LOREAUVILLE — The 16-year-old gung-ho bass angler lost his concentration for a few seconds Wednesday after flipping a soft plastic into a patch of grass and lily pads in front of the trolling motor in Sandy Cove.
When Gavin Savoy of Catahoula refocused, he saw his line moving away from the patch of grass and he set the hook, hard, on what would be the biggest bass of a rainy night for the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series on Lake Fausse Pointe out of Marsh Field Boat Landing. It didn’t come in easy but it eventually was deposited in the livewell of Brad Romero’s 24-foot long Bullet with a Mercury 225-h.p. ProMax.
That 5.21-pound bass anchored their three-fish limit weighing 10.08 pounds that blew away a 25-boat field that fished the sixth WN Hawg Fights BTS contest of 2019 despite the rain that started falling just as the boats were leaving at 5:30 p.m. A torrential downpour greeted the boats as they returned for the weigh-in at 8:15 p.m.
Savoy, one of the four youngest bass anglers in the field, and Romero, who has the hottest hand among Hawg Fighters, missed the torrential downpour part. After the teenager, a catcher for St. Martinville Senior High, got that big bass in the boat, Romero said, “Look, Gavin, we’ve got 10 ½ pounds. I don’t want to fish any more. I want to go to the landing.”
They stowed their fishing tackle and left the crowded area they were fishing around 7 p.m., Romero said after winning his second straight WN Hawg Fights BTS event since topping the field May 23 in Franklin. It was his third straight tournament win overall because he also captured first place in a Louisiana Bass Cats tournament on May 18 out of Franklin.
“Win or lose, it don’t bother me. But I’m taking it seriously this year,” he said following his latest triumph on the water, one worth $500 for first place and $250 for big bass.
Romero, a 24-year-old marine technician at Palfinger Marine USA, said he was proud of his young partner who came through in the clutch. They had three keeper bass in the livewell at the time, he said, “two nices ones and a dink.”
“He’s a good fisher,” he said about Savoy, noting the teen was willing to cast something different, unlike some bass anglers.
“I need somebody that‘s going to throw something a little different. I was catching decent fish with a different plastic,” he said.
“We caught a lot but that big one came from almost under the boat. We almost ran over it with the trolling motor.”
Savoy said, “I was actually flipping a little black creature bait, Texas-rigged.”
When the “hawg” bit, he said, “I couldn’t do anything with it. I finally got it out of the lily pads and it ended up breaking the handle on the landing net in half. We were lucky on that one.”
He explained the net was small and the big bass started shaking violently before it was put in the boat.
Savoy became the youngest winner on the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series.
Two 12-year-olds, twins Ben Romero and Luke Romero, became the youngest to cash in on the circuit last year when they finished second and won $216 with three bass weighing 7.30 pounds in a WN Hawg Fights BTS tournament out of Franklin. The Romeros, now 13, fish with their father, Peter Romero of Coteau, who drives the boat.
While the young guns were winning on a rainy evening this past Wednesday, two accomplished veterans cashed in for the first time this year with an impressive showing at the scale manned by weighmaster Mike O’Brien of New Iberia. Carroll Delahoussaye, who is on the mend from knee replacement surgery on both legs in the spring, and Danny Bulliard, both of St. Martinville, reeled in a strong second-place finish with three bass weighing 7.76 pounds to win $300.
St. Martin Parish bass anglers Gregory Bourque and Randy Durand finished third in the latest outing with three bass weighing 6.77 pounds worth $200.
Throughout his red-hot run on the local bass tournament trails, Romero has been fishing the same area of Lake Fausse Pointe. It’s no secret where he’s mastering the bass in Sandy Cove.
Wednesday evening, despite the outcome, was “pretty tough,” he said. Although he knew where some bigger bass were located — he caught a 4 ½-pounder and other nice-sized bass while prefishing Monday — they had moved about 60 yards when he arrived first at the hotspot on Wednesday.
The overcast sky and rain made it appealing to throw topwaters, Savoy said, but they got no takers for the first 15 minutes. They switched to soft plastics and began getting bit when they relocated the bass.
“I was trying to get our fish before the wind kicked up bad. At 7, we had our fish,” Romero said.
The next WN Hawg Fights BTS tournament is scheduled to be held June 19 at Lake Fausse Pointe out of Marsh Field Boat Landing. Entry fee is $60 per boat, which must be paid before 1 p.m. the day of the tournament at Cajun Guns & Tackle in New Iberia.
To qualify for the 2019 WN Hawg Fights BTS Classic, anglers must fish six of the 11 regular-season tournaments.