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Date: February 10, 2018
Region: 2018 South Region
Tournament: Lake Falcon
Tournament Trail: 2018 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Keller & Spencer dominate Bass Champs South Region event on Falcon with nearly 32 pounds
By: Patty Lenderman

164 teams hit it hard on Lake Falcon for Bass Champs’ South Regions second event of the 2018 season. Hitting it hard after a weather delay, many teams found hungry big bass, resulting in phenomenal catches paired up with astounding paydays. Not only did the top five teams exceed the twenty pound mark for their total catch – winners Joshua Spencer and Kyle Keller brought in nearly 32 pounds to dominate the field.

The fog had rolled in like a heavy blanket the morning of the tournament. For safety reasons, the contenders were held at the starting line for three hours, waiting for the visibility to improve. Once released, these anglers raced to their targeted areas to grab the bites they needed for this 104% payback opportunity. There was only a short window of overcast skies once the fog lifted. The remainder of the day gave way to beautiful sunny conditions, making the afternoon hunt for biting bass that much more challenging.

Kyle Keller had done the homework for he and his partner Joshua Spencer prior to the tournament. “Kyle discovered a tree, out by itself, in 16’ of water,” Joshua explained. “During practice, he had caught a 12# and an 8-1/2# bass off of it. This tree was definitely holding the kind of bass we were looking for!” The morning of the tournament was delayed to begin the competition until 10am. “We were worried. The bass we were targeting had been feeding in the morning.” When they finally reached their destination, the bass were no longer at the tree. “We had to switch gears. We were banking on those bass.” Using their Helix 10 Mega Imaging Side Scanner, they located the group of bass on a nearby flat. “We changed the way we were planning on fishing. We had to slow down our presentation using Texas and Carolina rigged brush hogs.” Three hours it took to put a limit together, which included a ‘dink’ weighing about two pounds. “We moved to another area for a while, but didn’t catch anything, so we went back to our first spot.” Time was ticking, but they finally caught their sixth and final fish. “It was a six pounder, so we were able to make a four pound cull!” In the final rankings, that last fish made all the difference for them. They won 1st place with a total of 31.98 lbs, cashing in on the guaranteed $20,000 winning purse. Sure Life added another $200 to their winnings for using the product in their live well. “We run a Skeeter boat, so we are in good shape. Boerne Marine made us a great deal on our 2014 21-I powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO. It just missed qualifying for the Skeeter bonus, but we love our boat!” This was the teams first time to fish a tournament together, but definitely plan to compete again!

2nd place winners Rick Scheen and Mike Harman also reported having a good day. “The fog delay hurt, but when we got to our spot the bite was full on!” Hitting the mouth of a creek in 12’-15’ of water with Texas rigs and crank baits, they caught most of their fish in the first 45 minutes of fishing. “Mike caught our biggest, about 8-1/2 pounds. We managed to cull twice, but still had a three pounder we needed to cull.” Around 2:30, they moved to another spot and started flipping. “When the sun came out, it hurt the bite. We kept at it, but never could cull that last smallest fish. Other than that, everything went smooth and basically as planned. It was a lot of fun!” Bass Champs presented them a $3,500 check for 2nd place, then they won another $250 for qualifying for the Lowrance bonus. “We would both like to thank our wives first and foremost for allowing us to do this. We also appreciate Samaniego Custom Rods and Lews Reels for their support.”

3rd place was achieved by the father and son team of Ben and John Bossom. “We caught fish all day, in a place we found in practice,” John began. “The area was less than ten feet deep with lots of brush and mixed hardwoods.” Using a Texas rig, their first bite yielded them a six pounder. “The bite was really slow. After a while, there was a short flurry where they bit well, and after the first three hours we had a limit in the boat. We caught fish and culled all day, and we broke off several fish too.” As the day wore on, they got down to mere minutes left to fish. “We were watching the time pretty close. With 3 minutes left, we made our last cull, exchanging a four pounder for a two. Dad broke off on one right after that.” Their best five fish totaled 20.54 lbs for a 3rd place finish and a $2,000 check. “This is our third year fishing Bass Champs together, and this is our best finish yet!”

Rounding out the top five includes (4th) 20.36 lbs, Logan and Jerry McDonald taking home $1,700 and (5th) 20.07 lbs, Mitch Goodall and Foy Osborn winning $1,600.

Jacob Beck caught the biggest bass of the day, fishing with Brian Hall. “It was a tough day. We flipped trees all day looking for bass.” The morning bite eluded them, and they didn’t have a single fish in their live well until noon. “There was an area with a drain, and an old road bed running through it. We went up and down it flipping the trees in 6’ to 12’, over and over.” That’s where he got his big bite on a lizard. “She just hit it, and I set the hook. She got hung up in a tree while I was trying to reel her in, but thankfully the limb broke off and we netted her with part of the limb! That was their fifth keeper, and by then it was 3pm. Their big bass weighed in at 9.10 pounds, winning a $500 check. All total they netted 17.44 lbs for an 11th place finish and another $1,010. Abu Garcia awarded them two new reels for catching the biggest bass of the tournament on an Abu Garcia reel.

Skeeter boats awarded the 12th place winners William Fesler and William McGuffey $1,000, doubling their winnings, for being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat. They also won the Sportsmans Auto bonus for an additional $5,000 value!

It took 13.81 lbs to win a check, and the 22nd place team winning the final $600 was Mike Cones and Ron Wade.

With two of four tournaments now in the books for the South Region, the Anglers of the Year race is underway. The team with the most accumulated points after all of the events in their region have been fished will achieve this prestigious status and have their entry fees waived in that region for the 2019 season. Top five rankings after two events are:
318 pts – Rick Scheen & Mike Harman
301 pts – Mike Cones & Ron Wade
298 pts – Kenneth Fairly & Tommy Law
298 pts – Logan McDonald and Jerry McDonald
296 pts – Mitch Goodall & Foy Osborn

The next South Region tournament will be held March 24th at Lake Amistad. Good luck teams!

Whether you can only fish one tournament or fish them all, every regular season event is open to anyone who would like to compete for big paybacks. The remaining regular season team schedule:
2/17 – Toledo Bend
2/24 – Lake Fork
3/3 – Lake LBJ
3/10 – Sam Rayburn
3/24 – Amistad
4/7 – Ray Roberts
4/14 – Belton
3/21 – Amistad
5/5 – Lake LBJ
5/12 – Toledo Bend
5/19 – Lake Tawakoni
6/16 – Cedar Creek

Bass Champs also hosts these great specialty tournaments:
March 17 – Sportsman’s Auto Network Mega Bass on Lake Fork
June 8 – Skeeter Owner’s Tournament on Lake Fork
June 23 – Techron TX Shootout on Sam Rayburn
Oct 20 – 13th Annual Berkeley Big Bass on Lake Fork

For more information please visit www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274

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