Statham & D.O.A. crushed the Fort DeSoto Classic on March 9 with an overwhelming score of 80 3/10”. Close in his wake were Michael Julian and William Lusk. Statham has also won the Gulf Coast and East Coast Division openers for three major victories in a row, all on D.O.A. Lures paddle tails. When asked about how he keeps catching such big fish tournament after tournament, Statham said, “I just use a D.O.A. paddle tail, and they just keep eating it.” Simple, but so true. Of course, he is not the only angler using the lures, and he is not the only one catching very nice fish. It’s always close but he has managed to out fish everyone, tournament after tournament thus far.
There are three more open tournaments this year in the Gulf Coast Division for the ClassicS, and there are a few anglers that will have something to say about who wins what. For example, Michael Julian scored an impressive 73 1/10” at the Fort De Soto Classic using Z-Man® paddle lures. Michael has quickly caught on to this tournament thing, and has given cause for the field of top Gulf anglers to sit up and take notice. The Fort DeSoto Classic was a two redfish & 1 trout tournament, and that is right in William Lusk’s wheelhouse. Lusk scored a very strong third place in the Classic with 62 2/10” using MirrOlure® “MirrOdines” for his impressive catch. He, too, is after Statham and looking to out fish him on May 18 at the 10,000 Islands Classic which is the next Gulf Division Series tournament. Lusk had a huge redfish (around 39”) break off as it went under his Diablo kayak. Lusk uses only 20 lb test leader and this is not the first tournament winner that did this to him. Bring on the 30 lb!
Andrew Mixon landed a three-fish fourth place 58 5/10”. Mixon just keeps getting better, and is also in the hunt for you know who. Joe Komyati, who lit up the series last year and nearly walked away with the series championship, also had a good day on the water. Komyati was only 1/10” behind Mixon with his three-fish score of 58 4/10” to capture fifth place, and has put himself near the top of the leader board.
All of the Top Five contestants shared in the $10,000 in sponsor gear prizes, which was overwhelming to a few anglers. Statham, of course, has gotten over the shock of winning a Classic and all that goes with it. Will anyone be able to shut him down? Will the gale force behind him finally calm or will he and D.O.A. continue to dominate? We learned that Joe Komyati has been practicing with new lures from Yo-Zuri and Live Target, and he has been catching some big fish with them. The lures are different and highly effective. Another angler has been catching some big snook on the Big Hammers swim baits, so who knows what will happen at the 10,000 Islands Classic in May?