Saturday February 7, 2015 a typical late winter morning on Lake Sam Rayburn, the morning was a chilling 34 degrees, and a little breezy. Temperatures began to rise when the sun got higher, by weigh in it was 68. It turned out to be a great day to be fishing on the lake. The last SETX tournament had 208 teams to fish. There were 376 teams that set out to catch a big sack of fish, with a goal to be crowned champion for their day of fishing. So SETX is still growing, all of these anglers showed such great sportsmanship. John Salamone emcee and Ray Beck weigh master kept a steady flow as the sacks came rolling threw. Thanks to all the workers that helped things running smooth; parking workers, to the check in table, holding tank line, fish handler, to paper work hand off, to the computer info, to the stage. Lots of people make this happen.
Our sponsor contributions are the life line of this huge SETX High School Tournament Series. We couldn’t have become the single largest high school circuit in the world, if not for the donations from all our sponsors; South Texas Ford Dealers, Skeeter Boats, Lew’s (Bob Brown), Costa Del Mar (Roger Bacon), West LTD, Gopher (our HOT seat), STI Group, Jeff Bridges, Academy, Lowrance, Power Pole, Minn Kota, Kickin Bass, Lake Fork baits, Rat-L-Trap, Bass King, Gator Guards, Crystal Heigley w/ Allman Realtors (exact 3.00 lbs bass pot), Farmers Insurance (Terry Ray), these are some of the sponsors.
The National Anthem and weigh-in began. The first to the scales Colton and Dave from Hampshire Fannett they got us started. One by one the teams brought up to the scales their sacks of fish to be weighted. A team from PNG weighted in a 3 fish sack of 10.35 lbs the target weight to beat and set a Big Bass at 7.28 lbs. Six teams later the first limit was brought up to be weighed, from Brookeland the team of Brittney & Jade had 5 fish at 11.10 lbs taking the HOT seat. Two more weighed in and had their eyes on the HOT seat but, not enough to take the lead from Brookeland. A Jasper team came up, and the tables turned.
The team of Hunter Martindale & Chase Webb from Jasper Junior High School, had a very nice 5 fish limit coming in at 25.48 lbs, their Big Bass was 9.41lbs. They were asked if they had anything to say to the ladies from Brookeland , and Chase said, “Get out of our seats”. They took their place in the HOT seats. Sacks of fish came and went there were a few that had the Jasper boys watching the scales real close. A team from Huntington – Brennan Johnson & Jake Knight brought up a limit that weighed 19.86 lbs. Hunter and Chase were watching close, they then sighed with relief. A Kirbyville team weighed a limit 15.75 but not enough to take the lead. The team of Devin Prine & Mason Marie from Buna, brought in a limit containing thick and healthy bass. Once again the Jasper boys were watching the scales as the weight started to rise, and stopped at 17.43 lbs. A 16.01 came in caught by a team from Hampshire Fannett. As, emcee John Salamone always does picking at the leaders in the HOT seat, he told Hunter and Chase he heard there was reported to be another big sack coming to the scales. John had a team come up, and the scales got higher and higher 20 plus lbs. Eyes were getting bigger and bigger, the Jasper boys were nerves. But, it was a joke; it was only a bag of water.
Another Jasper team Ty & Seth Moorhead brought in a limit 15.77 lbs. Hudson team had 14.39lbs. A Kirbyville team brought in a limit 14.82lbs and a Big Bass weighing in at 9.39 lbs. And the countdown began, Scales closed and the Jasper Team of Hunter & Chase where declared the winners.
We were able to talk to the top three finishing teams. Let us see what they told us about their day on the lake.