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|Local shine at Bassmaster Tournament|
David Cooper of Vidalia captured the Co-Angler Division of the Bassmasters Classic Central Open in Mogan City this past weekend, while Danny Smith of Monterey placed sixh in the Bassmasers Classic Central Open.
In the Co-Angler Division, anglers fish two days with two different pro partners. The top 20 advance to the third day with another pro. the pros fish for a prize package. Co-angler weights are not combined with the pro weights, but anglers must go where the pro takes them and are not allowed to cast in the way of the pro.
Cooper and his partner finished with 13 pounds on the first day.
"I felt like I was in the driver's seat after the first day," Cooper said.
Cooper was actually in a tiebreaker at the end of the day, with the winner being the one who catches the most fish on the third day. Cooper caught two fish on the third day, while Jeff Wade of Cabot, Ar., caught one to bring home the $32,000 top prize.
The basin was flooded and fishing was tough.
"It was quite interesting," Cooper said. "This is something I always wanted to do, but I can't say that in reality I thought it would actually happen."
Cooper said the pros he drew liked to fish in trees, which is his strong point.
"They like to do the same thing I like to do, which was a key to it," Cooper said. "We basically threw jigs into the cypress trees, which played into my hands."
Cooper, 41, said winning the co-angler event will give him a chance to fish professionally.
"That has been my ultimate dream," he said. "I was just hoping to make the cut. I just started bass fishing about 10 years ago."
Jason B. Cutrer of Natchez finished fourth at 16.13, earning $2,160, while Randy Pitre of Natchez was 17th and Claude Rabb placed 29th.
Smith placed sixth in the Bassmasters Classic with 28.13 pounds to earn $6,480.
"It was pretty good," Smith said. "It was tough out there because of the decreasing full moon, the cold and high waters. My goal was to just make the cut (top 30). That's a big deal because you are fishing with some of the best in the business."
Edwin Evers defeated West Monroe's Mark Smith in a tiebreaker to win the Bassmasters Tournament.
"I was really pulling for Mark," Smith said. "He is a really nice guy."
The win was Evers' fifth.
"It was a lot of fun and it makes it even more fun when a lot of local guys do as well as they did," Smith said. "I'm going to have to see where I can go from here. That was some well-needed funds because it is a very expensive sport and sponsors and finding it harder financially to support anglers."
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