(Jun 5, 2017 - New Smyrana Beach, FL)
Kyle Rowe and Ted Pate walked away with a prize package worth $64,000 for winning the championship event of the 2017 Texas Team Trail presented by Cabela's on June 3-4 on Lake Livingston. The anglers' winnings included a fully rigged Ranger Z519C with a 225HP Evinrude G2 outboard and $1,605 of Anglers Advantage cash.
While the bass at Lake Livingston typically congregate in the shallow creek arms, it was the deep bite that made the difference for Rowe and Pate.
"You're generally running and gunning on this lake, hitting a rotation of shallow spots," said Rowe.
A noted offshore angler, Pate located the winning fish with his Lowrance StructureScan about a month ago. While idling, he noticed an influx of bait and stopped to take a closer look.
"I told myself I was going to fish deep and eventually find them," said Pate. "I didn't think I would find them right away. In the first five minutes, I caught two four-pounders and a five-pounder. Then I didn't touch it again until right before the cutoff. I made one cast and caught a three-pounder and that told me all I needed to know."
On day one, Pate and Rowe boxed a five-fish limit of four-pounders by 11 a.m. and decided to let the spot rest. On the final day, the team fished it hard and improved their catch to nearly 25 pounds. At 1:45 on the final day, Rowe boated a 5.5-pounder that erased all doubts.
"I told Ted that I think it's over, but it would be nice if we got one more," said Rowe. "Right after that it, I caught the big one. And he had an even bigger one that broke him off. We could have had over 27 pounds."
The team added 24.85 pounds to their day-one total of 19.65 pounds for an overall weight of 44.50 pounds.
"Anytime you win, it's a great feeling, especially against the caliber that's out here today," said Pate. "This is a special one."
Second-place finishers Adam Dunn and Josh Ware weighed a two-day total of 37.86 pounds to win a Ranger Z518C with 200 horsepower Mercury outboard. The team added $1,177 in Anglers Advantage cash and $655 for the biggest bass of the tournament.
The team led the tournament after bringing in 22.14 pounds on day, which the majority was pulled from a clean cove at the south end of the lake. Day two conditions at the cove provided zero visibility so the anglers had to change tactics.
"It must have been pounded with rain because the current was ripping," said Ware. "We had to get out of there and make an adjustment. It was chocolate milk."
Ware and Dunn spent the final day sitting on one dock with a deep drop that leads to 12 feet at the end.
"We pretty much sat there for almost seven hours," said Ware. "It's a dock that holds quality fish. Almost everything you catch is three pounds or better. That's where we caught the kicker on day one. It's a magic dock man."
Ware used a shaky head with a Zoom Trick worm (watermelon) while Dunn threw a wacky-rigged Senko (red shad laminate).
Jeff Reynolds and Johnny Thompson placed 15th, giving them the coveted Lucas Oil Team of the Year title. The duo finished the year with 1,271 points, just 18 more than Rowe and Pate. Reynolds and Thompson will receive free entry into the 2018 Texas Team Trail events and custom rings courtesy of Lucas Oil.
"To me, winning Team of the Year is more of an accomplishment than winning a tournament because it's harder," said Reynolds. "Not to take away from winning a tournament, but to win Team of the Year you have to be consistent for the whole year."
The remaining Top 10 for the championship are Lurker/Thornton (third), Wendler/Justus (fourth); Wilson/Moore (fifth): Cecil/Castledine (sixth); Curtis/Mueck (seventh); Flowers/Jordan (eighth); McArdle/Bensema (ninth); and Francis/Lackey (tenth).
For additional information, anglers are encouraged to call 210-788-4143 or check out the TXTT website at www.texasteamtrail.com. Site visitors can register for events, review the television schedule, get official Texas Team Trail gear, view results and learn more about what's in store for 2018.
Texas Team Trail events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Cabela's, Ranger Boats, Lucas Oil, RAM, Evinrude, Mercury, Minn Kota, Triton Boats, Power-Pole, Arctic Ice, Stratos Boats, Lowrance, Protect the Harvest, General Tire, SuperClean, Garmin, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, Atlas, G-Juice, Powertex Group.