Keith Combs Spins Wire-to-Wire Victory in PAA Tournament Series on Lake Tawakoni
Category: press release
Sep 14th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 14th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
GARLAND, Texas – Power Tackle pro Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, capped a record-setting week on Lake Tawakoni for his first major win with 60.48 pounds in the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Six.
|Keith Combs (Photo PAA)
His total weight is the most in a PAA Tournament Series event, eclipsing the 52.44 pounds caught by Brian Snowden of Missouri in 2009 on Lake Toho. Combs kicked off his win on Thursday with a 9.23-pound largemouth, which was the biggest to come from Tawakoni this week.
Combs sandwiched a meager 13-pound catch on Friday with limits weighing more than 24 and 22 pounds on the first and third days to clinch the win. Ranger pro Todd Auten of South Carolina was second with 46.25 pounds and Yamaha pro Randall Tharp of Alabama was third with 43.88 pounds. Yamaha pro Takahiro Omori of Texas (43.42) and Optima Batteries pro Edwin Evers of Oklahoma (40.63) rounded out the top five.
“I didn’t think I would win going into this thing,” Combs said. “I didn’t really have a good practice and was catching a few 3-pounders, so I was thinking about maybe 15 pounds a day would be good. If you had told me I’d have this, I’d have been ecstatic.”
Combs threw two primary baits all week around docks with water from dirt to three feet and any isolated cover. His main bait was an 3/8ths ounce Oldham Jig in black/blue with a Zoom Chunk and rattles to mimic small bluegills. He used 25-pound test Seaguar fluorocarbon.
The backup was a prototype Power Tackle Lateral Perch, which is about 3 inches long with a pyramid-shaped lead head and soft molded swimbait body with the hook coming out of the side of the body. The Lateral Perch resembles a small bluegill and glides on the fall. He worked the jig thoroughly and then would pitch the Lateral Perch under or around docks.
Saturday, Combs stuck with the jig after his first keeper “hit the bait so hard it knocked slack in the line.”
“I caught everything on the jig because if they were hitting it that hard, I was going to stick with it,” he said. “I got seven bites all day and swung on seven. That first one hit, and then I got the second one about 9:30 off the same dock the 9-pounder was on Thursday. Then, after about an hour, I caught my third keeper, two more after that and by 12 o’clock it was over. I was ready to weigh in right then.”
Auten couldn’t overcome
Combs had a four-pound lead going into the final day over Auten, acknowledged by many as a shallow-water master. He targeted a series of docks with a 1/2-ounce Santone Trembler blade-jig in chartreuse-white with a white Zoom Speed Craw trailer on 20-pound test Bass Pro Shops Excel line. He thinned the bait’s skirt to help it move a little better and present a slimmer profile.
“I caught every one of them on it and if I wasn’t stirring up mud, I wasn’t catching them,” Auten said.
Tharp’s on fire
Tharp surged eight positions with his catch of 18.97 pounds, which came flipping with a Big Bite Baits worm and Yo Mama pitch bait. He rigged both with a 5/16ths sinker and straight-shank worm hook to pitch around docks and vegetation.
“I had an awesome day,” he said. “On my fifth pitch I caught a 5-pounder and the next fish was a 4-pounder. This is the day you want to have on the final day. Last year I had a couple of chances to win and blew it on the last day, so this is really good. I just wasn’t high enough in the standings to win.”
Hours after his final bag hit the scale, Combs still was still on Cloud 9 after his first major tour win.
“I knew what I was getting into after seeing some of the guys who fish the PAA series,” he said. “There are top guys from the other tours here and they’re all sticks, and just about every hammer in north Texas was here. This really means a lot.”
The final PAA Tournament Series event will be Oct. 14-16 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.
Tournament facts: The tournament wass the third of four in the 2010 PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix. The winner earned worth more than $45,000 including cash and a new Phoenix 719 Pro XP boat powered by a Mercury Optimax 225hp engine and outfitted with a T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate. Eligible anglers also may benefit from the Bass Pro Shops Tournament Rewards and Phoenix Boats First Flight bonus payout programs.
About the PAA: The Professional Anglers Association is a non-profit organization that gives professional anglers a unified voice in order to aid in the growth of the sport of professional bass fishing. The PAA also aims to administer educational programs to the average angler, to increase enjoyment of the sport, and to embrace sound conservation practices to further the future of the sport. Web: www.FishPAA.com
PAA Associate Sponsors: The PAA Tournament Series is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, E21 Carrot Stix, Lazer Trokar, Markel Insurance, Phoenix Boats, Nitro Boats, T-H Marine, Fishouflage, SolarBat, U.S. Reel, Sign Designs, BoatU.S. Foundation, Mercury Marine and Jasper Engines and Transmissions.
PAA Hosts: The City of Garland, Texas.