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Date: March 25, 2017
Region: 2017 South Region
Tournament: Lake Falcon #2
Tournament Trail: 2017 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Heineman and Bates take the win at Bass Champs on Falcon with over 28 pounds
By: Patty Lenderman

Falcon Lake held big weights for top teams in Bass Champs South region tournament March 25, 2017. Paying back 112% to the top teams, anglers were on the hunt for big bass and big sacks. It was a fantastic show at the scales as so many huge catches were brought in. Tye Heineman and Mike Bates had the biggest sack of them all winning over $20,000!

Spring has sprung, and the temperatures are on the rise. Contenders found Falcon’s water level low, making for skinny water for teams to share. The big fish were biting, and several kickers over eight pounds were caught. It was quite a show at the scales until the final weights were tallied!

Winners Tye Heineman and Mike Bates had started their day drawing boat #117. “We weren’t thrilled about drawing such a late number. Falcon is low, and there are only so many points to fish.” Regaining their composure, they decided to relax and just go fishing. “We made a run to the dam, fishing the chunk rock in 10’-15’ of water,” Tye explained. “We knew a lot of the guys were going to be fishing shallow, but we were figuring on going for the bass that were transitioning.” They decided on jigs as their bait of choice. “At first we were going to use 1 oz jigs, but decided that was probably too big, so we downsized to a ¾ oz.” They chose a tilapia color, then they customized their baits. “We trimmed the weed guard to almost nothing, then tipped our jigs with a variety of trailers.” Within about 15 casts, they had a three and a four pounder in the boat. By 10:30 they had a limit but their smallest fish weighed around 1 ½ pounds and they were desperately trying to cull it with a bigger fish. “Finally, around 1:00 we caught one a little bigger, about two pounds. Then the bite just absolutely died. We moved to another cove, but there were two boats already in it. We waited a little, then all of a sudden both of them buckled up and took off in a hurry, filling the cove with backwash.” They decided to try the spot anyway, and within two casts boated their kicker – a 7 ½ pounder! “At that point we figured we had around 26 pounds, and tried a few more spots but didn’t get to cull anymore. All in all we had a good day.” When it was all said and done, the scales locked in at 28.09 lbs for a 1st place win! Bass Champs presented them the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check, and they enjoyed additional winnings from Lowrance, PowerPole and SureLife. “We’d like to thank God for the opportunity and ability to do this, he really blessed us today.” This is their third Bass Champs win, and their second on Falcon. “It’s going to come down to the wire for the Angler of the Year race in our last tournament on Amistad! We’d like to thank our sponsors and all of our family and friends for their encouragement and support.”

Lee Leonard and Scott Bronder were excited when they drew boat #38 for their take-off order. “With the lake this low, pretty much everyone will be fishing the same spots. We were really happy to get an early draw and be able to get to our starting point before some of the others.” They started off on a point using both Carolina rigs and crank baits. “We caught a good fish at our first area with the crank bait, then moved on trying to find more. It was their third area that Lee hooked their big one. “I was still using a crank bait, and I lucked into our big bass – 9.43 lbs!” They were on a roll, and Scott was putting fish in the livewell with his Carolina rig as well. “We caught and culled fish all day. It just went like clockwork for us!” Their kicker won the $500 Big Bass bonus, and their total weight was 26.46 lbs to win the 2nd place $2,500 check. Lee would like to thank his wife Jamie and daughter Abbie for their encouragement and support while Scott would also like to thank his wife Amanda. “We would also like to thank Wood Covers, the Tire Factory Outlet and the San Marcos Police Officer Association.”

Rounding out the top 10 teams:
3rd $1,500 25.73 lbs Bill Wilcox & Mike Carlson
4th $1,200 24.72 lbs Robert Amaya & Mario Jimenez
5th $1,030 22.79 lbs Jimmy Steed & Charlie Haralson
6th $1,020+ 21.38 lbs Chans Martin & Sterling Martin
7th $1,010 20.58 lbs Karlo Escamilla & Martin Herrejon
8th $1,000 20.21 lbs Rick Shock & Ted Sprencel
9th $ 900 19.93 lbs Steve Caraway & Don Stehling
10th $ 800 19.76 lbs Clint Chrismon & Michael Durrett
And last in the money
17th $ 600 18.70 lbs Cody Day & David Day

Congratulations to Chans and Sterling Martin who were the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter Boat, doubling their winnings to a $2,040 payday plus the Sportsmans Auto Network for Free Entries for 12 months (up to $5000 value)!

The points race took quite a shuffle. The South Region teams have one more tournament to go that will determine Anglers of the Year. Here are the top five teams after three events:
436 pts Lee Leonard & Scott Bronder
433 pts Mike Bates & Tye Heineman
423 pts Spike Stoker & Stuart Jeffrey
407 pts Jimmy Steed & Charlie Haralson
399 pts James Kiser & Chuck Naomi
Good luck teams on Amistad April 22nd!

Be sure and catch every opportunity to fish with Bass Champs! Mark your calendars to fish in these upcoming tournaments for your chance to win like a pro:
April 1 – North Region – Ray Roberts
April 8 – Central Region - Belton
April 22 – South Region - Amistad
April 29 – North Region – Lake Fork
May 13 – East Region – Toledo Bend
May 20 – Central Region - LBJ
June 3 – North Region – Tawakoni
June 9-11 – Skeeter Owner’s Tournament – Fork
June 25 – Techron TX Shootout – Sam Rayburn
Oct 14-15 – 2017 Team Championship – TBA
Oct 21-22 – 12th Annual Berkley Big Bass - Fork

For more information, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274
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