DENISON, TEXAS. – He might have made it look easy, but Yantis, Texas pro Dave Parsons was quick to describe the very not-easy task of holding on to the top spot in the Stren Series Texas Division event at Highport Marina.
“The bite was slower today, so I had to move around a lot,” Parsons said. “I didn’t catch my last fish until 2 o’clock this afternoon. I caught my biggest fish first this morning. That got me started, but I didn’t catch (that one) until 9:30.”
Bolstering his day-two total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces with a third-day limit weighing 13-3, Parsons posted a 45-13 total that also maintained his 3-pound lead. This he did with fewer trips to the livewell. “I didn’t catch as many fish today (as in the previous two days). It was a lot tougher for me, but I still had a great time.”
Fishing pockets with cover off secondary points, Parsons said he employed a trio of reaction style baits and adjusted to how the fish were behaving.
“I was fishing really slow yesterday and I think that was the key to my bigger bites,” he said. “I tried that today and for some reason, they weren’t holding tight to the cover, so I picked up my spinnerbait and started covering water. On this lake you just have to make daily adjustments.”
One of those adjustments has been the need to hit an increasing number of spots each day. “On the first two days, I was able to go to a couple of spots and get all I need. Now, I’m having to go to three or four or five spots. Tomorrow, I’m going to fill the boat up with gas and just go fishing.”
In second place, Mobile, Alabama pro Robert Robinson targeted boathouses and tire reefs and caught a limit weighing 14-4, which gave him a three-day total of 42-12. Abandoning the spinnerbait that produced for him on days one and two, Robinson threw a chartreuse swimming jig all day. Don’t look for rattles on his jig – Robinson intentionally avoids the noise.
“Everybody in this lake is throwing rattling baits and chatterbaits, but with this much pressure on them, the fish will get wise to that,” Robinson said. “I’m throwing a bait that’s totally quiet.”
Wind on the water was important to Robinson’s presentation. “I’m having to stay in the wind. I’ve started out (slowly) three days now and once the wind picks up, I start catching them.”
Third place went to Chris McCall of Jasper, Texas whose local knowledge paid off by leading him to a particular seasonal pattern that delivered his 41-pound, 3-ounce total. McCall kept mum on the specifics, but said he was following the shad spawn and throwing a swimming jig and a spinnerbait.
“It’s a deal that always works here this time of year,” he said. “I grew up here, that’s why I know it so well and know some of the better places (in the lake).”
McCall said that the only thing he was lacking was more wind. After a blustery day one, the wind started to subside on day two and weakened even more on day three. A good blow, McCall said, stacks the bait on windward shorelines and puts bass in the food mood.
“If it was blowing 30 mph, I would be happy,” McCall said. “The wind triggers the fish (to feed) a lot more. That’s how Texoma is – it doesn’t matter what time of year you’re fishing Texoma, the wind is always you’re friend. The harder it blows, the better off you are.”
Local pro Tim Harp, of Pottsboro, Texas took fourth place with 40-5, while James Stricklin Jr. of Jasper, Texas was fifth with 38-7.
Finishing in 20th place, Stan Burgay of Timpson, Texas earned Snickers Big Bass honors for his 5-pound, 12-ounce largemouth. Burgay caught his big fish on a 3/8-ounce chartreuse/white spinnerbait 12 miles north of Highport Marina around docks in 25 feet of water.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the Stren Series Lake Texoma event:
6th: Shane Gibson, Kilgore, Texas, 37-6
7th: Keith Cullum, Corith, Texas, 36-12
8th: Jerry Green, Del Rio, Texas, 36-5
9th: Shonn Goodwin, Moore, OK, 36-0
10th: Gene Robertson, Ardmore, Ok, 35-6
Coffman takes `em to school
When he’s not fishing, George Coffman serves as the Superintendent of Schools for Marlow, Ok. Day three saw Coffman dishing out a lesson in back-of-the-boat bassin’ as he posted his heaviest stringer of the event – a 14-pound, 5-ounce limit that raised his total to 35-4 and landed him atop the co-angler division.
“I took four days of vacation and it’s been great,” Coffman said. “Today, we got on the fish early and by 7:30 I had a limit in the boat. It was a great day and I hope tomorrow is even better.”
Although jigs and flukes worked best for him on days one and two, Coffman caught his day-three fish on purple Lucky Craft crankbaits. “We saw the shad up close and we figured we could hop on them quick and that’s what we did. About the third or fourth cast this morning, I caught one that weighed a little over four pounds, so that was a great start.”
Fishing with pro Dean Alexander of Florence, Texas, Coffman caught his fish about a quarter of a mile from the mouth of Highport Marina. “We didn’t have to go very far and we didn’t have to burn much gas.”
In second place, Brookeland, Texas co-angler Stephen Francis had his best day of the tournament. His 13-pound, 12-ounce limit included the day’s biggest co-angler bass – a 5-6 – and gave him a total of 32-11.
Third place went to Gary Evans of Basalt, Co. who posted a 27-pound, 3-ounce total and rose nine spots. In fourth place, David Underwood of Waco Texas moved up seven notches with 23-8. Rusty Harvey of Nederland, Texas placed fifth with 23-1.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the Stren Series Lake Texoma event:
6th: Chris Bobo, Sherman, Texas, 22-12
7th: Bo Middleton, Elgin, 22-12
8th: Terry Rose, Eastland, Texas, 22-6
9th: Darin Deatherage, Shawnee, Ok., 22-5
10th: Zac Cassill, Fairfax, IA, 20-13
Day four of Stren Series action on Lake Texoma continues at Saturday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. (CT) at Highport Marina, located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive in Pottsboro, Texas.