Sometimes last is first.
Frank and Trey Eslinger were one of the last fishing teams to weigh in their catches on Saturday afternoon at Highland Marina in the 11th Annual Walmart Children’s Miracle Network Charity Bass Tournament.
They did save the best for last. The LaGrange fatherand- son, also known as Team Eslinger, made it all worthwhile with 16.12 pounds of bass. Now those were first place largemouth bass, and they were well worth the first place prize money of $2,000.
The Eslingers have won multiple fishing titles on West Point Lake. So just tack on one more for this hard-core team.
“We were using jigs. We fished shallow, and that is where they were. We practiced a couple of days (for the tournament), and it was windy,” said Trey Eslinger, who can smell a bass a mile away.
He is the son. Frank Eslinger is the father and a bass fishing icon. He was born with good fishing sense. The dad knows how to get ‘em, catch ‘em and win ‘em.
Frank Eslinger and largemouth bass, particularly those on West Point Lake, do tend to see eye-to-eye. Eslinger and his son catch fish by the gallon and the pound.
They are largemouth bass fishing experts. The trend continued on Saturday.
“We caught a lot, and we could see them. We caught three fish in the first 15 minutes (of the tournament). We were fishing hard and clean,” said Frank Eslinger.
He and his son caught 12 bass in the Walmart Children’s Miracle Network Tournament. And there was a crowd with 74 boats and 144 anglers.
“We must have hit 100 (fishing) spots,” said Frank Eslinger.
It worked well from the morning to the afternoon. Two more LaGrange fishermen, Brian and Frank Kirby, would finish a very close second place with a weight of 16.10 pounds of bass. The Kirbys won $1,200.
The runner-up fishing team made 20 catches of spotted and largemouth bass. The Kirbys fished just about good enough to win the tournament. LaGrange fishing team No. 2 wasn’t all that disappointed.
“We had a nice day, and we got lucky. We had a secret bait, and we fished slow,” said Brian Kirby.
The fishing team of Dan Williamson and Ryan Lloyd of Bowdon was on the leader board, too. Lloyd and Williamson placed third with 15.6 pounds of fish. The third place anglers had $800 worth of fun. That is what they won. Rounding out the top four in the tournament was the fishing team of Bill Cook and Jeff Morgan. They weighed in 15.3 pounds of bass at Highland Marina.
Ken Kraft of Columbus and Darryl Kraft of LaGrange had no sad fishing stories to tell either. They came back with more than 14 pounds of bass. The Krafts weighed in four largemouth bass and one spotted bass.
They fished in two to eight feet of water with a lot of action.
“It was pretty good. We caught fish all day long,” said Ken Kraft.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer