Cecil Wins Stren Series Event on Sam Reyburn Reservoir
Category: press release
Mar 21st, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 21st, 2009 at 12:00 AM
JASPER, Texas (March 21, 2009) – Pro Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Stren Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 58-11. For his victory, Cecil earned $25,000 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat.
“I changed up every day, but I don’t think I made the right changes today,” said Cecil, whose 11-pound final-day weight was almost half of each of his first two days’ weights. “Obviously there were more and more people on the water as the week went on. It wasn’t bad the first day, and I got mine real early the first day and got out of there. I came back in there about 2 p.m. just to see what it looked like, and there was Cody Bird and Scotty Villines … it was murderer’s row in there, and I thought, ‘Man, this is not good.'”
Cecil said he returned to his spot the second day of competition and caught fish early and caught two big ones at the end of the day. Cecil said he made the decision to return to his spot on the final day of competition even though he knew there were heavy stringers taken out of it the previous two days.
“It just all worked out,” Cecil said. “The Lord just blessed me. This was the worst day I had by far, but I had my big one on a swimbait before the sun really got up.”
Cecil said the swimbait was more productive for him than any sight-fishing techniques during the tournament. Cecil said he caught a few sight fish on the first day, a couple on the second day and none the third day of competition. Cecil said he flipped a creature bait at the few shallow sight fish he targeted.
Cecil opened the tournament in second place Thursday with five bass weighing 23-4. He then caught five bass weighing 23-9 Friday to make the crucial top-10 cut in first place.
Rounding out the top five pros are Scotty Villines of Ponca, Ark. (15 bass, 54-2, $10,000); Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas (15 bass, 52-4, $8,000); Andy Gaia of Tomball, Texas (15 bass, 51-15, $7,000); and Lupe Garcia of Springdale, Ark. (14 bass, 51-10, $6,000).
Garcia caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s big bass award of $450.
Randy Hicks of Lumberton, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and a 177TR Ranger boat and trailer, with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46-3.
“I’m a bundle of nerves,” Hicks said. “I just can’t take any more excitement. I’m worn out. This win is pretty special.”
Hicks caught five bass weighing 10-3 Thursday while fishing with pro Jeremy Guidry of Opelousas, La., to open the tournament in 36th place. On Friday he added five more bass weighing 26-9 to make the top 10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with five bass weighing 9-7 while fishing with pro Russell Cecil.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Rusty Harvey of Nederland, Texas (15 bass, 45-4, $4,000); Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas (15 bass, 38-6, $3,000); Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas (15 bass, 37-6, $2,500); and Kevin Carter of Spring, Texas (13 bass, 35-11, $2,250).
Harvey and John Biondi of Arlington, Texas, shared the big bass of the tournament award in the Co-angler Division with a pair of 8-pound, 9-ounce bass they caught Thursday that earned them a split of the day’s big bass award of $216.
The next Stren Series Texas Division event, hosted by the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, will be held May 21- 23 on Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas. Boats will launch from Lake Amistad Marina in Del Rio, and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 2410 Dodson St. in Del Rio.
After four qualifying events are complete in each Stren Series division – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western – the top 40 pros and 40 co-anglers based on the points standings from each division will advance to the Stren Series Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., Nov. 5-7 for a shot at $150,000 in the Pro Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division. The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers from each division will also qualify for the 2010 Walmart FLW Tour® and Walmart FLW Series®, bass fishing’s top professional circuits. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the Stren Series Championship will also qualify for the $2.5 million 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where anglers will compete for the $1 million grand prize – the most lucrative award in bass fishing
In Stren Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. Two hundred points are awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on. The full field competes on days one, two and three, with the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers advancing to day four based on their three-day accumulated weight. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.
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