Fishing & Boating News

Hanselman Wins Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division Opener on Lake Amistad

Carrillo wins co-angler title

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Pro Angler Ray Hanselman
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 15, 2015 - DEL RIO, Texas)  Local angler Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Lake Amistad presented by Frabill with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Hanselman earned $33,300.
 
"I've been close, but I've never won at this level," said Hanselman, who earned his first career victory after fishing FLW-sanctioned tournaments since 2002. "It feels great to finally come out on top."
 
Hanselman overcame the tough fishing conditions on Lake Amistad by focusing on two different areas. On day one he fished the river drain mouths and grass near the main lake. He caught a couple of keepers on a Wahoo Lures Wing Ding, a deep-diving crankbait and an umbrella rig rigged with clear-colored Strike King Shadalicious swimbaits.
 
Looking for more action, Hanselman made a bold move by heading 50 miles up the Rio Grande to a spring running off of a canyon, a favorite spot of his.
 
"I caught three of my biggest fish up there using a Top Shelf Magnum Deep Runner swimbait," said Hanselman. "I just slow rolled it over some boulders and found some large females that thrive in the warmer water."
 
The Rio Grande spring proved to be the hot spot as Hanselman followed a similar pattern on day two.
 
"Warmer weather had moved in Thursday night and the sun was out, so I knew the fish would be actively swimming up that river," said Hanselman. "I caught seven keepers at the spring with the swimbait, and a Texas-rigged green pumpkin-colored Strike King Baby Rage Craw."
 
Moving into the final day of competition, Hanselman decided to stick to his original pattern, fishing the grass near the drain mouths throwing the Wing Ding. He caught three keepers before running up the Rio Grande one final time to catch a 6-pound beast on a Texas-rigged green pumpkin-colored Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw.
 
"Many of the fish on Lake Amistad are in the 80 to 100 foot depths right now," Hanselman continued. "I was lucky enough to find suspended prespawn fish in the grass near the drains. Once they sit in the grass, they don't move. Luckily the spring up the river helped me cap off my stringers."
 
The top 10 pros on Lake Amistad were:
 
        1st:                   Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 50-14, $33,300
        2nd:                  Brian Ankrum, Natalia, Texas, 12 bass, 45-6, $12,904
        3rd:                  Denny Brauer, Del Rio, Texas, 14 bass, 43-0, $9,990
        4th:                   Brendan Kennell, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 39-12, $8,325
        5th:                   Russell Cecil, Willis, Texas, 13 bass, 38-4, $7,492
        6th:                   Wade Hudgens, Longview, Texas, 14 bass, 37-5, $6,660
        7th:                   Stephen Johnston, Hemphill, Texas, 14 bass, 36-7, $5,827
        8th:                   Joe Don Setina, Pittsburg, Texas, 10 bass, 30-6, $4,995
        9th:                   Gene Eisenmann, Frisco, Texas, 10 bass, 27-4, $4,162
        10th:                 Albert Collins, Nacogdoches, Texas, eight bass, 24-15, $3,330

 
Brauer caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division Thursday - a fish weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him the day's Big Bass award of $224.
 
Ricardo Carrillo of Laredo, Texas, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117 with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor, with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 23 pounds, 13 ounces.  
 
 The top 10 co-anglers on Lake Amistad were:
 
        1st:                   Ricardo Carrillo, Laredo, Texas, 11 bass, 23-13, Ranger Z117 with a 90 HP outboard motor
        2nd:                  Gilbert Miller, Midlothian, Texas, seven bass, 20-9, $4,200
        3rd:                  Dan Wilson, Pilot Point, Texas, eight bass, 19-14, $3,360
        4th:                   Justin Hallmark, Bertram, Texas, eight bass , 17-8, $2,940
        5th:                   Buck Hux, New Braunfels, Texas, eight bass, 17-4, $2,520
        6th:                   Michael Huckman, Magnolia, Texas, eight bass, 17-0, $2,100
        7th:                   Russell Lohman, Alexandria, La., eight bass, 16-6, $1,680
        8th:                   Mark Mowery, Longview, Texas, seven bass, 16-3, $1,470
        9th:                   Anthony Ferdinando, Spicewood, Texas, seven bass, 15-12, $1,260
        10th:                 Chase Hux, New Braunfels, Texas, six bass, 13-1, $1,050
 
Miller caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division Friday - a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass - that earned him the day's Big Bass award of $149.
 
The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the no-entry-fee Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 29-31 on the Ohio River in Paducah, Kentucky.
 
The Rayovac FLW Series on Lake Amistad presented by Frabill was hosted by the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce. It was the first Texas Division tournament of 2015. The next Rayovac FLW Series tournament will be Southeast Division event, held March 19-21, on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.

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