And, to answer Bob Standiford's question in his last post - it is Bill Constantine and Matt Elliott who takes the first title of the 2013 season and the early lead in the AOY points race.
What a day it was. 19 of 23 teams (82%) caught a limit of fish. This sets a new MRA mark for the highest percentage of teams to catch a limit in a tournament. The tournament also marks the first time we had 5 teams catch more than 20 pounds of fish during a single event. Further, this was the first time the weight of the average fish weighed-in topped the 2 pound mark. The surprising fact was that no real big fish were caught. No doubt the combination of ideal water temperatures and a mostly overcast sky contributed to the great day of fishing.
Now for the details. Bill and Matt not only won the tournament with an 8 fish limit totaling 21.77 pounds but they also won the largemouth lunker award (4.32 pounds) and the smallmouth lunker award (3.72 pounds). The clean sweep of top honors is some way for Bill and Matt to make their return to the MRA tournament trail.
And it was another team making their return to the MRA circuit that picked up the second place prize for the day. It's been a few years since Willie Beall and Don Long last fished with us and it was great to see them immediately pick up a check with their limit of fish weighing 20.53 pounds.
Third place was claimed by the team of Steve Martin and Jason Tison with a total weight of 20.20 pounds. Steve and Jason have emerged as one of the top teams at Liberty reservoir. They always seem to be in the mix.
Last years MRA Tournament of Champions winners Larry Barger and Bill Wilson were in a position to finish in the money once again but a 4 ounce dead fish penalty moved them from third to fifth position with an official weight of 20.01 pounds. The father/son team of Leonard Wisner and Chad Wisner also benefited from that penalty as they were able to move up to fourth place with their 20.14 pound limit of fish.