BROOKELAND, Texas — Two two-man teams celebrated the Louisiana Bass Anglers first-ever outing to Lake Sam Rayburn in a BIG way Sept. 17-18.

Travis Kelehan of Many, formerly of Broussard, and Tim Curry of New Iberia had a big, big bag of five bass weighing a whopping 23.91 pounds to win Day 1 of the two-day tournament Sept. 17 on the lake in eastern Texas. That 4-plus pound average featured a 5.79-pounder.

A really, really big bass hit the scale the next day, a Saturday, when Franklin native Levi Louviere of Youngsville and Seth Comeaux of Broussard, formerly of Franklin, checked in for the weigh-in at Mill Creek Park Boat Ramp. Louviere’s new personal best 8.12-pound bass anchored their 15.36-pound limit that easily won Day 2.

Louviere, co-owner of Kajun Boss Outdoors, an artificial lure manufacturing business, recalls the sequence of spine-tingling events that led up to boating his PB. It was around lunch time, he said, when the “hawg” decided to eat while he and his buddy were fishing shallow buckbrush around small islands and humps on the main lake near Jackson Hill.

The 37-year-old surveyor for T. Baker Smith was throwing one of his black/blue Kajun Boss Swim Jigs with a sapphire/blue Cajun Lures LLC Crackin’ Craw added as a soft plastic trailer.

“We get to the fishin’ spot and we’re fishing back in the bushes. All the fish happened to be biting way behind stuff. Oh, man, they was in there! Then you’d just have to get them out of there. I lost three good ones, maybe 4- to 5-pounders. I had them all hooked and couldn’t get them out of the bushes,” Louviere said.

“When I hooked that one all hell broke loose in the bushes -- sticks flying, water flying. That big one almost jumped out of the water. I thought, ‘Holy crap!’ It ended up being a very good one.”

As soon as Comeaux heard the commotion behind him he went for the landing net. After clearing the bushes, Louviere got it quickly to the boat and his tournament partner scooped the 8-pounder.

Happiness ensued.

“We started yelling like a bunch of little girls in the boat. We were damned near hugging,” Louviere said.

“That fish was in 2-foot of water. Nobody would have thought you’d catch bass like that in 2-foot of water.”

They spent the morning catching 2- to 2 ½-pound bass that were schooling and smashing big Zara Spooks. They got their limit easily but knew they’d have to upgrade.

“That was real fun. That was the first time I was able to use those big ones (Zara Spooks),” Louviere said.

His previous personal best was a 6.5-pounder he caught this spring in a bass club tournament at Lake Fausse Pointe. He was proud the biggest bass of his life so far was caught “on all local baits.”

Dicky Fitzgerald of Charenton and Bubbie Lopez of Centerville finished second the second day with a limit weighing 15.36 pounds.

Kelehan, who moved to Many five months ago from Broussard, and Curry finished third that day with 13.49 pounds. But they wowed the crowd the first day when their five bass hit the scale.

“I thought we had 21, 22 pounds. I didn’t know we had almost 24 pounds,” Kelehan said about the 23.91-pound limit.

“I had a pattern going. I figured out a deal. It was fishing muddy, shallow water in the Buck Bay area,” he said, noting they had cloud cover and the water temperature, as well as the lake level, was dropping.

“I knew the deep bite would be dying. I found multiple areas with 4-pound fish in them,” he said.

Kelehan, who won the Co-Angler side of a Bassmaster Open in 2016 at Lake Seminole in Georgia, and Curry used black Spro Bronzeye Poppin’ Frogs.

“They were tight to the wood, so you’d have to skip the frog to the base of a tree, or around wood, and walk it in place. They couldn’t stand it above them. We were fishing in 2-foot of water. The trolling motor was kicking up mud,” he said.

Curry boated 3-pound class bass that filled the livewell. Kelehan culled them with 4- and 5-plus pound bass, he said.

Rustin Walmsley and Matt Hebert’s five-fish limit the first day weighed 15.31 pounds, good enough for second place. Louis Daigle and James Fredieu were third with 12.29 pounds.

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