Rojas, Kisselburg earn an extra $10,000
Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dean Rojas and Jayson Kisselburg, both of Lake Havasu, Ariz., picked up another $10,000 in the Fish and Chips tournament Sunday by being the highest finishing team in the poker and bass tournaments combined.
Riverwind Casino in Norman hosted the Fish and Chips – a bass tournament on Arbuckle Lake Friday and Saturday and then a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament on Sunday.
Rojas and Kisselburg won the fishing side of the tournament and $20,000 then scored high enough in the poker tournament – which was won by a non-pro angler, Roy Jones of Edmond – to secure the extra $10,000 purse for the highest point total in the two tournaments combined.
Arbuckle spanks the pros
Riverwind Casino officials say they are interested in holding the Fish and Chips again next year, but they might have trouble getting the pro bass fishermen to return to Arbuckle after two tough days of fishing there.
Before the tournament, several local fishermen were worried that the pros would catch and kill so many fish that it would ruin the bass fishing at the lake.
Instead, almost everyone struggled to catch fish Friday and Saturday at Arbuckle, prompting four-time Bassmaster Classic champion Rick Clunn to tell the crowd at Saturday’s weigh-in, “We didn’t hurt it.”
Speaking of Clunn, I learned Saturday that he has some Oklahoma roots.
He told the crowd at the weigh-in that his father was raised south of the Hartshorne-Haileyville area and much of his early fishing as a kid was done in the creeks of the Kiamichi Mountains.
Arbuckle “fixing to explode”
Even though they didn’t catch many fish, most of the pros said they just hit Arbuckle on the wrong weekend as recent rains raised and muddied the lake.
Most of the local fishermen say the winter time bass fishing on Arbuckle is better.
Elite Series pro Paul Elias said when the water gets colder, the Arbuckle bass will be in the flooded grass.
“That lake is fixing to explode,” he said.
Okie makes the Bassmaster Classic
Broken Arrow angler Scott Ashmore qualified for the Bassmaster Classic Saturday by finishing second in the Southern Open points standings.
The top three anglers in the points standing earn a berth to the 2010 Classic in February on Alabama’s Lay Lake.
It’s Ashmore’s first trip to the Bassmaster Classic. He entered Saturday’s final Southern Opens event on South Carolina’s Santee Cooper Lakes as a long shot to make it into the top three, but two key pros faltered, which opened the door for him.
The second-place finish also earns Ashmore a chance to fish on the Bassmaster Elite Series next year.
Ashmore joins fellow Oklahoma anglers Tommy Biffle (Wagoner), Jeff Kriet (Ardmore) and Terry Butcher (Talala) in the Bassmaster Classic field.
It’s still bear season
The black bear muzzleloader season remains open. One muzzleloader hunter in Le Flore County was successful over the weekend bringing the total number of bears that have been killed to 17.
The bear season will close Nov. 1 or when a total of 20 bears have been killed.
Le Flore, Latimer, McCurtain and Pushmataha are the only counties open for black bear hunting. This is the first year Oklahoma has opened a black bear hunting season. Only archery and muzzleloader hunting are allowed.
Of the 17 bears that have been taken by hunters, nine have been from Le Flore County, three each from McCurtain and Pushmataha counties and two from Latimer.