The Copperas Cove Bass Club finished 10th at the Texas Association of Bass Clubs state tournament Saturday and Sunday on Falcon Lake in Zapata.

The Copperas Cove team consisted of eight anglers: Steve Mallett/Jack Johnson; Randy Fesler/Bob Bingle; Bob George/Ron Hitz; and Wayne McKee/Mike Baumann.

“The teams faced some of the worst fishing conditions I have ever had to experience,” Johnson said. “Northwest of Zapata and Lake Amistad received over 7 inches of rain a day for more than three consecutive days.”

The teams had an opportunity to practice for three days before the tournament.

“On our final day of practice, the team elected to launch at Falcon State Park near the Falcon Dam and explore areas on both the Mexican and United States sides,” Johnson said. “Most of the day each of the teams searched for areas with concentrations of fish that would help the team catch at least four limits of fish.”

Two of the teams explored the Tiger Arms while the other teams explored the Mexican side of the lower lake.

Mallett and Johnson decided to start their search fishing the rip rap along the dam. Within an hour after starting, Johnson had caught a 7.36 pound and a 6.53 pound bass.

Likewise, Mallett had caught four other keeper bass. By the end of the practice day, after talking with all the other teams the group decided to start the tournament on the dam and remain there all day.

On tournament day one, the team launched and moved directly to the Mexican side of the dam. They spaced out their boats to leave little area for other boats due to the 150 feet space rule in place by TABC.

Overnight the lake had rose over 4 feet in depth. This significant rise was immediately noticed by every fisherman and made the bite very difficult. However, team 1 limited out with five fish, one of which was a 7.58 pounder caught by Mallett. Team 3 also limited out but they were all barely keeper fish; Team 2 had three fish, two of which died due to being gut hooked; and team 4 only brought two fish to the scales.

After weigh-in, the Copperas Cove Bass Club Teams were in seventh with a total weight of 32.88 pounds.

On tournament day two, the team elected to return to the dam area again hoping for better luck on the last day. The team arrived and the lake had risen another 6 feet or more, and much of the debris that had been floating down the river had now arrived at the dam.

This significant rise in the water level and the amount of debris was a real challenge for the fishermen. At the end of the tournament day, the team finished with 15.93 pounds, and knew it was going to hurt them in the standings.

After the weigh-in was completed, the Copperas Cove Bass Club ended up in 10th place for the tourney.

If you are interested in bass fishing and the sport, come join the Copperas Cove Bass Club.

For more information contact club President Randy Fesler at 512-525-2847 or Vice President Ron Hitz at 254-383-5983.

Meetings are at 7 p.m. at Lil Tex Restaurant in downtown Copperas Cove, on the first and third Thursday of every month. The club also has a website at

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