Broussard still leading through two rounds of Central Open

Published 7:51 pm Friday, June 16, 2017

ORANGE — Home-water advantage is working for T-Roy Broussard, if indeed the Port Arthur resident can claim the Sabine River as his own.
Broussard totaled 11 pounds, 1 ounce Friday and still led by more than a pound through two days of the Bassmaster Central Open on Sabine River. He has a 10-fish total of 26-1, leading Orange angler Carl Svebek III by 19 ounces.
Of the 185 professional anglers and 181 co-anglers that fished the past two days, only the top 12 in each category advance to Saturday’s final round, with a prize package said to be as much as $10,000 and a new boat at stake.
The winner also will be invited to the 2018 Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina.
“I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Broussard told “I’ve got confidence in the places I’ve been going, but I’ve got another place I haven’t been to yet where I think I can catch some big bass. I’m going to go out there and knock them out.”
Unfortunately for Rick Clunn, the La Porte-raised angler who won the Bassmaster Classic four times, he’s not among the dandy dozen. The soon-to-be 72-year-old was headed back home to Ava, Mo., before asked about his run.
“It’s just a lot of little fish right now,” Clunn said Friday. “You need to get a big bite. I had one yesterday. It was the only fish I lost in two days, and I lost it. That will probably be the difference between me fishing tomorrow and going home.”
One of the greatest all-time anglers, Clunn still holds the Bassmaster Classic record of 75-9 set in 1984 in Pine Bluff, Ark. But he could only muster a bag of 9-2 on Thursday and 6-1 on Friday to end up 72nd, knowing as soon as he weighed in he had a tournament in the New York area to look forward to.
Brooks Forsyth of Hester, La., caught more than his fair share, but his two bags of nearly 8 pounds each didn’t keep him across the border for long.
“The tide was moving pretty much all morning, didn’t stop until 10 o’clock in the morning,” Forsyth said. “I was able to catch a lot of fish, man. I probably caught about 30 fish today. I probably caught about 60 the first day, so a little bit slower than the first day, but still a fun day overall.
“Not a lot of big ones, but there were plenty of fish out there.”
Broussard thinks he could have a much bigger weight. He told he lost 2- and 4-pound fish in the same spot where he caught a 5-pounder Thursday.
“There are some good bass in there, and I have to go get them,” he said. “I can’t sit back and wait for someone to catch me. I’ve got to go out and win it.”
Temperatures reached the 90s in Orange, but it didn’t seem to throw the anglers off much, according to Forsyth.
“It’s been a pretty hot winter, so the fish are already in their summertime pattern, so it didn’t affect them that much,” he said. “The wind helped keep me cool and made the fish a little more active throughout the day.”
Randy Sullivan of Breckenridge is third among the pros at 24-2, after catching 13-3 on Friday. Jeff Avery of El Dorado, Ark., is fourth at 23-2.
Johnny Nguyen of Tucson, Ariz., has the big bass of the tournament so far at 5-5, but he did not make the top 12 (26th at 18-12).
Svebek has made a strong case for a Bassmaster Classic berth one year after returning to the sport after a six-year hiatus.
“I’ve fished a lot of tournaments,” Svebek said. “I feel like this is my second chance. I’ve had a lot of hardships, but I’ve bounced back. If you would have told me eight years ago I would have be fishing a Bassmaster Open with a chance to win this thing and fish in the Classic, I’d say you were crazy. So I have just to go out and do my best. I’m excited about my chances.”
Mark Powers of Platteville, Colo., leads the co-angler division at 14-4. Michael Soliz of Orange is only 6 ounces behind him in second. Keith Ovilla of Glasby (5-0) has the big bass in that division.
Saturday’s final weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. at the Orange Boat Ramp.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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