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Date: October 8, 2016
Region: 2016 Bass Champs Championship
Tournament: 2016 Bass Champs Championship
Tournament Trail: 2016 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Father & Son team win 4 Region Bass Champs Championship in Orange, taking home a Skeeter FX 20/Yamaha 250!
By: Patty Lenderman

After an incredible 2016 season in four Bass Champs Regions across Texas, the two day Championship event climaxed in Orange, TX with 190 participating teams. Anglers from all four regions have proven their skills all year and were all now gunning for one of the two Skeeter boats to be awarded, and to earn the crown of overall Champions. Weights were stacked incredibly tight both days of the event, but in the end it was Central Regions team of Wendell Randall Sr and Wendell Randall Jr who took home the crown. Before it was all said and done, over $200,000 was awarded in cash and prizes to the top 40 teams reflecting an unparalleled 365% payback!.

The stage was set in the brackish waters of Orange, TX. For many, it was their first experience fishing such waters where both fresh and saltwater fish are caught. The banquet was held Friday night, catered by Spanky?s Bar & Grill. Bass Champs sponsors provided well over 100 products that were awarded by drawing, and teams were assigned boat numbers for take-off order. Ida Schossow and John Gothia of the Greater Orange County Chamber of Commerce were on the scene and had greatly helped to coordinate having the event there. New minimum length limits for bass were announced at 12? and areas for anglers to be watchful of were relayed. Fish Fishburn and his camera crew caught all of the action to be aired on the Bass Champs Television show in a few short months!

Chad Potts, President of Bass Champs addressed the anglers, thanking every one of them for fishing with Bass Champs and helping to make it the best team trail in Texas. ?We really appreciate all of you. It?s hard to believe that this all started with a couple of guys wanting to start a tournament trail. This year we had over 10,000 participants including those in our specialty events. More than 15,000 bass were weighed in totaling more than 35,000 pounds. Thanks to all of the participation and our great sponsors, Bass Champs has paid out well over two million dollars to anglers in 2016. The sponsors keep getting better every year, and the trail keeps growing as well. It is just going to keep getting better, as we go into our 20th season in 2017!?

Day one recap: The bite was on as limit after limit was brought to the scales. Jason Hanks and Marc Woolems were the first to break the double digit barrier with their 11.92 lb total, also initiating the Big Bass race with their 3.98 lb kicker. It was a weigh in to be watched, as that was just the beginning. Bigger bass and bigger sacks kept rolling in, until Jonathan Simon and Cade Durio brought in their 13.63 lb sack with a 4.74 lb kicker, taking the tournament lead going into day two. The weights were so tight, it was still anyone?s game and everyone had to be on their toes as every ounce mattered.

Top 10 day one leaders:
13.63 lbs Jonathan Simon & Cade Durio
13.10 lbs Wendell Ramsey Sr & Wendell Ramsey Jr
11.92 lbs Jason Hanks & Marc Woolems
11.87 lbs Patrick Anderson & Doug Hamilton
11.62 lbs Ryan Watkins & Gran Shandley
11.46 lbs Kris Wilson & Harold Moore
11.38 lbs William Casteel & Steven Smudricks
11.29 lbs Stefan Cloeren & Blake Istre
11.17 lbs Craig Massey & Scott Holifield
11.03 lbs Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo

The take-off order was reversed for day two, and while some stuck to their original game plan and spots, others were on the hunt for new territory. A cold front had come in overnight making for a chilly morning, and for many made the bite a bit more challenging. Jaret Latta and Brian Lowrance were the first team to breach the 20 pound mark with their two day 21.07 lb total. Before the end of the day, eleven more teams also exceeded 20 pounds, leaving less than a two pound difference in the top ten teams.

Craig Massey and Scott Holifield brought in another 11.39 lbs on day two, giving them a 21.72 lb total to land them in 5th place overall garnering a $4,000 check.

Andy and Malcolm Williams started by putting their kicker on the scales, weighing in at 5.58 lbs winning Big Bass of the day with the biggest tournament fish caught. Their total day two sack weighed 15.25 pounds, the biggest stringer weighed in over the course of two days, launching them from their 101st position on day one to a 4th place overall finish! Bass Champs presented them a check for $5,000 plus another $750 for Big Bass. ?Just goes to show, you can?t ever quit ? no matter what!?

