BROOKELAND, Texas — Pro Gary Paris of Emory caught five bass weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces to claim $10,000 plus a fully-rigged Ranger 519VS Comanche as the winner of the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail event held Saturday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Paris finished first out of a field of 200 pros to claim his first TTT win.
Paris, who is a guide on Lake Fork, caught his bass in stained water that was 1 to 3 feet deep using a pearl Tiki lure. Paris also claimed a $20,000 contingency bonus from Ranger Boats because he is a registered owner of a Ranger boat, and he also earned a $5,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program for a total prize package worth $70,000.
Rounding out the top five pros were Scott David of Goodrich (five bass, 21 pounds, 4 ounces, $8,000 plus $6,000 Ranger bonus); Jason Buchanan of Bertram (five bass, 20 pounds, 11 ounces, $6,000 plus $4,000 Ranger bonus); Stephen Johnston of Hemphill (five bass, 19 pounds, 13 ounces, $4,300 plus $3,000 Ranger bonus); and Chris Wilkerson of Livingston (five bass, 18 pounds, 4 ounces, $3,200 plus $2,000 Ranger bonus).
Bonuses are awarded to registered Ranger Boat owners who purchased their Ranger new from a Ranger dealer. Anglers must also fish out of a Ranger during the tournament to be eligible for the contingency.
Jerry Green of Coahoma earned a $500 gift certificate from Travis Boating Center for weighing in the heaviest bass of the tournament, a 9-pound, 5-ounce lunker he caught on a Falcon jig. Travis Boating Center, one of the nation's largest retailers of Ranger Boats, sponsors 2003 TTT big-bass awards.
Bill Kessler of Garland topped 200 co-anglers to earn $4,000 cash as the TTT co-angler winner. Kessler caught three bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces using a Zoom Trick Worm.
Richard Strother of Tyler (five bass, 12 pounds, 8 ounces, $3,000 plus $1,650 Ranger bonus); Mark Britain of Gainesville (five bass, 11 pounds, $2,000); Matt Cannon of Troy (five bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,000 plus $1,000 Ranger bonus); and Brian Mater of Leander (three bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces, $800) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
The $1 million Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Frito Lay will visit Lake Lewisville in Lewisville for the third regular-season event, a two-day tournament May 10-11, followed by the final regular-season tournament on Toledo Bend near Many, La., June 7. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail Championship Oct. 18-19 on Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall.