Cline Leads with 19+ on Texoma - Major League Fishing

Cline Leads with 19+ on Texoma

Texas pro’s hot morning goes a long way
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Billy Cline
September 21, 2017 • David A. Brown • Archives

Conventional wisdom tells us that finding the food means finding the bass, especially when fall’s approach signals the need to feed. Texas pro Billy Cline followed that logic, only with a subtle twist, and sacked up a Lake Texoma limit of 19 pounds, 4 ounces to lead day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Frabill.

Complete results

Top five patterns 

Like most, Cline was mindful of the large schools of shad roaming around the lake. However, his success hinged more on quality than quantity.

“There were some big wads of bait in the area, but we found the bigger fish weren’t really around the big schools," says Cline. "They were chasing the isolated gizzard shad.”

Cline describes his day as “junk fishing,” in which he looked for isolated shallow-water targets on and around main-lake points and rotated through topwaters, crankbaits and shaky heads. Fortunately, his day got off to a quick start.

“I caught all my fish by about 9:15 a.m.,” says Cline. “I only caught one keeper after that, but it didn’t help me. I caught my first keeper around 7:30 and then I didn’t catch another one until 8:45. So between 8:45 and 9:15, I caught the rest of my weight.”

Cline attributes that early lull to a pair of competitors who sandwiched him on his first spot. When the fishing pressure shut down that spot, Cline ran to a spot he’d intended to save for day two and ended up filling his limit there.


Top 10 pros

1. Billy Cline – Grapevine, Texas – 19-4 (5)

2. Russell Cecil – Willis, Texas – 18-2 (5)

3. T.R. Andreas – Kerrville, Texas – 18-0 (5)

3. Brian Clark – Haltom City, Texas – 18-0 (5)

5. Alton Wilhoit – Noble, Okla. – 17-13 (5)

6. Brady Winans – Caddo Mills, Texas – 17-12 (5)

7. Christopher Digino – Dallas, Texas – 16-15 (5)

7. Don McFarlin – Gordonville, Texas – 16-15 (5)

9. Brandon Mosley – Choctaw, Okla. – 16-14 (5)

10. Jeff Reynolds – Calera, Okla. – 16-12 (5)

Complete results 


Dan Wilson

Local knowledge lands Wilson atop co-angler field

Typically, co-anglers fish what their pro partners choose, but when Dan Wilson had the opportunity to point the way, he did not hesitate to leverage his intimate knowledge of Texoma to select productive waters that yielded a leading limit of 13-7.

“The guy that I fished with was a nice guy and he knew I lived here, so he asked ‘do you have some places?’,” Wilson says. “That really made a difference and we both caught fish.”

Frequent moves were the cornerstone of Wilson’s plan, as he and pro Jerod Hawkes hopped around to several spots. Brush, rocks and docks comprised the targets that accounted for all of Wilson’s weight.

“I’d say we probably caught our better fish off the rocks with the wind on them,” Wilson says. “Squarebill crankbaits produced all of my fish.”


Top 10 co-anglers
1. Dan Wilson – Pilot Point, Texas – 13-7 (5)

2. Jim Zaleski – Parsons, Kan. – 13-1 (4)

3. Brian Pierce – Colorado Springs, Colo. – 12-7 (5)

4. Joe Copeland – Roff, Okla. – 12-6 (5)

5. Cedric Jackson – Sicily Island, La. – 12-5 (4)

6. Melinda Hays – Sheridan, Ark. – 11-10 (5)

7. Rick Parker – Kaufman, Texas – 11-4 (5)

8. Fred Fielder – Vian, Okla. – 11-1 (5)

9. Chad Witten – Elgin, Okla. – 10-15 (5)

10. Daren Scott – Aledo, Texas – 10-14 (5)

Complete results