By Lindsay Starr Platt, Correspondent
Early on Sunday morning, before the sun came up, 31 teams of fishermen got in their boats and into Belton Lake. Fishermen were competing for the largest catch of bass in the Bud Light Trail. The Bud Light Trail tournament has been taking place on Belton Lake since 2010; Bud Light is the title sponsor of the event.
“The lake is fishing very tough right now. It is Belton Lake, you do what you do, love it or hate it,” said Chris Davis, tournament director, Bud Light Trail. “Everybody had a great time, though a lot of the guys didn’t make limit.”
The fishermen had a chance to mingle after the weigh-in and the announcement of winners. As they brought their fish in to be weighed, they were tallied on the spot for their placement in the tournament. Event sponsors had promotional items for give-away that included bait and bandanas.
“I am seasoned at the Bud Light Trail at Belton Lake. We (Ed Cole) caught four fish by this morning, and then we caught our last one at 2:15 p.m. We caught them all on “Shaky Head” and 15-20 feet deep and 10-15 feet off the bank. We keyed on the rocks,” said contestant, Billy Freeman.
Contestant, Charles Reagan of Lake Limestone said, “We had a decent turnout. We just didn’t get a lot of bites. I was first place out. I was ‘Angler of the Year’ the last two years.”
The turnout was good. Davis mentioned that word about the tournament just needs to get out more. He also said, that more teams need to sign up.
“I am such a threat to these guys, I was paid not to fish,” joked spectator, Michael Provenzano, Belton resident. “I came to participate by watching, and to offer my sound cool advise to these guys.”
The winners of 2016 Bud Light Trail Belton-Waco Division were the following teams: first place, Billy Freeman & Ed Cole; second Place, Justin Hairston & David Carlock; third Place, Joe Stone & Garrett Dokter; fourth Place, Danny Langley & Jason Harlan and fifth Place, Charlie Gantebein & Glen Holcomb.