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Date: June 29, 2013
Region: 2013 Central Region
Tournament: Lake Belton #2
Tournament Trail: 2013 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Jackpot! Freeman brothers win $16,000 on two fish on Lake Belton at Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

You would be hard pressed to find a tournament trail that offers 100% payback. Bass Champs consistently surpasses that mark, and at the final Central Region tournament on Lake Belton, anglers received a 102% payback! All regular season Bass Champs tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish, and that worked out extremely well for brothers Billy and Fred Freeman who fished their first Bass Champs tournament this year and won $16,000 weighing in only TWO fish!

June 29 was a scorcher of a day. The wind was still for the better part of the day, offering absolutely no relief to 147 teams looking for big enough three fish limits to get a portion of the $40,950 piece of the pie in this event.

The Freeman brothers started their day at a flat near a creek bend in 10’-12’ depths. Fred caught their first keeper, about three pounds, at 7:30. “We were using big blue fleck power worms on shaky heads,” Fred explained. “About 8am, Billy caught our big one.” They had two fish in their livewell, but noticed that their fish were struggling almost immediately, so decided to bring them on in to weigh so they could be released back into the lake. That was at 8:30am. Their big fish weighed 8.12 lbs, and their total on two fish was 11.39 lbs. “It was early, so we went back out to try to catch one more. Billy lost one good one at the boat, the rest were all dinks. It was a very challenging day, and got very warm really quick.”

With no more fish to add to their creel, they headed back to see how the weights from the rest of the field of anglers stacked up. Many of them had their three fish limits. At the end of the day when the scales closed, the Freeman’s 11.39 total held up for a 1st place win! Bass Champs presented them the guaranteed $15,000 first place check. In addition, their 8.12 lb kicker held for Big Bass of the tournament for an additional $1,000.

2nd place was won by Bill Polkinghorn and Charles Whited with a 10.03 lb limit. “We drew boat #63, and headed to the lower end of the lake.” Throwing an Alabama rig, they managed two keepers and a few small fish in their starting spot. “After a while we headed up the river and switched to square bill crank baits and Texas rigs. We caught a few fish, including one that we weighed in.” Still looking for bigger fish, they headed back down to the lower end of the lake, at a point that dropped to 18’. It was there that they caught their 6.77 lb kicker fish that anchored their 2nd place win. Bass Champs presented them with a $5,000 check and they would like to thank Super Nova Fishing Lights, Texas Bass Tackle, Pro’s Choice Baits, Samaniego Custom Tackle & Rods, Texas Boat World, TTZ, Triton, Xcite Baits and Fish Finders Marine. “We’d like to thank Jeff, Chad and the whole Bass Champs crew. They put on great working man’s tournaments.”

Sam Stone and Wayne Hall caught 3rd place with 9.95 lbs. “It was tough. We started out fishing flats, rocky shores and deep points.” They managed but one keeper, and at 2pm that was all they had in their livewell. “We were getting pretty frustrated.” They only had one hour left to make something happen. “We decided to pull up to a shoreline that was pretty close to the weigh in and just hammer it.” Using swim baits and shaky heads, their luck turned around. “This shoreline had just a little bit of wind on it, and in that last hour we caught three good weighers, and culled our first fish. It was a rough day, and insanely hot – but it ended well!” They won a $3,000 check for their 3rd place finish.

Twenty places were paid in this tournament. Shawn James and Maike Luna won the last $600 with their 5.39 lb limit.

Dale Boren and Jody Holubek won the Skeeter bonus, doubling their winnings to a $1,200 day.

Now that all five Central Region tournaments are in the books, the Anglers of the Year have been determined. Congratulations to Dustin and Johnny Grice for achieving this status by accumulating the highest points total. In addition to their prestigious title, their entry fees will be waived for the Central Region 2014 season. Congratulations!

Bass Champs tournament trail has only one open event remaining for 2013. The North Region will wrap up on Cedar Creek July 13. The top 75 teams from each region 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 by early August.

If you haven’t already signed up, be sure and get in on the 8th Annual Berkley Big Bass tournament on Lake Fork October 19-20. Ten places will be paid each hour for both days of the tournament, plus two Skeeter boats will be won! For additional information and rules, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274.
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