Sometimes, a little late practice helps out.
Mark Mueck, of Livingston, and David Curtis, of Trinity, brought 17.12 pounds of bass to the scales to win the third event of the 2013 season of the Texas Team Trail presented by Cabela’s on May 4 at Belton Lake.
The winning anglers took home a new fully-rigged boat with a motor and trailer package, valued at $35,000.
Unfamiliar with Belton Lake, the team fished the lake before the cut-off date. This experience was crucial to the team’s success.
“During practice the fish were really biting,” said Mueck. “We probably caught 40 to 50 fish a day before cut-off. That helped us a lot, considering neither one of us had been there before.”
Starting at the south end of the lake in clear water, the team caught three keepers on points with crankbaits and umbrella rigs. Working their way to the north end of the lake, the anglers had their limit by 8 a.m. and culled 10 bass throughout the day.
“It takes the pressure off of you knowing you already have your limit,” said Mueck. “We had a five-pound largemouth but it’s incredible how many smallmouth are in that lake. We probably caught 10 smallmouth during the day and weighed two in our bag.”
Taking part of the Ranger Cup program, the anglers upgraded from the original first-place prize, a Triton 18XS, to a Ranger Z119. The team also won an additional $1,470 in Angler’s Advantage cash and the $500 Cabela’s Angler Cash gift card.
Second-place finishers Randy Grounds, of Horseshoe Bay, and Allen Gass, of Llano, weighed 15.09 pounds to win $4,050, plus and additional $1,078 in Angler’s Advantage cash. The team brought in the largest bass of the event (6.48 pounds), earning $810 for the Big Bass Award.
Russell Cecil, of Willis, and Todd Castledine, of Nacogdoches, took the $2,430 third-place prize for their 14.73 pounds of bass. The duo added $1,480 in contingency prize winnings.
This win catapulted Mueck and Curtis to the top spot in the TXTT Team of the Year standings with 554 points. Russell Lee and Landan Ware are a close second at 533 points with Stephen Johnston and Dick Newberry right on their heels at 529 points.
The next stop for the Texas Team Trail is Cedar Creek Lake on June 1. Competitors who register for the Cedar Creek Lake event by midnight of Thursday, May 30, will be allowed to pre-fish on Friday, May 31, and entered into a drawing for a Minn Kota Talon shallow water anchor.
For additional information, anglers are encouraged to call 210-788-4143 or check out the TXTT website at www.texasteamtrail.com.