Larry Coleman of Jasper, Texas, took first place, $3,209, plus 50 CITGO Challenge Points for winning the Red Man Cowboy Division qualifier held Sunday on Toledo Bend Reservoir. Colekman brought in five bass totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces, to top a field of 206 anglers competing for $11,815.
Coleman fished a carolina-rigged lizard and centipede in grass in 12 feet of water. Second place and $1,604 went to John Hale of Lufkin, Texas, for five bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces. Hale caught his limit in scattered grass with a chartreuse tubebait. Third place and $942 went to Jason Raybourn of Columbia, Mississippi, for five bass weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces. Raybourn fished grass in 3-6 feet of water with a red Rat-L-Trap. Michael Metcalf of Hemphill, Texas, took fourth place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces, worth $603. Metcalf fished a pumpkinseed-colored Zoom Brush Hog on deep point. Fifth place and $572 went to Mark Couch of Houston, Texas, for five bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces. Couch fished a jerkbait and a wacky worm in shallow grass to catch his limit.
Rounding out the top positions were: (6) Curtis Fisette, Zwolle, Louisiana, five bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces, $509; (7) Jimmy Sorter, Hemphill, Texas, five bas, 12 pounds, 15 ounces, $445; (8) Jim Pruitt, Houston, Texas, five bass, 12 pounds, 13 ounces, $382; (9) Cody Bird, five bass, 12 pounds, 12 ounces, $318; (10) Carl Vessel, Nachogdochens, Texas, five bass, 12 pounds, 10 ounces, $263.
Bill Hudspeth of Kilgore, Texas, won the Abu Garcia Big Bass Award of $1,000 for a 6 pound, 7 ounce bass.
Larry Coleman is also leading the Cowboy Division Ranger Millennium big bass race with a 4 pound, 8 ounce bass. The original Ranger boat owner who catches the largest bass in each Red Man division over the course of the season, will qualify to enter the Ranger M1 Millenium tournament. Darrell Jacob of Orange, Texas, won the Powerbait Award – a prize package worth $325 – for the highest weight caught on Powerbait or Frenzy lures with 4 pounds, 4 ounces.
At the completion of the six Red Man qualifying events, the top 30 anglers, determined on a basis of pounds and points, will move onto Regional Championship competition. There they will compete against the top 30 fishermen from three other divisions for a Dream Rig consisting of a Chevy truck and a full-rigged Ranger bass boat powered by an Evinrude or Johnson outboard (only two divisions compete in the Western Regional for a fully-rigged Ranger bass boat) and a spot in the Red Man All-American in Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 8-13, 2000, where the winner will receive $100,000.
The rookie advancing farthest along the Red Man Trail will win the Old Milwaukee NA Rookie-of-the-Year Award.
All Red Man tournaments are catch and release events. Operation Bass historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate throughout the tournament season.