Louisiana’s Pharr takes Bassmaster Central Open, Reehm snags Classic berths

DENISON, Texas – Shreveport’s Mike Pharr capitalized on some key slip-ups at the top of the leaderboard to claim his first BASS win on Saturday (Oct. 23) during the final stop of the 2010 Bassmaster Central Opens on Lake Texoma. He added 10 pounds, 13 ounces, to build his three-day total to 27 pounds, 4 ounces.

“This is unreal; I don’t know what I’m going to do,” the firefighter said. “To win without catching a single limit is pretty wild.”

Pharr relied on a slew of baits to catch all nine of the bass he weighed in. With fishing ultra-tough on Texoma, Pharr made his bites count. An Omega football jig, Omega Revelation swimming jig, a Tru-Trac spinnerbait and what he called an LSU crankbait (it’s purple and chartreuse) ultimately snagged the right fish and earned Pharr more than $42,000.

“I call that crankbait the Les Miles crankbait because it can pull a win out of nowhere,” Pharr said.

Pharr has been borrowing boats from friends recently to fish tournaments because his has a blown engine, so he will look to invest in some hefty repairs with his winnings.

The angler also earned an invitation to step up to the Bassmaster Elite Series next season.

Former Elite Series pro Brian Clark of Texas made a big run at the lead the final day. Clark registered the heaviest single-day of the tournament, a 13-11 limit that bumped him up to a 26-10 total – within a pound of the lead but ultimately wasn’t enough.

In third was Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, who totaled 26 pounds.

Louisiana anglers joining Pharr in the top 20 was sixth-place finisher Aaron Johnson of Bossier City, who posted 21-03 to earn $3,749.

With the strong performance at Texoma, Combs ended up winning the Central Open points standings. That distinction earned him a coveted 2011 Classic berth. He was second in the standings heading into the tournament.

Former Louisiana resident and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Clark Reehm snared the second Classic berth via the Opens with 24 pounds, 11 ounces. He scored a fifth-place finish in the Texoma event.

The Bassmaster Classic will be held Feb. 18-20 in New Orleans.

On the co-angler side, Texas’ Matt Crawford earned a brand-new Skeeter FX190 with a 150-horsepower Yamaha motor for a three-day catch that weighed 13-7.

“You have no idea how great this is,” he said. “I didn’t think I had enough to win, but then I caught my (only fish of the day) with an hour left. This is great.”

Louisiana no-boaters making the top 20 were Princeton’s Travis Gray, who posted 11-11 for a fourth-place finish and a $2,811 check; Pineville’s Russell Lohman, who weighed in 8-12 to earn 15th place and $656; and 20th-place Chet Peterson of St. Amant, who posted 7-08 and pocketed $539.

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