Fishing & Boating News

Faircloth And Moynagh Knotted Atop TTBC Leaderboard

Toyota Texas Bass Classic Day One Tournament Recap

by: Mallory Beck,

Photo by Mallory Beck
Photo by Mallory Beck
(Sep. 28, 2012 - Lake Conroe, TX) After practice for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe, many of the competitors predicted that while Lake Conroe's largemouth were cooperating to some extent, the day one weights would bear little resemblance to the record setting limits that captured the headlines at the 2011 TTBC. Those predictions proved to be correct, as it took less than 20 pounds on Friday to claim a spot atop the TTBC leaderboard. Texas' Todd Faircloth and Minnesota's Jim Moynagh led the charge, each boating a 17 pound limit to tie for the day one lead. Faircloth, an Elite Series pro, and Moynagh, an FLW Tour pro, spent the majority of the 2012 season battling for the Angler Of the Year title on their respective tours, and both anglers eventually finished the season in 4th place in AOY standings. Bryan Thrift finished the day in 3rd place with a limit weighing 16 pounds, 12 ounces. While both Faircloth and Moynagh relied on consistent quality to climb he leaderboard, Thrift's catch was anchored by a 6.22 pound kicker largemouth that came early on Friday morning. 4th place belonged to Keith Combs, the defending TTBC champion. With a limit weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces, the Texas pro would have been vying for the lead had it not been for a missed opportunity with a largemouth that he estimated at 5 pounds. ATX Wheels Big Bass went to Brandon Card, who lit up the Fishound Live Scoring early on Friday with a 7.51 pound largemouth. [b]COMBS IN THE HUNT[/b] After winning the 2011 TTBC in sudden-death overtime, Texas' Keith Combs wasn't shy about expressing his desire to become the first angler to successfully defend his TTBC title this year on Lake Conroe. While his 15 pound, 12 ounce effort on Friday was a far cry from the shocking 28 pound, 8 ounce limit that he amassed during the first round of TTBC competition in 2011, it was enough to finish the day in 4th place, well within striking distance of the tournament leaders. "I wasn't sandbagging when I said that my practice was tough," explained Combs. "The thing was that I didn't go to a lot of my best stuff in practice. When I went to those spots today, I found that nothing much had changed and the fish are still there just like they were last year." Combs, who lost one quality fish that would have boosted his limit on Friday, said that bite was anything but aggressive. "They just weren't eating the bait. The bait would pop out of the bass' mouth almost every time that I swung one in the boat. Tomorrow could be a day when we absolutely smash'em," continued Combs. "We haven't had any weather in this part of the country in a long time, so it could be just what the big ones have been waiting for." [b]Leaderboard[/b] T1 Jim Moynagh 17 lbs. T1 Todd Faircloth 17 lbs. 3. Bryan Thrift 16 lbs 12oz. 4. Keith Combs 15 lbs 12 oz. 5. Clifford Pirch 14lbs 8 oz. 5. Chris Baumgardner 14 8oz. (Complete Leaderboard Attached) [b]ATX Big Bass Award[/b] 1. Brandon Card - 7.51 lbs. 2. Bryan Thrift - 6.22 lbs. 3. David Dudley - 5.34 lbs. [b]Houston Rockets Coach McHale Available to Media[/b] Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale will make an appearance at the tournament judging brisket in the first annual BBQ Cook-Off, where over 50 teams will be competing on Saturday. [b]BBQ Cook-Off Championship[/b] On Saturday, we'll award $8,000 in prize money for Brisket, Ribs, Chicken and the People's Choice awards where spectators determine the champion. Rockets coach Kevin McHale will be a celebrity judge and available for interviews at 4:15 [b]SATURDAY, SEPT. 29 Second Round[/b] (50 anglers) 8:00 a.m. - Boat Launch Waterpoint Plaza on Lake Conroe 15256 Highway 105W (between County Line BBQ and SAM'S Boat) Free and Open to the Public 12:00 p.m. - Event Gates Open (Ticket Required) Lone Star Convention & Expo Center Sponsor Expo & Reliant Energy Outdoor Adventures Area open 3:00 p.m. People's Choice Award, public BBQ tasting and judging (limited quantity) Lone Star Convention & Expo Center Houston Rockets Coach McHale to Guest Judge Live concert with Southern Slang Houston Rockets Coach McHale available to media 4:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Angler Weigh-in and Live Concert headlining Gary Allan Lone Star Convention & Expo Center Field cut to final 10 anglers [b]SUNDAY, SEPT. 30[/b] Final Round (10 anglers) 8:00 a.m. Boat Launch Waterpoint Plaza on Lake Conroe 15256 Highway 105W (between County Line BBQ and SAM'S Boat) Free and Open to the Public 12:00 p.m. Event Gates Open (Ticket Required) Lone Star Convention & Expo Center Sponsor Expo & Reliant Energy Outdoor Adventures Area open 4:00 p.m. Angler Weigh-in & Awards Ceremony, Live Concert headlining Jake Owen Lone Star Convention & Expo Center