Monday Trivia – Not so Bitter Answer and Winner (September 30, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Duke Jenkle for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! That makes it two weeks in a row we’ve had a winner. For the answers read below.

Eight years after the end of his career with B.A.S.S., Jim Bitter is probably best remembered for a snippet from his lowlight reel – watching the winning fish flop out of his hands at the 1989 Bassmaster Classic on the James River, thereby ceding the title to Hank Parker. That’s unfortunate, because the Florida pro produced results that many other competitors would envy. He totaled nearly $850,000 in B.A.S.S. winnings, qualified for seven Bassmaster Classics and won five events.

Three of those wins came in 1995, when he won the Texas Invitational at Sam Rayburn, the Minnesota Top 100 at Minnetonka and the New York Top 100 on the Hudson River.

Sam Rayburn

Sam Rayburn

At Rayburn, Bitter overcame cold, muddy water and an apparent local advantage (2nd through 8th places were all occupied by Texans) to claim the win.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following three questions about Bitter’s Rayburn win:

  1. What modification did Bitter make to one of his key lures to one of his three key lures in order to earn the win?
  2. After Bitter and 2nd place finisher Randy Dearman (who won the 1993 Texas Invitational on Rayburn) who was the next highest-placing finisher who won a B.A.S.S. tournament on Rayburn at another point in his career?
  3. Who caught the big fish of the event and what state did he hail from?

Here are the answers:

Bitter caught fish on both a ¾ ounce Cordell Hot Spot and a PRADCO Air Lizard en route to his win, but he credited a 1-ounce Strike King spinnerbait with a No. 4 willowleaf and No. 3 ½ Colorado blades for putting him over the top. Noting the historical success of a red lipless crankbait at Rayburn, he spray-painted his white spinnerbait red to make it more appealing.

The key to catching bass on the spinnerbait was to slow roll it across a coverless flat and to let it drop into the channel. “I was basically just dragging the spinnerbait along the bottom and over the drop,” he told Bassmaster’s Steve Price. In fact, he said he fished it so slowly that he “wasn’t sure the blades were even turning.”

While the 3rd through 8th place slots were occupied exclusively by Texans, none of them ever won a B.A.S.S. event at Rayburn. In fact, while the group included superstars like Klein and Yelas, only one of them ever won a B.A.S.S. event in the state of Texas – that had happened six years earlier when Klein won Lake Livingston. Even the 11th-place finisher, multiple B.A.S.S. winner Zell Rowland (another Texan), has never won in his home state. You have to go all the way to 12th to find a prior or future Rayburn winner. Denny Brauer, a Nebraskan who adopted Missouri as his home base, won Texas Invitationals at Rayburn in 1984 and 1986. He now calls Del Rio, Texas home.

Stan Gerzsenyi. Photo FLWOutdorrs.com

Stan Gerzsenyi. Photo FLWOutdorrs.com

Stan Gerzsenyi caught a 10-13 largemouth on Day Two to claim big bass honors for the tournament, beating out several other double-digits, including Randy Dearman’s Day One 10-06. Gerzsenyi ended up tied for 45th, one slot ahead of Dearman’s son Slade. At the time, he listed Tustin, California as his home address, but like Brauer he now calls Del Rio, Texas home. He previously guided at Lake Fork and worked with several fishing companies. Currently he guides at Amistad.