If we would have caught just one three-pounder,” said local professional bass angler Shane Moline as he described how he and his partner just missed winning the Wild West Team bass tournament at Roosevelt Lake.
Moline and his partner, Todd Herman, were among 50 teams that qualified for the finals of this tournament that saw the top team win a Ranger bass boat valued at over $25,000.
But there were other Kingman anglers who also had the opportunity to fish in this major three-day tournament that was filmed and will be shown to thousands of views later on the Pursuit television and on YouTube.
Other teams of anglers from Kingman who qualified for this tournament included Donnie and Ray Scroggins, Anthony Tatzel and Chris Morris, along with Greg Parker and Danny Lloyd.
The format for this tournament was simple.
The top 50 teams would fish on Thursday and Friday, and then the top 10 teams would fish for the grand prize on Saturday. A total of seven fish per team could be weighed in each day.
As it turned out, only Moline and Herman would have the opportunity to fish for the grand prize.
The other Kingman teams found that Roosevelt Lake was not an easy lake to fish, and figuring out the largemouth and smallmouth bite on this 22-mile long impoundment that is fed by two different water sources was problematic.
On Thursday, Moline and Herman were in fifth place with 14.86 pounds of bass. Tatzel and Morris were also in contention, weighing in 12.89 pounds.
But team Scroggins and Parker and Lloyd struggled. On Day 1 Scroggins had 5.05 pounds, while Parker and Lloyd had 4.47 pounds.
Day 2 and once again Moline and Herman were consistent. They were in fifth place overall, with another bag that weighed 14.6 pounds.
Tatzel and Morris had a tough day on the lake, and weighed in 3.92 pounds. Team Scoggins had 4.90 pounds, while Parker and Lloyd checked in with 5.49 pounds.
When the two-day numbers were added together, Moline and Herman were qualified to fish on the final day, having accumulated 29.46 pounds for 14 fish.
Tatzel and Morris finished with 16.81 pounds, while Scroggins finished with 9.95 pounds.
Parker and Lloyd finished with 9.96 pounds.
On the final day of the competition, with a camera crew with them, Moline and Herman set out to see if they could find the better fish that could snare them a victory. Their lure of choice was an Alabama rig.
Despite catching a lot of fish, they just couldn’t find the bigger fish. And in the end, it cost them. They missed winning the event by just over a pound.
“We probably caught over 60 fish during the tournament,” Moline said. “But the fact that we never put even one three-pound bass in the livewell cost us the tournament.”
On the final day of the tournament the team of Michael Perry and David Burns checked in the only 14-pound limit of the day and finished with a weight of 44.27 pounds. The win earned them a total of $26,200 including the Ranger boat and contingency money.
In second place was the team of Mike Spain and Dustin Robinson. They finished with 44.11 pounds and won $2,710.
Third place went to Davis Hart and Jason Blauvelt. That team finished with 43.21 pounds and a check for $2,010, including contingency money.
Fourth place went to Moline and Herman. Their final tally, which included the third-heaviest limit on the last day, weighed 43.19 pounds and earned them a check for $1,500.
Professional bass fishing is a sport that is determined by pounds and ounces and in this case, just one big fish would have made the difference for Moline and his partner.
But don’t feel too bad for Shane.
In 2016, fishing as a pro in the Wild West Bass Trail, he earned almost $20,000.