Ragusa Defends Bayou Title

Lucas Ragusa

Repeating his 2011 victory in the same place, Lucas Ragusa won an ABA Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Louisiana Division 13 tournament on Bayou Black this past weekend.

Running out of Bob's Bayou Black Marina near Gibson to fish the lower Atchafalaya Basin, the 34-year-old Gonzales angler caught five bass weighing 16.21 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.02-pounder to take home $2,347.23 as the Boater Division winner.

?Everything went the way I needed it to go,? Ragusa said. ?We?d throw a 1/4-ounce white Humdinger spinnerbait. If we got a bump, we threw back in there with a black neon beaver. We found some isolated patches of hydrilla and hyacinths and punched through to catch my biggest fish. I caught about 25 fish with 10 keepers and culled twice. I missed two 4-pounders.?

Almost exactly a year ago, on April 30, 2011, Ragusa won here with five bass weighing 13.53 pounds. In that 2011 BWS event, he also took Boater Division big bass honors with a 4.77-pounder.

In second for the boaters in the 2012 event, William ?Billy? J. Billea, 51, of Lafayette landed a five-bass tournament limit for 15.65 pounds. Catching a total of 25 bass, he went home with a check for $1,174.10. Billea also placed second in the Jan. 28, 2012, BWS tournament on the Atchafalaya Basin with 13.92 pounds.

?I?ve been fishing this area for years and the water was perfect for my spot,? Billea explained. ?The fish were there, but we had tremendous amounts of company there. I stayed in one little spot about 40 yards long and had it all to myself. I milked it for all it was worth. The fish were on the outside of the cypress trees and they wanted junebug brush hogs or black and red jigs. I had to fish very slowly and methodically. I let the brush hog sit o the bottom for about 30 seconds.?

Mike Carter, 59, of Zachary took third for the boaters with five bass and 14.27 pounds. He anchored his bag with a 4.58-pounder, cashing a check for $782.41

?The wind was blowing out of the south and right into our canal,? Carter said. ?It was forcing the shad up against the bank. We threw frogs and senkos in the back of the canal. Along the bank, we threw soft plastics. The key was to slow the brush hog down. I caught about 10 fish, but only five keepers and missed a couple big ones that might have put me in first place.?

Bojack Anderson of Prairieville landed in fourth place with five bass at 14.09 pounds, followed by Zack Gagnard of Pineville with five bass going 12.81 pounds including a 3.40-pound kicker. Glynn Reid of Baton Rouge led the lunker list with a 5.61-pounder.

Ed Young Jr.

In the Co-Angler Division, Ed Young Jr., 55, of Walker topped the pack from the back with three bass weighing 7.78 pounds. He pocketed a check for $1,197.11.

?I caught my first two bass on a white Humdinger spinnerbait with red blades,? Young revealed. ?I caught the third one by punching through the hyacinths with a beaver. I only caught three keepers, but probably caught about 10 fish in all.?

Travis Kelehan of Broussard brought in a division limit of three keepers for 7.47 pounds, followed by Michael D. Greer Jr. of Deridder with two bass and 6.35 pounds including a 3.23-pound kicker. In fourth for the co-anglers, John Kerr of Denham Springs landed a limit weighing 5.86 pounds with one 2.33-pounder. Tate Orgeron of Houma caught three bass for 5.71 pounds. Jeff ?Zip? P. Mayer of Gonzales placed sixth with two bass going 5.71 pounds, but his one 3.69-pounder took division big bass honors.

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