Russell Cecil of Willis, weighed five bass totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Frabill on Toledo Bend Reservoir with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 61 pounds, 9 ounces.
For his victory, Cecil earned $33,000 and a new Ranger Z518 with a 200 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
“I’m as excited as I’ve ever been to win one of these because I sure didn’t think I pulled it off today,” said Cecil, who earned his fifth career victory in FLW competition. “I thought I only had about 14 pounds. I made a strategic decision this morning that I would catch five and not stop until I caught a big one. I caught five keepers and fished for three big ones, but I didn’t catch any of them. Sitting there after Clark (Reehm) had weighed his fish, I thought I had lost it.”
Cecil fished for spawning bass the entire tournament, and underperformed his expectations on days one and three.
“I won this tournament on the first day. At noon I had no fish, and I was like ‘what am I going do to save myself.’ I had a little pocket that I was going to save that I didn’t think anyone else would be fishing. I didn’t go there, but I ran to another place and ended up catching a 2-pounder and a 7-pounder there. Then, with five minutes to go, I ran to my little pocket, caught two 3-pounders and got my limit. I could have easily weighed only three fish for 10 pounds.
“I don’t have a lot of experience on Toledo Bend in the spring,” continued the Texas pro. “I have a whole lot more summer experience here. These fish were coming to the bank really hard and this was not an event where you could find them in practice and then go catch them. All of the fish that I caught I found during tournament hours. It was very mentally taxing. But, I kind of like tournaments like this. I hate it when it turns into a boat race and everyone knows where the same fish are.”
Cecil said that he caught almost all of his fish on a Texas-rigged Big Bite Baits WarMouth and credited his Costa Del Mar sunglasses for his ability to see fish that others didn’t in the crowded pockets.
The top 10 pros on Toledo Bend were: 1st: Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, 15 bass, 61-9, $33,000 + Ranger Z518 with 200-horsepower outboard
2nd: Clark Reehm, Huntington, Texas, 15 bass, 61-2, $12,778
3rd: Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, 15 bass, 58-0, $9,901
4th: Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 15 bass, 57-13, $8,251
5th: Ronnie Wagner, Houston, Texas, 15 bass, 55-8, $7,426
6th: Nick Lebrun, Tyler, Texas, 15 bass, 52-13, $6,600
7th: Troy Broussard, Beaumont, Texas, 15 bass, 51-14, $5,775
8th: Lendell Martin Jr., Nacogdoches, Texas, 15 bass, 51-4, $4,950
9th: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats pro Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 49-5, $4,125
10th: Ricky Guy, Humble, Texas, 12 bass, 42-1, $3,300
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Corey Stanley of Orange, Texas caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday – a 10-pound, 3-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $222.
Ronnie Ray Jr. of McKinney, Texas, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 32 pounds, 9 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Toledo Bend were: 1st: Ronnie Ray Jr., McKinney, Texas, 15 bass, 32-9, Ranger Z117C with 90-horsepower outboard 2nd: Mike Power, Conroe, Texas, nine bass, 31-7, $4,163 3rd: Jeff Kitchens, Henderson, Texas, 10 bass, 29-11, $3,330 4th: Kerry Barnett, Waldron, Ark., nine bass, 25-3, $2,914 5th: Ryan Bailey, Humble, Texas, eight bass, 24-3, $2,497 6th: Travis Kelehan, Broussard, La., eight bass, 23-8, $2,081 7th: Clint Lipham, Conroe, Texas, nine bass, 22-3, $1,665 8th: John Martin, Buna, Texas, six bass, 21-12, $1,457 9th: Dan Wilson, Pilot Point, Texas, eight bass, 20-6, $1,249 10th: Neil Herline, Silsbee, Texas, eight bass, 18-6, $1,041
Mack McCoy of Ringgold, La. caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday – an 8-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Rayovac FLW Series Big Bass award of $148.
Photo by David A. Brown