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Date: June 22, 2013
Region: 2013 North Region
Tournament: Lake Ray Roberts #2
Tournament Trail: 2013 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Close race to the finish for Livesay & Bailey on Ray Roberts at Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

Ray Roberts was the lake host for Bass Champs North Region tournament #4 on June 22, 2013. Top teams enjoyed a 114% payback in this event totaling nearly $46,000. Lee Livesay and Chad Bailey came out on top winning 1st place and over $15,000 with their three fish limit weighing 19.49 lbs

It was a hot summer day with high winds producing big swells over 4’ high. 147 boats scattered on the hunt for just three bass to bring back to the scales. The trick was finding the right three.

Kevin Dritschler and Tim Brockway took over the lead when they brought in their 17.33 lb limit, but that was short lived as within 10 minutes later, Lee Livesay and Chad Bailey came in with their 19.49 lb sack, taking the lead and keeping top spot to win the tournament.

“It was really windy out there,” Livesay and Bailey recalled. “Our plan was to get out there and catch fish all day, or at least get three big ones.” They started at a rocky main lake point 25’ deep, using Carolina rigged brush hogs and jigs. “We were catching fish, but not the ones we were hoping for until around 11am.” Fighting the wind and the waves, knowing the quality fish they were after were there, they dug their heels in and never moved off of their spot. “We caught three good ones in about a 45 minute span, and made one cull around 1pm.” At that point their day was done, not catching another fish the rest of the day to cull with. Their best three tipped the scales at 19.49 lbs, winning 1st place and the guaranteed $15,000 check. They also used Sure Life in their livewell, earning that sponsor bonus for an additional $200. “We would like to thank Trinity Custom Rods and Bass Champs. This is a really good tournament trail, and they just keep everything going great.”

More teams continued to weigh in their creel, then near the end of the weigh in Zach Parker and Heath Moody came in with their catch. First, they weighed their biggest tipping the scales to 10.80 lbs! Adding their other two, they gave the winners a run for their money having a 19.32 lb total. “It was a tough day,” Heath reported. “I ruptured my Achilles tendon Tuesday, so I was fairly immobile. Zach was fantastic. He did everything that required getting around in the boat, including getting me baits or rods, etc. Great partner.” As they started their day, their first plan of attack was not panning out as they had hoped. “The bite was really slow in the morning, so we made some adjustments around 10am and things turned around for us.” They headed out to deep water, about 35’ deep, but they weren’t the only ones out there. “It was pretty crowded.” Nevertheless, Heath boated a nice six pounder soon after they got there, then Zach had another good one on his line that came unbuttoned. Four casts later Heath landed their kicker and big bass of the tournament giving them two fish in their livewell. “Right after that we caught a small one, just barely a keeper. It wasn’t the quality we wanted, so we threw it back having confidence we would catch a bigger one.” The fish quit biting. “I felt like an idiot for throwing that fish back. It got really tough.” Finally, they caught another keeper. “We just told ourselves that this one was bigger than the other, considering how close we were to 1st place.” There was only a difference of just over two ounces. Their 2nd place win cashed in to the tune of $5,000. Then they were awarded a $1,000 check for Big Bass. Bass Champs sponsors kicked in with another $200 from UnderArmour, $500 from BioBor plus the Revo Reel bonus. “We are so blessed, and had a blast. We are so thankful for the Bass Champs guys and what they do to allow us to do this. They are second to none, and we think the world of them. They’re really awesome.” Heath would also like to thank Zach for literally waiting on him hand and foot all day. “Our wives are amazing women. They both give us 100% support to fish these tournaments. Thank you!”

Holding the lead for only a short moment, Kevin Dritschler and Tim Brockway secured a 3rd place win with their 17.33 lb limit. “It was a tough grind for us. We only caught four keepers all day, and three of them were the right ones.” They started out on brush piles in the main part of the lake. “The wind was strong, and there were 4’ waves that were breaking over the nose of the boat.” They were using Carolina rigged flukes and bubble fries in 15’-20’ of water. “We had found some good fish in practice, so we knew they were there.” The morning came and went without putting a single keeper in the boat. Hitting several similar areas, at 11am they finally put their first keeper in the livewell. “It really baffled us. We caught good fish in these areas during practice!” Hours went by, then finally around 2pm they boated two more, including their 7.46 lb kicker. Bass Champs presented them with a check for $3,000 and then Skeeter Boats doubled their winnings being the highest team in a qualified Skeeter boat. They also won the Dodge Ram bonus, giving them free entries into any Bass Champs tournaments for the next 12 months ($7,500 value). Fun N Sun wrapped up their winnings with a $1,000 check. “I would like to thank Monte at Fun N Sun,” Tim continued. “He just made me a part of their team which made this possible. I would also like to thank my wife for tolerating all of this, and Bass Champs as well. They are a great organization.

Twenty teams enjoyed winning checks, and the last one was given to Gavin Rome and Terry Stevens for $600. They had 11.66 pounds.

After the last tournament, Prince & Henderson were tied in the Anglers of the Year race with O’Brien & Henderson. The weights brought in this event sent the leaderboard into a shuffle. Stan Lawing and JD Laughery took over lead position with 645 pts, closely followed by Kevin Dritschler & Tim Brockway with 642 pts. Evan O’Brian and James Henderson are now in 3rd with 639 pts, followed by Lee Livesay & Chad Bailey with 637 pts. Jerry David II & Jon Johnson wraps up the top 5 in the Angler of the Year race with 613 pounds. There is only one tournament left for the North Region anglers – good luck teams!

There are only two open tournaments remaining in the Skeeter Bass Champs 2013 tournament season. The Central Region will have their final tournament June 29 at Belton Lake, then the North Region will wrap up on Cedar Creek July 13. These events are open for anyone to fish, so don’t miss out on these opportunities!

Once all regions have concluded their final tournaments, the top 75 teams from each will qualify to fish the Championship where over $130,000 is guaranteed in cash and prizes. Stay tuned to BassChamps.com for location information being released later in July.
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