Ranger Pro Carl Svebek III Wins Bassmaster Central Open on Sabine River
FLIPPIN, ARK (June 27, 2017) Ranger Boats Pro Carl Svebek III weighed a total of 36 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the Bassmaster Central Open #2 on the Sabine River at Orange, Texas, on June 17. After a six-year hiatus from professional fishing, Svebek only took 18 months to score a first-place finish at a major tournament. The angler won a total of $52,893, in addition to a $3,000 Ranger Cup bonus, and qualified to fish the 2018 Bassmaster Classic if he fishes the final Central Open on Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in Oklahoma.
Originally from northwest Arkansas, the angler is now based out of Orange, Texas, and celebrated his win in front of friends and family.
"It was really special," said Svebek. "It's kind of been a dream come true. I don't know if I could have written the story any better."
While Svebek has called Orange his home for the last 18 months, he doesn't feel it gave him an advantage over the other anglers.
"I haven't fished here much," said Svebek. "When I have fished here, I haven't caught fish. Not like the caliber of fish I caught this week. Probably the biggest fish I had caught on the Sabine River was about three pounds. It was a lot of hard work. I had to learn. I had never been in the area that I caught them during this tournament."
Heavy rains the weeks prior muddied the river and ruined Svebek's original game plan. The angler searched for clear water and turned to the marsh each day for his limits.
"I was fortunate to find an area in the marsh that was well off the main river," said Svebek. "It was very shallow. I couldn't have gone there with just any boat, but my Ranger got me to where I needed."
During pre-fishing, the angler used his trolling motor for four hours through shallow water to get to his area and had to find a way to practically get in and out during competition. Svebek found a spot that had 2.4 feet of water that was just enough to let him make a hole shot in his Ranger.
"I had to get it on plane in a 10-yard stretch," said Svebek. "I put the hammer down. Once I got it on plane, I had to get out of there. I had unbelievable confidence in my Ranger Z520 and Evinrude G2. I have to give them credit for me being able to win this tournament."
From early morning until noon, Svebek employed a bluegill-colored Zoom Super Fluke with long casts in shallow water around hydrilla and milfoil. Once the sun peaked at noon, he relied on a Bass Pro Shops floating frog.
Svebek went into the final day in second place. The angler wasn't too confident he could replicate his earlier weights due to the fishing pressure from his first two days.
"I had beat on these fish," said Svebek. "At that point, I had caught over 200 fish in an area that wasn't much bigger than most mall parking lots. I started thinking of ways that maybe I could do something different, maybe cast from a different angle or go deeper into the lily pads."
The change paid off with the angler weighing a final-day limit of 12 pounds, 3 ounces, to hold off second-place finisher T-Roy Broussard. While winning at home is special, the win is significant to Svebek after a long break from professional fishing. As a former Ranger pro, Svebek rejoined with Ranger because of their positive past relationship and his steadfast belief that Ranger produces the finest boat on the market.
"Ranger has a great history," said Svebek. "I knew they would take care of me and always have. In my opinion, there's not a better-made boat and it really holds its value. There is just no comparison."
After Svebek fishes in the final Central Open in Oklahoma, the angler will qualify for the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. Although Svebek's goal is to keep up his momentum and qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series, he feels he is in a good place at the moment.
"I'm going to give it everything I've got," said Svebek. "It's not an easy task. I've got to work hard but I am content right now. I am fortunate to have sponsorships, such as Ranger, to be able to continue fishing."
About Ranger Boats
Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation's premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, with acclaimed models and series in the bass, multi-species, fish 'n play, saltwater, waterfowl utility and pontoon boat segments. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. For more information, go to RangerBoats.com, RangerAluminum.com or RangerPontoons.com.