By CHARITY MUEHLENWEG, FLW
Fishing Derek Mundy of Broaddus, Texas, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday, Jan. 2 weighing a staggering 40 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Mundy earned $7,000 for his victory.
Mundy said he found his fish in practice but didn’t realize just how good his spot was going to be. “You can’t look on the graph and see 40 pounds, but I knew I could have a good bag if they bit,” Mundy said. “It’s not guaranteed you’re going to roll up to your first spot and catch 30, much less 40. “I caught the first four on a big crankbait and they busted up a bit,” Mundy said. “Then I pulled out a jig and caught the last one. I caught those five, all on the first stop, in about 20 minutes.” Fishing a Strike King 8XD and a ?-ounce V&M The Flatline Pacemaker Football Jig, Mundy said he did all of his damage in about 17 feet of water, in the mid-lake region.
After catching five giants, including an 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth, Mundy said he felt he could relax. “I took it easy and went to some Plan B stuff to try to get my co-angler on fish, but it never worked out – the wind got up pretty bad in the afternoon,” he admitted. Weighing his fish as soon as he was allowed, Mundy said he was content to wait for the weigh-in to conclude before collecting his check.
“It’s the biggest bag I’ve ever caught,” said Mundy, who makes his living working on oil pipelines. “It felt good. I didn’t realize they were that big until I was checking on them to make sure they were doing alright in the livewell, but even then, I didn’t realize I had 40 pounds.” Mundy’s 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth was also good for the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $1,000.
Michael Horne of Dodson took home $1,000 for his third place finish as a co-angler with five bass, 14-10.