No doubt, co-angler Ryan Lejeune, of Eunice, La., would have preferred two more days like his first, but a big opening effort set up his wire-to-wire win in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma.
On that first day, Lejeune sacked up a limit catch that weighed 12 pounds, 4 ounces – the heaviest co-angler bag of the tournament. On day two, Lejeune had only two bites, but they were quality fish that tallied 6-5.
“On day one, I had a really good guy (7th-place pro Brian Ankrum) that was on fish,” he says. “He caught his limit and I caught a limit behind him.”
Day three delivered a lone keeper that went 3-3 and boosted his tournament total to 21-12. With a winning margin of 3-11, Lejeune took home a Ranger Z117 with a 90-hp engine and trailer, along with $5,000.
“Super, unbelievable – I’m in shock,” Lejeune said of his dominating victory.
One of his day-one fish came on a frog, but the rest of the fish he weighed ate a 5-inch Yamamoto Senko in the Junebug color. Rigging his bait with a 1/4-ounce tungsten weight and a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook, Lejeune fished with fluorocarbon to add a stealth element to his presentations.
“I was in all that vegetation where my pros fished but I used 14-pound fluorocarbon, not braid, and I got them out,” he reveals. “My pros were good netters – they really helped me.”
A bit of angler trivia: Lejeune runs a family-owned sausage facility – Lejeune Sausage Kitchen. He believes the sport of bass fishing relies on similar principles for consistency.
“Dedication and hard, hard work – that’s it,” he adds.
The rest of the top-10 co-anglers:
2. Randall Vaughan — of Blanco, Texas — 18 pounds, 1 ounce
3. Billy Cline — Grapevine, Texas — 16 pounds, 2 ounces
4. Bill Gift — Lindale, Texas —15 pounds, 12 ounces
5. Jimmy Ballard — Paris, Texas — 11 pounds, 10 ounces
6. Rick Parker — Kaufman, Texas — 10 pounds, 12 ounces
7. Chris Bobo — Denison, Texas — 9 pounds, 13 ounces
8. Buddy Hicks — Port Neches, Texas — 9 pounds, 4 ounces
9. Bubba Finstad — Ranger, Texas — 8 pounds, 9 ounces
10. Hugh Rose — Davis, Ok. — 8 pounds, 6 ounces