In advance of the tournament, many were betting the tournament would be won on the northern end of Lake Palestine.
To a degree they were correct, but Lynda’s bites did not come from long runs through the mazes to places like Kickapoo! Her bite came on the northern portion of the main lake on her favorite bait…The Frog! Anyone who knows Lynda Gessner knows she loves to frog fish!
With only a few days of practice available before the event, Lynda was like so many, a bit frustrated and then something magical happened. Her frog bite turned on! With that Lynda Gessner took command of the Lady Bass Classic and on Day 1 when she caught a limit that weighed nearly 20 pounds from Lake Palestine in Texas. Her bag size slowly dwindled and on the final day she could only muster three fish weighing 3.53 lbs. It was enough to bring her final three day total to 35.38 pounds.
Melinda Hays, who had limited practice time, started slow and built up steam and brought her biggest bag of the event to the scales on the final day. Her hope was to come from behind and take the crown. Her final day bag of 11.02 lbs had her atop the leader board with a total of 32.35 lbs. It fell just short in the end with a margin was just over three pounds. The 2016 Lady Bass Classic Champion and Texas native, Cheryl Bowden capped a good year with a 3rd place showing. She totaled 29.14 pounds of bass. Cheryl was followed in 4th place by Martha Goodfellow of South Carolina who also brought the Joey Ridgle Septic Pro Big Bass of the tournament to the scales on day two. The big bass topped the scales at 9.85 lbs. Pam Ridgle of Murchison, Texas rounded out the top five bringing a total of 28.31 lbs to the scales.
In the co-angler division, Arkansas Cindy Adler was able to win the division with a total of 23.13 lbs after overcoming a strong day one start by 2017 Co-Angler of the Year Alisa Johnson of Texas. Alisa’s day one weight of 14.38 lbs set her up for a great start. Be reminded that co-anglers have a 3-fish limit so that tends to make things very competitive. The biggest difference was Adler being able to bring in her three fish limit each day of the tournament! Alisa Johnson finished with a solid 19.85 lb bag to earn her a second place finish. Alabama’s Christian Baxter came in third with 18.01 lbs and also brought the Joey Ridgle Septic Co-Angler Big Bass to the stage with a weight of 6.81 lbs. She was followed by Noella McLaurin with 17.20 lbs and DeAnna Lovvorn rounding out the top five with 16.02 lbs.
The LBAA is blessed to have outstanding Weigh Trailer Sponsors: Rayjus Outdoors, Donley’s Marine, Hi-Tech Outdoors, Lauren’s Legacy, Kick ‘n Bass Attractants, Rod Armorz, Picky Vicki’s, Clay Maxey Ford, Flat Out Tungsten, and Bass Addiction.
Local event sponsors are so important to each event. Special thanks go out to the following for making the Lake Palestine event such an amazing experience! Lake Palestine Resort, Joey Ridgle Septic Service Inc., Prime Lending, Hall Buick GMC, Clearstream Wastewater Systems, Inc. 1st State Bank of Brownsboro, Tommy Williams Drywall, Tyler Products Sales, Inc. Nautical Mile Marine, and Classic Tyler Motors.