ZWOLLE — After a great day on the water in horrible weather conditions May 4 at Toledo Bend, six Atchafalaya Stump Jumper bass club members went to bed with the lead in the 2019 Louisiana Best 6.
It was a precarious lead but they were in first place in the 59-boat field that competed in the two-day state tournament. The St. Martinville-based Atchafalaya Stump Jumpers’ first-day nine-fish limit tipped the scale at 33.35 pounds, just ahead the Toadhunter’s Bass Club of Alexandria, which checked in with a limit weighing 33.20 pounds.
The second and final day, though, was a great day weather-wise with the sun shining in clear blue skies but a not-so-great day on the water.
“Oh, the first day we did pretty good with the weather conditions given. The second day we struggled with sunny skies. We knew it wasn’t going to be as good,” Braxton Resweber of St. Martinville said. “The front passed and you know how a front kills the bite, at least a little bit.”
Resweber, who fished with St. Martinville’s Larry Champagne Jr., said bass were positioned differently than the day before and even more finicky. The ASJers culled to another limit but the bass were smaller and weighed 22.81 pounds for a two-day total of 56.16 pounds.
That total wasn’t enough to win because the Toadhunter’s Bass Club rallied with 28.57 pounds the second day to claim the prestigious title with 61.77 pounds.
The winners were followed by Cleanwater Bass Club, 59.10 pounds; Bayou Rod Benders, 58.87 pounds; Bussey Reservoir Bass Club, 58.31 pounds, and Louisiana Hawg Hunters Bass Club, 57.83 pounds. The Atchafalaya Stump Jumpers slipped to sixth place and won $1,200.
Another Teche Area-based bass club finished seventh with 55.72 pounds to collect $1,000.
Resweber’s father, Paul Resweber of St. Martinville, said, “Five people (bass clubs) overall did a little better than us. It’s fishing. You don’t get disappointed. Like everybody else, we gave it our best. We grinded as hard as we could. We got to the scales with three minutes left.”
The elder Resweber, 54-year-old owner of HarOil Construction, fished with Jimmy Brown of St. Martinville. Gavin Savoy of Catahoula and Cory Champagne of Breaux Bridge rounded out the three-man team in the bass club born at a boucherie in the spring of 2018.
Each boat accounted for three bass on the average put on the scale each day.
“We all weighed six fish,” Paul Resweber said.
The size difference in the bass each day was the story, he said, because on Saturday they averaged 3.7 pounds per bass and on Sunday the average was approximately 2 ½ pounds. They had one bass under 3 pounds the first day.
“All in all, I think we caught 15, 16 keepers Sunday. Cory probably had that in the first hour of fishing Saturday,” Resweber said.
“It’s hard to get two days (back-to-back with favorable weather conditions) at Toledo Bend in a tournament. It’s almost impossible.”
Most of their fish the first day were caught on a Texas-rigged Baby Brush Hog and a soft plastic swim bait, Braxton Resweber, 22, said.
“Saturday they were biting funny, missing the bait but we ended up doing all right, catching a few good ones. Sunday we struggled to get bit. They weren’t shallow. They weren’t active,” said the ULL Fishing Team member. a junior at ULL.
“We knew Saturday that Sunday wouldn’t be as good. We were just hoping we’d get some big fish.”
The Atchafalaya Stump Jumpers finished a strong 11th in its inaugural appearance at the state tournament in May 2018.