During a Bass Cat Owners Invitational Tournament in which changing conditions forced anglers to adapt on the fly, Daniel Busch and Ted Carter brought 10 Beaver Lake bass to the scales that weighed a cumulative 31.86 pounds to claim the 2019 title. They held off the second place team of T Le and Billy Littleton by 0.57 pounds to take home a Bass Cat Margay as the grand prize.

“My partner and I found a spot yesterday afternoon that produced a limit,” said Carter. “We went back there first thing this morning and caught a limit. We had two 4-pounders and a 5 and a half and we caught 16-17 inch fish all day. It was a great day for fishing.”

While many top finishers on Day One relied on sight fishing strategies, the heavy winds of Day Two largely precluded that technique, or at least made it more difficult. That played right into Busch and Carter’s hands. “We’re not bed fishermen,” Busch said. Every fish they brought to the scales came on Optimum Baits Boom Boom Swimbaits they’d bought at a local tackle store earlier in the week. They fished them on Favorite Fishing Big Sexy casting rods. Most were post-spawn, but the 5 ½ pounder was still waiting to drop her eggs.

Carter had fished “15 or 16” Owners Invitationals out of friends’ boats, but this was his first as an owner, since he bought his 2007 Pantera Classic last year. “it’s the perfect boat for fishing,” he said. “It has a big deck, lots of storage and it keeps up with the 225s and 250s.”

T Le said that he and Littleton had a good practice, with weights between 14 and 19 pounds each day, focusing on heavier pre-spawn bass that were holding on the outside of the deep docks. “We’d been told it was a 10- to 12-pound lake, so we were a little bit surprised by those weights,” but it persisted into the tournament as they tallied 31.29 with finesse jigs and shakey heads, falling just short of the win.

Le and Littleton fished out of Le’s 2016 Puma, which he purchased after selling his prior Cougar.

“As long as Rick still runs the company, I’ll still run a Bass Cat,” he explained.