by Stewart Ryan of the Ada Bassmasters with five fish totaling 18.33 lbs. While he wasn’t available for comment due to heading home for his son’s prom, Sandy Hooker said that Ryan caught his limit and was culling by 8 a.m. in the Duchess Creek area.

Saturday’s big bass was caught by Tim Carlton. It weighed in at a whopping 7.60 lbs. Apparently, hauling it in wore Tim out, as he didn’t catch anything else the rest of the day.

Sunday went downhill quickly for Darrel Dye and Mike Zachary. Mike’s boat broke down about 7 a.m. After a boat swap that took up over an hour, Darrel hit a stump, spun the hub and bent the prop shaft. Darrel and Mike got to enjoy a polar bear plunge in the lake while switching out the prop. They got the boat to limp along the rest of the day, but only brought in one fish, weighed in by Darrel.

Jackie Husmann and Johnny Babb could sympathize with Darrel and Mike, as they broke down around 10:30 a.m. Their trolling motor also went out, so they were left with a boat that could only go in reverse. They backed it up for 45 minutes all the way to the ramp. Johnny commented that they were “just getting it figured out” as he landed three fish before the problems started.

Mike Morgan of the Ada Bassmasters fared better with a bag of five bass totaling 13.04 lbs, which earned him third place Sunday. Linder again took second, this time with 15.97 lbs for his five fish. He also had the big bass for Saturday, which weighed 4.70 lbs. Ryan repeated his first place win with five fish that weighed 16.00 lbs.

May’s tournament at Lake Ray Roberts will determine who represents Oklahoma at Central Divisionals in June.