JASPER, Texas – Pro Chris McCall of Jasper, Texas, caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 3 ounces to win the Stren Series Central Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Saturday. McCall won a 519VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude outboard and equipped with Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and EverStart batteries plus $10,000 cash. He also earned a $10,000 contingency bonus from Ranger plus $3,000 for the Ranger Cup award for a total of $63,000.
McCall led the event for the first two days, then slipped to second place on day three. Throughout the event, McCall said he’s been covering a lot of water, catching the majority of his bass over hydrilla beds with a variety of lures. On the final day, McCall revealed that his primary lure throughout the week has been a Rat-L-Trap, but a change was in order on day four.
“I only had two fish at 1:30 today,” McCall said. “But I switched to a green-pumpkin and red flake Gambler Swebo Worm (rigged wacky style) and was culling by 1:45. I didn’t realize my two largest fish were as big as they were because I was fishing so fast. One was probably 4 1/2 pounds and one was a little over 3 pounds.”
Rather than catching his bass from the hydrilla beds, McCall found the final day’s fish over a sandy area between a hydrilla bed and shoreline bushes. “I’d seen some beds in that area during the week, but I hadn’t tried to fish it because of the wind,” McCall said.
Though McCall already had an impressive list of top-10 finishes, including four on Sam Rayburn on the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament trail and Stren Series, tournament wins have eluded him until this event. “It’s nice to finally have that monkey off my back,” McCall said.
Rounding out the top five pros are David Cochran of Royal, Ark. (eight bass, 25 pounds, 5 ounces, $10,000); Randy Millender of Teague, Texas (10 bass, 24 pounds, 14 ounces, $8,950); Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas (nine bass, 24 pounds, 7 ounces, $7,950); and Shawn Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas (10 bass, 22 pounds, 15 ounces, $7,450).
Bill Guillory of Jasper won the Co-angler Division thanks to a final-round total of six bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces. Guillory caught the heaviest limit of bass on in both the co-angler and pro divisions on day three, which weighed 22 pounds, 5 ounces. Despite catching only a single bass on day four, Guillory was still able to secure the win, which included a 519VX Ranger plus $5,000 cash for a total award of $35,000.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Rodney Dotson of Silsbee, Texas (seven bass, 21 pounds, 7 ounces, $4,000); Bill Rogers of Jasper (eight bass, 19 pounds, 6 ounces, $3,480); Phillip Hudnall of Newkirk, Okla. (nine bass, 19 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,480); and Tom Medlock of Licking, Mo. (six bass, 17 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,980).
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of three rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 20 pros and co-anglers – based on two-day accumulated weights – advance to day three. Anglers start at zero Thursday and compete for 10 spots in each division in the final round. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
The top 40 pros and top 40 co-anglers from each of the Stren Series’ five divisions – Central, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western – following four tournaments in each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., Nov. 1-4 where they will fish for top awards of $140,000 and $70,000, respectively. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the Stren Series Championship will also earn a spot in the new $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Ranger owners’ tournaments for bass fishing’s first $1 million top award.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.