Bossier City’s LeBrun wins T-H Marine BFL All-American tournament on Cross Lake
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published June 4, 2018
Local boater Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, brought five bass to the scale weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces, to win the 35th annual T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American on Cross Lake with a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass weighing 62-8. LeBrun's weight helped him edge second-place angler and friend Randy Deaver of Blanchard, Louisiana, by 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and earned him $100,000 and a berth into the world championship of bass fishing - the Forrest Wood Cup.
"To win this caliber of tournament right here at home means everything to me, my family, my career and my sponsors," said LeBrun, who earned his third career win in FLW competition. "Fishing in an event like the Forrest Wood Cup is something I've dreamed about since I competed in my first club tournament. I'm truly humbled and blessed."
Lebrun's go-to pattern this week involved fishing cypress trees and duck blinds on the western end of the lake. He focused on trees in various bayous, and relied heavily on a 6th Sense Movement 80X crankbait on a 7-foot Fitzgerald Rods Bryan Thrift cranking rod with 17-pound-test Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon line, as well as a V&M flipping jig with a V&M Flat Wild trailer. LeBrun also used a Spro popping frog to catch a couple of key fish up shallow on Day Two to complete a limit.
"The 80x was my main bait this week and is what produced the majority of my 26-pound limit on Day One," said LeBrun. "It's a deal where it catches 3-plus pound fish, but not a lot of them. Today, I caught four out of the five I weighed in on it."
LeBrun used a methodical approach to picking apart his cover this week, taking advantage of his bait's abilities to lure fish.
"Basically one was a moving bait and one was a pitching bait," said LeBrun. "Whenever I was somewhere I couldn't throw the crankbait, like a certain tree where the limbs were too low or too long, that's when I would pick up the jig as a little insurance. Every time I fished a duck blind, I'd parallel the edges with the 80X, but before I'd leave, I'd pick up the V&M jig to kind of probe and throw up in the blind and in places you have to beg one to bite."
LeBrun's win was especially emotional for him and his family Saturday. Earlier this week, Lebrun shared that he lost his father,
Billy LeBrun, in February, and that he dedicated an 8-pound kicker to him on the water. Today, the Louisiana boater said he experienced another moment that told him it would be a special day.
"When we were at the takeoff ramp, I was pacing around the dock before getting in the boat, and there was some music playing over the loud speakers. A song called "Small Town Southern Man" by Alan Jackson came on, and it's one of the songs my family and I remember my Dad with. It's been tough this year, but when I heard that, I felt like he stepped in the boat with me. It's something that's just hard to explain."
The top 10 boaters on Cross Lake finished:
1st: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 15 bass, 62-8, $100,000
2nd: Randy Deaver, Blanchard, La., 15 bass, 60-5, $20,200
3rd: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., 15 bass, 53-13, $15,100
4th: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 14 bass, 52-7, $14,000