40-pound bag anchors Texas Team Trail win at Sam Rayburn
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published June 7, 2018
Clayton Boulware, of Zavalla, Texas, and Albert Collins, of Nacogdoches, Texas, walked away with a prize package worth $44,485 for winning the championship event of the 2018 Texas Team Trail presented by Cabela's on June 5-6 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The anglers' winnings included a fully rigged Nitro Z20 with a 225-horsepower Mercury outboard and $1,890 of Anglers Advantage cash.
The team started strong with an impressive first day where the anglers boated 40.28 pounds, giving them a hefty 13-pound lead going into the final day of the championship.
"Two years ago, Albert and I won a tournament with 32, but this was, by far, our best day of competition ever," Boulware said.
As Boulware explains, he and Collins fished the same general scenarios both days: main lake structure from mid-lake to the northern arm; essentially from the 147 area, north. Working from 11-12 feet, they only needed two spots to produce their monster bag."
"Honestly, the two spots we caught them off of are just mine and Albert's knowledge of the lake," Boulware said. "I had a starting spot that I hadn't made a cast on and I went across it the first day of practice with my Humminbird before dead water and they were stacked.
"I went across it the second day of practice and they were more isolated on stumps. There were seven to eight stumps on this spot and there was a big fish by every stump. We pulled in there on day one within about 20 minutes, we had 20 pounds, with one of them being one of our 9-pounders."
With a big start to their day, Boulware and Collins pulled up to their second spot and it was fireworks again. The fish were positioned right and these big fish had the feed bag on.
"It was just unbelievable," Boulware said. "We caught enough to finish out a limit really quick and on back-to-back casts, I caught an 8-plus-pounder and then Albert caught one 8 to 8 1/2. We were joking that we had a 5-pounder we needed to cull. In just a few minutes, we culled it with a 5 1/2-pounder. We looked at the clock and it was before 9 o'clock and we looked at one another and said 'Well, what do we do now?'"
Both days, the winners caught their fish on a trio of worms - a 12-inch Mister Twister Buzz Tail worm, a 10 1/2-inch Mister Twister Hang 10 worm and an 8-inch Big Bite Baits Kriet Tail Worm. They Texas rigged their baits with 5/0 Owner worm hooks, 1/2-ounce Elite Tungsten sinkers. Collins said they used darker colors in the morning hours and brighter colors like their favored cranapple during the brighter periods.
"It was just a special weekend; that's the only way you can put it," said Collins. "The stars aligned. You don't typically go out thinking you're going to catch a 40-pound sack. We went into this tournament thinking we were going to have in the mid-20s both days and have a shot at the top three. Saturday was just one of those days you dream about."
Second-place finishers Kris Wilson, of Montgomery, Texas, and Harold Moore, of Caldwell, Texas, weighed a two-day total of 56.13 pounds to win a Ranger Z518 with a 150-horsepower Mercury outboard.
Wilson said they caught their fish on two main patterns - main lake hard bottom drops and shallow brush piles. They hit approximately 30 spots between the two days and picked quality fish off a handful of particular locations.
"It's really random where you can catch a big one right now, so we just hit as many spots as we could," Wilson said. "We caught big fish off completely different spots each day."
The team added $1,386 in Anglers Advantage cash along with $745 for the Big Bass Award for the 9.80-pound kicker.
TJ Goodwyn and Philip Crelia, both of Center, Texas, weighed a total of 47.90 pounds to take third place and $3,495 in winnings.
Crelia and Goodwyn spent most of their tournament in Rayburn's upper end and targeted a variety of spots in 2-25 feet. They caught a 7-pounder on day one with a frog thrown over pepper grass and then bounced around from shallow to deep as they worked uplake.
They also caught weight fish on a Carolina-rigged Zoom Brush Hog and a Strike King flipping jig with a Rage Craw trailer. Crelia noted that his team boated a 5-pounder on two about 20 feet from where they caught the 7 on day one.
"Later on, we hit a deep brush pile where I caught a 6 the first day and T.J. caught a 7 on it the second day," Crelia said.
The remaining Top 10 are Flournoy/Chumley (fourth); Latta/Lowrance (fifth): Yowell/Schott (sixth); Kelm/Jones (seventh); Loving/White (eighth); Adams/Naomi (ninth); and Mansfield/jones (tenth).
For additional information, anglers are encouraged to call 210-788-4143 or check out the TXTT website at www.texasteamtrail.com.