QUITMAN, Texas — A late-day decision turned victory into a double-dip of tournament stardom, as Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., notched a dominant win at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department with a four-day total weight of 104 pounds, 12 ounces.

Walters placed second on Day 1 with 25-14 and took over the Day 2 lead by adding 26-14. On Semifinal Saturday, his limit of 29-6 — the event’s biggest catch — sent him into Championship Sunday with a 25-pound lead.

Today’s limit of 22-10 allowed him to surge across the finish line and secure his spot in the Century Club, which recognizes an angler for catching 100 pounds of fish in a four-day event. Walters won with an all-time Bassmaster Elite record margin of 29-10.

“What a week; it doesn’t seem real,” Walters said. “Everyone wants to catch 100 pounds, and it feels good.”

While his victory was never in serious jeopardy today, Walters found himself a couple pounds shy of his second objective with time running out. A 15-minute flurry in his last hour of fishing delivered three fish that elevated him well past the century mark.

Walters attributes his closing success to a gutsy relocation. All week, he had been targeting suspended bass amid main-lake standing timber in 10 to 20 feet. When he realized his spots weren’t firing, he moved to a small pocket and caught his final three fish around stumps in less than 5 feet of water.

“On Day 2, I caught a 4- and a 5-pounder in there, but I didn’t go back in there on Day 3; I said, ‘I’m going to save it,’” Walters said. “I think it was the wind. We’ve had the same direction wind the last three days and it has blown directly into that pocket.

“All the bait is in there and every single day, it has gotten more loaded. Today, my fish in the treetops would not eat my bait. They’d chase it for 40 to 50 feet and wouldn’t commit.”

Walters’ analysis was more than speculation. All week, he relied heavily on his Garmin LiveScope to monitor fish positioning and adjust his retrieves in an effort to trigger bites.

“I could tell something was not right; they were not eating it,” Walters said. “I said, ‘I gotta leave. I gotta go shallow.’

“I knew I needed 10 pounds to safely win, but I knew I needed 18 pounds to get to the Century Club and that was the goal today; to go get that belt.”

Walters caught his fish on a trio of jerkbaits; a Rapala Shadow Rap, a Megabass Vision 110+1 and a Duo Realis bait. Varying the selection and trying different colors was essential to bite generation.

Walters said he was very particular about the standing timber he targeted. Recognizing when and where fish were positioning to feed was the cornerstone of his pattern. Realizing that the plan was starting to fizzle proved stressful today, but Walters said he focused on maintaining faith in Lake Fork’s potential.

“All year long, it’s been about staying calm and know that it can happen in five casts. Don’t spin out. Stay calm, keep your head in the game and fish 8 hours.”

Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, finished second with 75-2. A limit of 11-7 on Day 1 left him in 39th place, but Combs added 23-14 on Day 2 and rose to 11th. Catching 21-12 on Saturday, he moved up to third before finishing with 18-1 today.

Most of the week, Combs has fished big ridges with a chartreuse/blue Strike King 6XD. Today, that pattern produced three of his best fish and the other two he caught on a shad color shallow running crankbait fished over a shallow bar.

“Another angler had been starting on that shallow spot; I would start on another spot and then hit that spot second but I’d never catch them,” Combs said. “Today, he didn’t make the cut, so I went there first.”

Jay Yelas of Lincoln City, Ore., placed third with 69-14. Sticking with the pattern that has served him all week, he ran upriver and caught limits of 19-2, 19-2, 14-7 and 17-3 around shallow wood.

“I had a few different special spots; some were docks, some were stumps, one was an isolated laydown,” Yelas said. “Every day, I’d go back and fish these same targets. I cycled through them all four days.

“Today, I started on that laydown and caught one. I came back at noon and caught one, came back at 2:30 and caught a 6-pounder. I’d caught six or seven fish off that tree the first three days.”

Noting that this spot had a large amount of shad, Yelas said he quickly realized he could leverage this feeding spot each day. He caught his fish on an MGC Tackle spinnerbait with a chartreuse/white skirt and a 3/8-ounce white/chartreuse Z-Man ChatterBait JackHammer with a white Yamamoto Zako trailer.

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, won the Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year title with 680 points, while David Mullins of Mt. Carmel, Tenn., finished second with 677. Walters was third with 669, Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., was fourth with 669 and Jake Whitaker of Fairview, N.C., was fifth with 663.

Austin Felix of Eden Prairie, Minn., won the Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year title.

Seth Feider of New Market, Minn., won the Toyota Tundra Big Bass award of a Toyota Tundra with his 9-9.

Combs also took home $3,000 for being the highest-placing entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, and Mosley earned $2,000 for being the second-highest placing entrant.

The tournament was hosted by the Sabine River Authority and Wood County Economic Development Commission.

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu GarciaBerkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Yamaha

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Carhartt, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Mossy Oak Fishing, Rapala

2020 Bassmaster Elite Series Conservation Partners: AFTCO, Huk

2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Local Hosts: Sabine River Authority, Wood County Economic Development Commission

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.

2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 11/5-11/8
Lake Fork, Emory  TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Patrick Walters        Summerville, SC         20 104-12  100 $125,000.00
Day 1: 5   25-14     Day 2: 5   26-14     Day 3: 5   29-06     Day 4: 5   22-10
2.  Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          20  75-02   99  $40,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   23-14     Day 3: 5   21-12     Day 4: 5   18-01
3.  Jay Yelas              Lincoln City, OR        20  69-14   98  $30,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-02     Day 2: 5   19-02     Day 3: 5   14-07     Day 4: 5   17-03
4.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            18  69-05   97  $22,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   24-12     Day 3: 3   12-11     Day 4: 5   15-11
5.  Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX              20  68-09   96  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   15-10     Day 3: 5   19-07     Day 4: 5   16-03
6.  Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA            18  66-13   95  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-13     Day 2: 5   19-12     Day 3: 5   15-09     Day 4: 3   09-11
7.  Lee Livesay            Longview, TX            19  64-03   94  $20,000.00
Day 1: 4   09-01     Day 2: 5   14-07     Day 3: 5   26-02     Day 4: 5   14-09
8.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        17  61-09   93  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 2   05-03     Day 3: 5   24-15     Day 4: 5   11-15
9.  Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              16  60-04   92  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 3   16-07     Day 3: 5   21-09     Day 4: 3   08-04
10. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN           17  54-04   91  $20,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   16-00     Day 3: 5   14-00     Day 4: 2   04-07
Seth Feider              New Market, MN      09-09          $0.00
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        46       323       957-09
2        36       288       866-01
3        24       161       511-03
4         7        43       138-10
113       815      2473-07