Written by Conor Harrison, Lone Star Outdoor News
Familiarity with a lake and each other is often a recipe for success.
That was proven Saturday, when longtime fishing partners and brothers-in-law Jason Buchanan and Terry Kircus brought in a 5-bass limit weighing 23.35 pounds to win the 2015 Bass Champs Central Region Lake LBJ Tournament. The pair took home $20,000 for the win, plus a $1,000 bonus for big bass of the tournament.
“We’ve been fishing together for a while now,” Kircus said. “We put our time in. We didn’t have a good practice, but we hit our normal spots and caught some nice fish.”
The weather did not cooperate early Saturday morning, with anglers having to battle foggy conditions that delayed the launch by about an hour. That didn’t make a difference to the pair from Burnet they knew the lake well enough to find big fish, including the kicker weighing 10.5 pounds.
“It was pretty nasty early in the morning,” Buchanan said. “We had our limit in the first hour-and-a-half, though. We’ve fished here a bunch and know the lake pretty well. We were throwing a 10-inch Power worm and swimbaits. We’d caught a lot of fish previously in a few of these spots, so we had confidence in what we were doing.”
The big bass hit at 12:30 p.m., something that was common for many of the top teams when water temperatures warmed into the mid 50s and turned on a strong afternoon bite.
Even with the big fish in the bag, Buchanan didn’t think they had enough to win.
“I figured we had come up just a little bit short,” he said. “It was a very nice surprise to win.”
The early weather delay may have actually helped the second-place team of Vincent Neal and Harold Moore. The two anglers from Caldwell brought 21.63 pounds to the scale and also caught their biggest fish later in the afternoon.
“We practiced last weekend and had some general areas,” Neal said. “We were Carolina-rigging a green pumpkin creature baits and craw on main lake points. We had the boat in water between 25 and 32 feet deep, but we were throwing at fish between 16 and 18 feet deep. Harold caught the 9-pounder at about 5 minutes ‘til 4. Five minutes later, we caught another nice one.
“Without that early delay, we might have missed the late bite.”
Neal said he was surprised at how many teams brought in sacks weighing more than 15 pounds.
“With what we had, I thought we had a good shot (to win) it,” he said. “I was surprised at how many good fish were caught. This lake is on the upswing. Bass Champs does a great job with their tournaments, and with 214 boats out here today, there were a lot of limits over 15 pounds.”
For their effort, Neal and Moore took home a $5,000 check.
The third-place team of Jayson Kisselburg and Landon Glass, both from Jarrell, focused on flipping jigs with a Big Bite Baits Real Deal trailer at docks to catch their 21.47 pounds of fish.
“We fish (LBJ) quite often,” Kisselburg said. “We were a little worried with the delay and thought we might be missing out on the early-morning reaction bite. But we stuck with it and had our limit by about 12:30 p.m., and then we culled twice.”
It was later in the day when the two biggest fish hit on the Taipan Rods the teammates were using.
“When the sun came out and warmed the water up, we caught the 9- and 6-pounders,” Kisselburg added. “When the water temperature was 51 degrees, we weren’t getting bites. When it hit 54, we started getting bites.”
After a tough season a year ago for the two teammates, it was satisfying to get a check at the first central region tournament.
“This was a long time coming,” Kisselburg said. “This is a good one. It’s a good way to start the year.”
The pair won $4,000 for their third-place finish.
Checks were cashed by the top 28 teams, with 11.71 pounds needed to earn a check.
The next Bass Champs Central Division tournament will be held on Belton Lake on March 14. Bass Champs will be awarding over $2 Million in cash and prizes to weekend anglers in 2015.