Sumrall’s decision paid off big

Options abound on the Sabine River, but many come with a steep risk/reward proposition. As Caleb Sumrall learned, fortunes can quickly shift — good to bad, bad to good.

Thanks to a key decision, he experienced the latter.

Day 1 found Caleb Sumrall tied with fellow Louisianan Derek Hudnall for 69th place at 5 pounds, 14 ounces. Regrouping that night and hashing out a new game plan, Sumrall started the second morning as a man on a mission.

About 10 hours later, Sumrall declared it: Mission complete.

Indeed, the 5th-year pro from New Iberia, La. more than doubled his first-round productivity with a Day-2 limit of 12-7. Rocketing up the leaderboard, Sumrall overcame a dismal start and made the Semi-final Saturday cut with his 11th place performance.

The difference, he said, was focusing on the fundamental objective — keeping a bait in the water for as much time as possible. 

“I didn’t have a good practice and the best place that I found was in Houston,” Sumrall said. “I burned 83 gallons of fuel yesterday and I spent all that time driving my boat and not fishing.

“I’m so glad I made the decision to catch four fish (locally) before I went there because I only caught one bass (in the Houston area). I made the decision to come back here to try to cull up and I caught a 1 1/2-pounder to get me to 5-14.”

Good calls, but Sumrall’s Day-2 decision is what salvaged his event.

“I decided not to go to Houston and stayed within 2 miles of take off to maximize my fishing time with what I found (after returning on Day 1),” Sumrall said. “I picked at a good one, picked at a good one, picked at a good one.”

Lesson learned: “Making the right decisions and getting clued in. I kept a bunch of rods on my deck, junk fishing and picking up the rod that felt right (for the scenario). I got clued in on something that I believe will help me on Day 3.”