Rusty Clark and Cory Rambo had consistently strong weights both days, giving them a 21.89 lb total to win 3rd place overall. They won a $6,000 3rd place check and another $1,000 Lowrance Gen 3 bonus.

Day one leaders Jonathan Simon and Cade Durio only needed 9.01 lbs to retake the lead. ?We had practiced really hard for this event, and during practice it was easy to put together 14 pound sacks each day. The first day of the tournament we pulled up to our first spot and caught a 3 pounder on our third cast with a square bill. We didn?t catch any more so we moved to another spot and caught a 4 and 3 pounder using swim baits. The water level fell, and after we put our limit together we started culling by ounces. We struggled the final day. The water dropped 6?, and our 4? square bill was digging the bottom. It was a long run to the area we picked, so we were committed to fishing it. We just didn?t get the bites we needed. We made one cull before the end of the day giving us another 8 oz to our weight, and we hoped ?maybe? it might be enough.? Their weight locked in at 7.99 lbs. giving them a 6th place overall finish and a check for $3,000 plus another $750 for winning day 1 Big Bass. They would like to thank Simon Outfitters, Costa Del Mar, Granger Chevrolet, Tubal Cain Marine, Tracker Marine of Beaumont and V&M Baits for their support.

The weights were achingly tight. Lance Duff and Cole Costlow brought in an 11.93 lb sack, giving them a 21.92 lb total to win the 2nd place Skeeter boat 03/100ths of a pound! ?God is so good!? the team excitedly exclaimed. ?We caught all of our fish on spinnerbaits, craw worms and prayers. It was tough. We made our last cull with only two minutes to spare. We thank God for giving this to us!? Bass Champs awarded them the 2nd place Skeeter ZX225 powered by a Yamaha SHO. They would like to thank Eric Raggio of Bay Area Fence Co., Jaimie Harvey at Keller Williams, Apache Industries, Castaway Rods, Rat-L-Trap, Lews Lures, Xcite Baits, Tackle Addict, Shamrock Vacuum Service, Predator Tackle, Crooked Hook Fishwear, Clint & Clay West and BJ Ford in Liberty TX.

The father & son team of Wendell Ramsey Sr and Wendell Ramsey Jr had the most two day weight of them all. They had a strong 2nd place lead at the end of day one, with 13.10 lbs. ?We have never been here before, but was able to practice a little bit before the tournament,? the team explained. ?We narrowed our spots to three main areas, but had zero confidence that we could win this.? Using spinnerbaits, Rage Tail Minnows and Cutter baits, they set out on their hunt. ?We found a tree in this one 200? stretch that was holding a lot of bait fish. That was our best spot.? A camera man accompanied them the final day to catch all of the winning action. They topped off their weight with another 9.54 lbs on day two for a total weight of 22.64 lbs, winning the Championship by less than a pound! You can see how they pulled off their win on the Bass Champs show later this season! Bass Champs awarded the Champions with a new Skeeter FX20 powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO. The Ramsey?s would like to thank their families for their support along with Strike King Rage Tail, Texas Cutting & Coring in Round Rock, TX, Army Bass Anglers, Marine Bass Anglers, Proline Trolling Motors and Tightlines Premium Tackle.

Rounding out the final top ten winners:
7th 21.51 lbs $2,000 Kris Wilson & Harold Moore
8th 21.07 lbs $1,800 Jaret Latta & Brian Lowrance
9th 21.01 lbs $1,700 Trey Smith III & Hunter Gothia
10th 20.73 lbs $1,600 Martin Elshout & Mark Price
and last in the money
40th 16.73 lbs $1,000 Tom Gridley & Scott Meads

?We?d like to congratulate all of our winners throughout this season,? Chad Potts announced. ?Thank you so much for helping to make Bass Champs the #1 Team Tournament Trail. We strive to keep making it better and better for you, and look forward to seeing everyone next season!?

There is one more opportunity to win this year at the 11th annual Berkley Big Bass Open October 15-16 on Lake Fork. Don?t miss your chance to win in this hourly event ? call 817-439-3274 for more details.

Also, the calendar is set for the 2017 season and available at www.BassChamps.com. Pull it up, mark your calendars and save the dates for your chance to win big next year!
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