New water nets weight in bass tournament at Elephant Butte

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The middle parking lot by Marina del Sol at Elephant Butte Reservoir was bustling at 6 a.m. May 18 as anglers arrived with the sun to compete in the Socorro Valley Bass Club’s third tournament of the year. Anglers hit the water and the real action started as they headed for the best waters in the lake for the day. The real buzz, though, was when they returned at 3 p.m. to weigh their catch.

Chance Towner/ For El Defensor Chieftain: Chet DeMoss holds up two of his total catch from the May 18 tournament at Elephant Butte Reservoir. DeMoss took first place in the tournament.

Chet DeMoss caught his limit and took home first prize with 8.27 pounds of eligible bass; Randy Campbell came in second with 7.83 pounds. Third and fourth place went to Andrew Miller and Ron Gilworth, respectively. Bobby Beall received the prize for biggest fish, a special prize given at this tournament

Beall’s “biggest fish” was 2.2 pounds. He also placed seventh in the tournament. Gabriel Vigil, a first-time tournament participant, took home first place in the non-boater class.

“The tourney had a good turnout, with our first ‘new water’ on a Saturday in years,” Ron Gilworth, the club’s tournament director, said.

There is usually an American Bass Association tournament on Fridays preceding the club’s tournaments, and that didn’t occur last weekend.

This is “the only club tourney in the state with $100 for big fish, non-boater pot, boater pot and junior pot, if any show,” Gilworth said.

The next Socorro Valley Bass Club tournament is slated for June 9.