Romero, LeBlanc have winning limit

Brad Romero, left, and Kyle LeBlanc smile as they hold the three redfish that won the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series tournament out of Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Landing in Franklin. Their biggest bass weighed 4.70 pounds. the big bass of the tournament.

FRANKLIN — It took a while but Brad Romero is breaking in his new boat, one he got about a month ago, in winning fashion.

After winning a Louisiana Bass Cats bass club tournament on May 19 while fishing with Ronnie Dressel of Loreauville, Romero went out three days later and won the Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series. The New Iberian’s 24-foot long Bullet, powered by a 225-h.p. Mercury ProMax, made the long run to Sandy Cove in Lake Fausse Pointe from Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Landing both Sunday and Wednesday.

The round trips resulted in back-to-back victories. The WN Hawg Fights BTS win, his second of the year since winning the opener on March 20 was tougher for him and Kyle LeBlanc of New Iberia, Romero said, than it was for him and Dressel on May 19.

“It was kind of rough. The wind was blowing. That wind was pumping,” he said, noting his boat doesn’t have Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors.

The 25-year-old marine technician at Palfinger Marine USA Inc. did catch a 4-pound plus bass on a Carolina-rigged soft plastic, he said, for their first keeper of the evening, a fish that anchored their three-bass limit weighing 9.43 pounds. That bass was the biggest of the tournament and worth $220 while the first-place finish earned another $440.

Still, Romero said, that big bass “took a lot of pressure off.”

High winds made the fishing difficult but he managed to hook a bass as big or bigger soon after, only to lose it when it burrowed into a grass bed and got unbuttoned. The exact thing happened again a few minutes later, then the bite quit and his boat was stuck with one fish in the livewell.

“We switched it up. We tried 20 different things before we got back on them. I figured them out Sunday but the wind was blowing and I had to figure something out,” Romero said about Wednesday night’s outing.

The key to catching four more keepers and culling to the winning catch was to fish into the wind, he said.

“Basically, with the wind, you don’t want to be fishing downwind. You want to fish upwind. I caught one fish downwind and all the others upwind,” he said.

Johnny Schexnayder and Brandon Sellers, both of New Iberia, stayed closer to the public boat landing than the winners and cashed in handsomely with a three-fish limit that weighed 6.66 pounds for $264. Two big bass that might have made a big difference wrapped up in the grass and got away, Schexnayder said after the team fished the Quintana Oilfield area.

They finished just ahead of the third-place team of brothers Ben Suit and Zach Suit, both of New Iberia, whose three bass weighed 6.55 pounds and won $176. The 2018 Angler(s) of the Year team also traveled to Sandy Cove.

The sixth WN Hawg Fights BTS tournament of the year is scheduled to be held June 5 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.

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