Charlie Gantenbein and Cody Randolph teamed up to take first place in the Skeeter Bass Champs Tournament at LBJ Lake in Austin on Saturday.
The two split a first-place prize of $25,500.
“I’ll pay some bills with my half,” said Gantenbein, 29, of Temple.
“I’ll try to put away a little for savings,” said Randolph, 27, of Belton. “But I imagine most will go right back into fishing.”
Saturday’s event was the first time Gantenbein and Randoph fished together in a Bass Champs tournament.
“I imagine we’ll be fishing a long time together from here on in,” said Randolph with a chuckle.
The duo’s three fish weighed a combined 20.36 pounds.
Around 9:30 a.m., Randolph reeled in an 11-pounder.
“Once I hooked her, she came up three times,” Randolph said. “This fish was something else. As soon as we saw her, there were tense moments until we had her in the boat. It took about five minutes to reel her in.”
Three hours later, the duo made a strategic move that paid off.
“The wind had started changing directions on us,” Gantenbein said. “We knew we had to make a drastic move. So we made that move, and soon after that, I stuck two. One was about 5½ pounds and the other was about 3½ pounds.”
The key to their win, Gantenbein said, was knowledge of the lake.
“We had put in about 60 hours of pre-fishing before the tournament, so we knew where the fish would hold,” he said. “It was a lot of time spent practicing but it was worth it. Winning this tournament was great.”