MAY 2011 • LAKECASTER • 6

The 17th Annual LOBI Fishing Tournament
By Jim Binns

In 1994, Louisiana oilmen founded the Louisiana Oilmen’s Bass Invitational (LOBI) fishing tournament and each year it has just gotten bigger and better. This is a time when active and retired members of the industry come together for fun, fellowship and to financially help support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Over the past sixteen years, this event has brought in over $1,075,000.00 for the Hospital, and the money gives hope to many children throughout the world who are facing catastrophic disease. St Jude Hospital was founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas in 1962, and has treated more than 18,000 children from across the United States and 60 foreign countries. When you come to this tournament you better bring you’re A-game because these boys know how to fish. In 2009 Naquin and McFarlain won the event with 45.02 pounds (big bass was 10.18) and in 2010 the tournament was won by Pecoraro and Carmouche with 38.71 pounds (big bass was 9.92 pounds). That is some heavyweight action for any bass tournament. And with reports that the fishing was “red-hot” on Toledo Bend, many were saying that past records could be broken. Toledo Bend, with its 1,200 miles of shoreline (185,000 surface areas) offers anglers many different opportunities for catching bass. Hanging around the local tackle shops before the tournament began you could hear talk about Carolina-rig’s, swimbaits, Senko’s, Rat-L-Traps, wacky worms, spinnerbaits and jigs all being a good fishing technique to use. But ultimately it would be up to the LOBI anglers to find “THE” technique that would place them in the winners circle. Excitement was in the air Thursday, March 31st , as the contestants registered and then feasted on cheeseburgers and sausage Po’boys provided by L&L Oil & Gas Services. Each contestant also received a great ditty bag that contained a new Daiwa reel that could be spooled free of charge with Berkley fishing line. What a deal! Friday morning’s weather was absolutely beautiful as the 650 teams took to the water to catch a bag of big bass. Toledo Bend is 7 ½-feet low and, and under these low-water conditions it was good that all contestants were allowed to trailer to their favorite fishing locations. The weigh-in lines at 3pm were busy as the teams came in from all parts of Toledo Bend Lake to weigh their fish. As usual on the first day of a bass tournament, most of the leaders

 1ST Place Winners - Randy Patin & Leslie Picard (40.95 pounds)

were “tight-lipped” as to the fishing pattern they were using to catch their bass. At the end of the day the leaders of the Team Division were as follows: Big Bass for Day One was a beautiful 9.52 pound lunker that earned a cool $1000 for anglers Jeremy Waltrip and partner Dan Landry. Waltrips big bass was taken from the back of Housen Bayou on a topwater lure at about 1:45 in the afternoon. Up until noon the team only had two bass in the livewell. Second place big bass was a 9.22 pounder worth $800 caught by Donnie Williams and partner Brian Loganoook.

 LOBI Board of Directors