LAKE FORK, Texas — There was talk prior to the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest that it might take 100 pounds of bass just to make it to Championship Monday.
With the fish in a little bit of a postspawn funk, the fishing wasn’t quite that good.
But it was still insane — and it produced some numbers that, both on and off the water, should leap off the page at you.
Let’s start with the most ridiculous ones and work our way down.
247,500. After pocketing $125,000 for his second victory of the season, first-year Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Cobb has now earned $247,500 — nearly a quarter of a million dollars — in the first five tournaments of the season. He picked up $10,000 checks for his 20th- and 14th-place showings on the St. Johns River and Lake Lanier. Then he earned $100,000 for his victory on Lake Hartwell in his home state of South Carolina, and thanks to the new 2019 Elite Series payment structure that pays everyone something, he cashed a check for $2,500 for finishing 61st at Winyah Bay.
45,000. That’s the approximate value of the new Toyota Tundra Cobb won for catching the Toyota Tundra Big Bass of the Week. It won’t show up in his career earnings with B.A.S.S., but I’m sure he’ll find a use for it.
3,346-04. Anglers at Texas Fest caught 921 bass that weighed 3,346 pounds, 4 ounces. That’s more than a ton and a half and an average of more than 3 1/2 pounds per bass. Obviously, they caught a lot more than that. Those are just the figures from their five biggest each day.
161. The anglers caught 161 five-bass limits for the week. On Day 1, 62 of the 75-angler field managed a limit. On Day 2, 57 managed to put a limit in the boat, and on Day 3, 32 of the 35 semifinalists caught a limit. All 10 anglers caught five on Championship Monday.
100. After a six-year hiatus, Century Belts were once again awarded during a Bassmaster Elite Series event. The belts are awarded to anglers who catch 100 pounds or more of bass, and Cobb (114) and Michigan pro Garrett Paquette (101-15) will now each receive one. It should be noted that Micah Frazier (96-12), Brandon Card (95-10), Jeff Gustafson (94-5), Drew Cook (94-1), Keith Combs (93-7) and Chad Pipkens (90-12) were all within a fish or two of earning a belt themselves.
94. There were a total of 94 bass caught that weighed 6 pounds or more. That total included 31 on Day 1 (75-angler field), 28 on Day 2 (75-angler field), 25 on Day 3 (35-angler field) and 10 on Day 4 (10-angler field).
37-15. Cobb’s Day 3 limit of 37 pounds, 15 ounces was the biggest of the tournament and the biggest caught so far this year on the Elite Series. The next closest was the 34-14 limit Rick Clunn caught during the final day of his victory in the season opener on the St. Johns River.
30. Cobb and Paquette will be the 29th and 30th anglers to be awarded Century Belts by B.A.S.S. Since the inception of the Elite Series in 2006, only 10 events have produced weights worthy of the prestigious hardware.
11-1. That’s the weight of the gigantic largemouth that helped Cobb win Toyota Tundra Big Bass of the Week, and it’s the second 11-pounder caught on the Elite Series this year. Virginia pro John Crews caught an 11-2 in the season opener on the St. Johns River.