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Date: January 23, 2016
Region: 2016 South Region
Tournament: Lake Falcon #1
Tournament Trail: 2016 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Rodriguez & Harrington teams up to win $20,000, catching over 30 pounds!
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs South Region kicks off on Lake Falcon

Skeeter Bass Champs blasted off the South Region kick-off event January 23rd on Lake Falcon with 160 teams vying for a portion of the nearly $50,000 purse to be paid out to the top 21 teams. The payback was a whopping 107%! Jose Rodriguez and Ryan Harrington, both of Rio Grande City, TX triumphed the event, winning by a six pound margin, taking home the guaranteed 1st place prize of $20,000.

It was a cold morning at take-off with temperatures just under the freezing mark at 36 degrees. Falcon is a border lake between Texas and Mexico, and is known for its big bass.

Winners Jose “Martin” Rodriguez and Ryan Harrington had bet all of their marbles on one spot Jose had found during practice. “It was a long, cold boat ride getting there,” Ryan reported. “No one else was around us. We had the whole spot to ourselves.” It was a shallow but heavily wooded area. The first few hours of fishing, they didn’t catch a single fish. “The area just looked good. We had faith in it.” Using spinnerbaits and Texas rigs, they kept at it. Gradually, the sun warmed the water and the area enough and the fish started biting. “When they started biting, they were quality fish.” Their best five totaled 32.63 lbs, anchored by a 9.12 lb kicker that Rodriguez caught. It was more than enough to champion the event, winning by more than a six pound margin! Bass Champs presented the team with a $20,000 1st place check. “This is our first year fishing with Bass Champs. We were very blessed today. I’d like to thank my partner Martin, and God for keeping us safe. Thanks also to everyone at Bass Champs for putting these events on for us to fish!

The 2nd place winners caught a lot of fish throughout their day, and one of them was huge. Randell Brown and Richard Reynolds chose two spots to catch their creel near the dam. “They were flats, between five and ten feet deep,” Richard explained. Using a watermelon red Texas rigged rage craw exclusively, they estimate catching 40 fish throughout the day. “At first we were just catching small fish, but between 12-1:00 after it warmed up, the bigger ones started biting.” They caught their three biggest fish during that hour. Randell caught the biggest one, setting a new personal best record with it. “He knew it was a big one as soon as she bit. He set the hook, and we got a look at her tail. I scrambled to put my pole down and grab the net. As he was trying to get her in, she wrapped around the base of a tree. We had to troll over to her and get her out of it. We were so excited!” Weighing that fish first at the scales, she weighed 11.78 lbs, winning Big Bass of the tournament. Adding their other four, they had a 26.59 lb sack to win 2nd place overall. Bass Champs awarded them $3,250 for their 2nd place win, and another $500 for Big Bass. Their winnings didn’t stop there, with several sponsor bonuses kicking in. They won the Chevron Delo bonus, Abu Garcia, BioBor, Lowrance, Costa Del Mar and UnderArmor bonuses too!

3rd place was won by Jerry Delafuente and Raymond Benoit. “Our day went really well,” Jerry surmised. “We targeted two areas, they both had trees and held nice fish. We had to wait until the water warmed up before they started biting.” They used Rat-L-Traps to locate their fish, then switched to spinnerbaits and square bills to trigger the bite. “We caught our first five fish in our first spot, which was a submerged island near deep water. After that we went to our second area, and the water was warmer. We slowed our fishing way down, using the square bills to try to mop up the area.” In their second spot, they caught 15 keepers, all bigger than the ones from their first spot. All total they weighed in 22.63 pounds, anchored by a 6.27 lb kicker to win 3rd place and $2,250. They doubled their winnings being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat to a $4,500 day! “I wish we had caught one bigger fish, but we were fortunate to catch what we did. We had a great day, it was great weather, and we had a great time!” Jerry has been fishing Bass Champs since 2009, and this is the first year with his new partner Ray. “I really enjoyed fishing this tournament with my new partner. We had a really good time.” Jerry and his dad were partners in Bass Champs in years prior. “I’d really like to thank my dad for teaching me how to fish and for passing this sport to me. I hope to continue passing it on. In the meantime, we’ll keep fishing Bass Champs as long as they keep the tournaments coming!”

All total 21 teams received checks, and it took 15.45 pounds to be in the money. Brian Hall and Jacob Beck received the 21st place check.

The next event for the South Region will be held February 20 on Amistad. In the meantime, Bass Champs will be heading to Lake LBJ to kick off the Central Region on February 6. Remember – all Bass Champs tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish. Don’t miss out on your chance to win BIG!

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