Courtesy of Rains Fishing Team Advisor Jeff Lobaugh
Thirty-four high school teams from Kaufman, Forney, Quinlan Ford, Wills Point, Crandall, and our very own Rains Wildcats arrived at Log Cabin Park on Cedar Creek Lake to compete Saturday morning in "Big Bass Bedlam". Old Man Winter reminded us he is still holding on with cold temperatures, brisk winds, and the threat of severe weather during the competition day. The approaching inclement weather inspired the bass to bite along with the performance of our Wildcat Fishing Teams. Rains High School took 1st Place School Honors in bringing home the Team Plaque with three teams in the Top 10 including a first, third, and eighth place finish. In doing so, these three teams set a new High School State combined weight record bringing 50.09 POUNDS of BASS to the scales!!!
The 1st place team of Jackson Case and Chance Cobb, boat captained by JR Case in the Ranger Z520, focused on staging pre-spawn fish in depths of 10-20 feet of water. The team started in a shallow water spawning pocket with no success and made a move to the staging area. Chance Cobb had immediate results catching three quick keepers at the new location. Boat captain, JR Case, noticed Chance was using lighter line in the 10-pound class and advised Jackson, who was using 17-pound line to make a change. That decision was critical as Jackson Case immediately boated the tournament Big Bass weighing 7.10 pounds! The team caught and culled fish the remainder of the day on that same spot throwing a variety of baits including jigs and Texas rigged Zoom lizards and brush hogs. Their final (5) fish limit "Wowed" the crowd tipping the scales at 24.15 Pounds!
The Senior Class duo of Dillon Gossett and Hunter Dickens, boat captained by Dale Gossett in the Nitro Ride, brought an impressive (5) fish limit to the scales weighing 15.10 Pounds taking 3rd place honors. The team focused their fishing efforts on main lake boat docks throwing a chrome colored lipless crankbait. Dillon Gossett commented that the key to the day was covering lots of water and they thanked their boat captain, Dale Gossett, for keeping the trolling motor on high during the day's activities. This team also had the tournament's 2nd Big Bass weighing in at 5.12 Pounds.
Justin Lobaugh and Cody Dodson, boat captained by Jeff Lobaugh in the Ranger 519VX, captured 8th place honors with a very respectable (5) fish limit weighing 10.84 Pounds! With the KCKL Big Bass tournament going on as well, the first two starting locations for this team were covered up with local anglers. We had to make (2) major adjustments during the tournament day commented Cody Dodson. The first was to abandon those areas receiving heavy pressure. The second and more importantly was a slight modification to our bait choice. After fishing for almost three hours without a keeper, Cody got two quick short strikes on the spinnerbait he was throwing. Boat captain, Jeff Lobaugh, recognized the issue and made a change to the spinnerbait blade size and skirt color. On the first cast after the adjustment, Cody Dodson caught the team's first keeper. Justin Lobaugh switched colors as well and within 20-minutes the team had their limit including a 3.11 Pound Big Bass. Justin and Cody wanted to thank Team Sponsors Star-Mart and The Minnow Bucket for carrying the Johnson's Limit Getter Spinnerbaits they used to catch all their fish.
The sophomore tandem of Dilan House and Nick Grell, boat captained by Charlie Floyd in the Blazer Boat, found fewer bites but still managed to get a nice keeper to the scales and grab the 15th place spot weighing 3.68 Pounds. Dilan and Nick used cherry colored lizards and wacky worms by Berkley to catch several additional fish less than the tournament required 14-inches. The team hooked another respectable keeper fish late in the day, but a last second netting "Mishap" saw the fish get away near the boat. Better luck next time guys.
The Junior Class combo of Grant Russell and Thomas Aguilar, boat captained by Coach David Bass in the Triton T-17 Ride, saw their first tournament action of the season this weekend at Cedar Creek. Coach Bass reported the team catching many smaller than keeper sized fish during the tournament day. They also hooked (3) different fish in the 4-6 pound class, but were unsuccessful in getting them in the boat. Coach Bass described his team as experiencing "Tournament Fever" in their first event of the year. He later commented that with this tournament behind them, they should be able to settle down and perform up to their potential in the coming weeks. Coach Bass wanted to thank team sponsor Lake Fork Trophy Lures for the swim baits and ring frys that got them their bites during the fishing day.
Finally, the Freshman duo of Rhett Rabenaldt and Trey Rogers, boat captained by Brad Cobb in the Ebbtide Dynatrak, also competed in their first tournament of the Wildcat season. This was a new lake for all three, but they performed with class and represented our school and community with great pride. Rhett Rabenaldt reported catching (2) smaller than keeper fish during the tournament day on lizards and wacky worms. Rhett also had a keeper fish on early in the day while fishing a lizard, however the fish swam towards him after the hook set and pulled off before the team could get her in the boat.