BOB MAINDELLE: Golden and Dildine win the Tuff-Man Series championship | outdoor sports

After competing in five regular-season tournaments held at five different reservoirs in Central Texas beginning in September and ending in early January, 72 qualifying teams battled it out for the top prize of $15,000 at the two-day Championship of series.

This championship event took place on January 22-23, with the first day of fishing taking place on Belton Lake and the last day fishing on Stillhouse Hollow Lake. The teams fished approximately eight hours on both days.

The first day’s weather on Belton Lake was the opposite of what anglers generally prefer. Post-frontal conditions included cold temperatures, clear skies and calm winds all day. Shane and Trent Stafford’s team nailed a limit of five fish weighing 13.96 pounds to win on day one.

Trent Stafford had this to say about their win: “We kind of landed on a few fish early in the morning which allowed us to catch a boundary which included our big little mouth and then the bite died for a couple of hours . Once the sun came up and the temperature warmed up a bit, we started catching one every thirty minutes or so, shooting down two or three more times.

The second and third place teams from Belton Lake both came within half a pound behind the leaders. David Netherland and Darrell Newman placed second at 13.86 pounds. Jarrett Dehart and Daryl Leboeuf placed third at 13.65.

On the second day of the tournament, the weather moderated a bit with slightly warmer temperatures, light cloud cover and a bit of a breeze. The water surface temperature was around 52F.

Once again, all of the competing teams went in search of another five fish limit. The weight of the limits of each Belton and Stillhouse team would be added at the end of this second day to determine the winner.

The team of Justin Rogers and David Kipp, who landed a full limit of five fish weighing 10.20 pounds on Belton Lake, added another limit of five fish weighing 17.25 pounds to take third place in the championship with a total weight of 10 fish of 27.45 pounds. . It made $3,500 for Rogers and Kipp.

The team of Keith Honeycutt and Sam Jones, who landed a full five-fish limit on Belton weighing 13.23 to earn them fourth place there, added a full five-fish limit weighing 16.81 pounds to take second place in the championship with a weight of 10 fish. of 30.04 pounds. Honeycutt and Jones won $5,000

The 2021-22 season champions of the Tuff-Man Series were partners Wade Golden and Jason Dildine. The men put a full five-fish limit on the Belton Lake scale that weighed in at 8.99 pounds, putting them in 21st place going into day two.

According to Golden, “At first we had a tough day on Belton, but since we’ve had some recent success on Stillhouse, we knew that if we could have an average day, we would have a chance to make up ground on Stillhouse in grass, so we just lowered the trolling motor and tried to cover as much water as possible. Grass is great for bass fishing in Stillhouse and has been key to our overall success. most of us locked a 4.5, 04 and 03 “The One” Power Tackle in our hands and cut small lures and traps and hit some grass.

The hydrilla-focused tactic worked well for Golden and Dildine. They added another 21.75 pounds to their tally on Stillhouse with a 7.52-pound bigmouth anchoring that limit.

Their combined weight of 30.74 pounds over two days was enough to win the championship and the $15,000 prize that came with it.

Dean Thompson, Tournament Director for the Tuff-Man Series, said the following at the end of the 2021-2022 season: “We have completed another season of the Central Texas Tuff-Man Series.

“It was a pleasure this year to have a board angler run this series like theirs. We raised $105,000 in entry fees and paid out $109,200.00 – a 104% refund.

Thompson continued, “I want to thank all of the anglers who participated in the event. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our volunteers. »

On the horizon of our local bass fishing scene is the March-September Tuesday Night 3X9 Series, which is tentatively scheduled to begin March 15, after which the September-January Tuff-Man Series is scheduled to resume. For more information on either series, contact Dean Thompson at Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle in Killeen at 254-690-3474.

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