Catching only four bass during a tournament is usually a bad sign.
But not when one of those fish is a 7.59-pound bass.
Chase Markum of Paradise on Saturday overcame cold, windy conditions on Lake Palestine to win an ABA Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament. The event was the season opener for the East Texas Division 11.
Markum caught only four bass all day, but it was enough to beat out 69 other anglers with a 16.22-pound bag. For his efforts, he won $2,775 plus a $1,000 bonus from Mercury and $500 from MotorGuide.
“I was simply looking for a place to get out of the north wind,” Markum said. “I was looking for tall trees that would block the wind so I could actually make casts and feel the fish when it hit.
“About five minutes into the tournament, I had a 7.59-pounder on that hit a Rat-L-Trap in 2.5-feet of water. I just stayed in 2.5-feet of water all day and threw a Rat-L-Trap most of the day. Later, I threw a small grub at docks.
“I only caught one bass in the afternoon.”
Terry Peacock of Royse City finished second with a five-bass limit totaling 14.56 pounds.
“I fished this lake for 30 years,” Peacock said. “This is the lowest I’ve seen in about 19 years. The weather made the fish very finicky. I used a jig and a square-billed crankbait. I only caught six keepers.”
In the Co-Angler Division, Kent Andries, 24, of Tyler only found two fish, but won the tournament with 10.46 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 7.69-pounder and collected $1,420.