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With 53.24 lbs, North Carolina East Team Claims Victory at the 2008-09 $70,000.00 Fishers Of Men Red River National Championship

By: Frank Evans

(Mar. 28, 2009 – Shreveport/Bossier City, LA)...Unique to this year’s national championship is that twenty-four separate Fishers Of Men Divisions are represented in the final day of competition by the twenty-eight teams who had made Friday’s top twenty percent cut for the grand finale on Saturday.

As anglers left Red River South Marina this morning and throughout the entire day, they braved brutally cold 20 to 30 mph winds that whipped the river into a muddy froth that included white-capping waves in the main channel. Teams had a difficult time trying to find clear water areas that provided some shelter from the Artic blast. Temperatures had plunged from Friday’s balmy high sixties into the low thirties by daybreak.

North Carolina East anglers, Mike Poston and Kevin Jones made good on their Friday afternoon prediction by accumulating a 17.46 lbs winning limit of bass from the same area of the river they had worked for all three days. In a football field sized area, the highly skilled anglers took a three-day total of 53.24 lbs of fish. Mike and Kevin pitched Chigger Craws® and worked small Lucky Craft® crankbaits in rocky areas of five feet or less water.

For their diligent efforts Kevin and Mike earned: the title of 2008-09 Fishers Of Men National Champions, a brand new $45,000.00 Red/Silver Triton TR-20X3, powered by the infamous 225 hp Mercury Optimax, Lowrance Electronics, and MotoGuide trolling motor, a $2000.00 bonus check presented by Gordy Ringberg of Markel Insurance Company, first place plaques, and Bonus Bucks.

Shane Wilson and Chuck Gardner earned more than $10,000.00 and a second place finish with 46.86 lbs. In their first year of competing with the Fishers Of Men, the Kansas Division teammates final day’s limit weighed 17.51 lbs and included a 5.56 lbs kicker fish. Chuck and Shane stayed in Pool 5; however, they fished upstream to get away from crowds. For three days, Shane and Chuck worked two cuts on the east side of the river with fish stationed in the back ends near the dike. They flipped jigs tipped with Baby Brush Hogs®, Blk/Blu beaver type baits and tossed white tandem bladed spinnerbaits around the cover in the back end shallows.

Earning $7000.00, Bonus Bucks, and a third place finish, Louisiana North-Central anglers, Martin Elshout and Mark Price, finished the championship event with 43.95 lbs. Martin and Mark made the nearly 2-hour trip to the “Jungle” each day and fished with Speed Craws® and fluke-type jerk baits on Thursday and Friday. However, by the time they found clearer water on Saturday, the bass responded to watermelon-colored Senkos®. The teammates reported taking about 10 fish from 11:00am to 2;00 pm.

Moving up from Day-two’s 13th slot and capturing 4th place, Phillip and Adam Starks brought in an additional 16.04 lbs today for a tournament total of 43.06 lbs. By drop-shotting a hand-poured Roboworm in Aaron’s Magic color and on six-pound line, Adam caught his 6.08 lbs Day-3 ($500.00) 1st Big Fish from a log in shallow water, just five minutes before checkin.

During tournament fishing, Phillip and Adam worked watermelon/red Brush Hogs® and Paca Craws® at Bo-Bo Hole and McDade on Day-1. Days two and three the talented fishermen used Eakins jigs and watermelon Zoom® lizards before landing the big one.

Rounding out the top five, defending National Champions, Mike Devere and Jarrod Hembree (Kentucky South-Central) also placed forth in a 43.06 lbs tie. Jarred and Mike fished downriver in Pool 5 with Blk/Blu Cumberland Pro Jigs, worms, and flukes. Jarrod’s 5.75 lbs brute ($250.00 2nd Big Fish) couldn’t resist the topwater bait tossed onto the wood-strewn shallows.

We want to thank Mary Ann Tice and her assistant, Shannon, from the Shreveport/Bossier City Regional Sports Authority for hosting the event. Also we want to thank the East South Baptist Church for providing our meal, the people at Bossier Civic Center, Barbara Horton from Red River South Marina and finally, Gordon Ringberg, production underwriter for Markel American Insurance Company who awarded a $2000.00 bonus to our new champions.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine companies that make Fishers of Men possible; Triton Boats, Mercury, Strike King Lure Company, Outdoors, All Star Rods, Solar Bat, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Keel shield, Marshall’s Marine Lake City SC, Kistler, Jones Chevrolet, All-Terrain Tackle, Dual Pro Charger, XTools, Lowrance, Buckeye Lures, Stanley Jigs, Castrol, Deka marine Master Batteries, Spike-It, Jacobs Glass, Motorguide, Hooah Energy Bars & Drinks, Hot Rods Marine Care Products, SOSPENDERS, River Bottom Lures, Shakespeare, Diamond Cut Jeans, T&H Marine BASS Rx, and Keep Alive.