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Date: March 11, 2017
Region: 2017 East Region
Tournament: Sam Rayburn #2
Tournament Trail: 2017 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Rayburn scores 30-30-30 at Bass Champs third East Texas event on Sam Rayburn
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs East Region teams poured on the gas in the third event of the season March 11, 2017 weighing in at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. There were 344 teams vying for a portion of the payback valued at over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Fifty teams brought in weights exceeding 20 pounds, and there were two double digit bass weighed in! The top three weights were over 30 pounds, only separated by mere increments. In the end, it was the team of Roy and Justin Wade of Diboll, TX who took home the $20,000 guaranteed 1st place prize.

Weather forecasters had predicted some nasty weather heading in, so for added safety on the water everyone was allowed to trailer their boats to launches nearer to their fishing areas. As it turned out, conditions were perfect on Rayburn all day. Almost no hint of wind, overcast skies and mild temperatures set the scene for an incredible bass catching day.

The very first team to bring their catch to the scales was Roy and Justin Wade. First putting their 8.66 lb kicker to be weighed, then adding their final four bass to it, their total came to a whopping 30.96 lbs! Their wait to see how their catch would hold up was long and arduous, as well over 300 teams were yet to weigh in their catch. A few along the line came within ounces of catching them, but in the end their weight held for a 1st place win.

When the winners Roy and Justin Wade were called to the stage, Chad Potts, President of Bass Champs asked them how they did it. “We fished points in about 6’ of water, using green pumpkin shaky heads, jigs and spinnerbaits,” the team reported. “Throughout the day we probably caught around twelve keepers, and most of them came early.” They executed their day just right for a $20,000 payday!

There was only about an ounce difference between 1st and 2nd places. Alan Moore and Robert Davis, both of Lufkin TX had another huge sack weighing in at 30.85 lbs. They used swim jigs and Senko’s in shallow depths of 3’-6’ to find their catch in grassy areas. “Did the option of trailering help you today?” Potts asked. “We fished the mid lake area, and launched closer to where we were fishing. It helped, but we would have made the run either way.” They pulled out a 2nd place winning check for $7,500.

Another 30+ pound sack won 3rd place, caught by Jim Prothro of Gilmer, TX and Tommy Morrison of Granbury. They heaved their biggest fish on the scales to be weighed first. The big brute breached the double digit mark locking in at 10.34 pounds! Adding the rest of their creel, their total weight came to 30.64 pounds, taking a close 3rd place win. “We fished shallow water, using a Texas rigged 10 inch worm,” they explained. “We had our initial limit in the boat by 7am.” They were fishing sandy, bald, secondary points. It was around 11:30 when Tommy Morrison got the big bite. “We were able to cull a two pounder with it!” Increasing their weight by eight pounds with that one catch, they landed their final finish for a $5,500 check. Their winnings didn’t stop there – they also won Big Bass for another $1,000. They were also the highest finishing team in a Skeeter boat, adding another $5,000 to their day. They also cashed in on the Lowrance Gen3 bonus and the Abu Garcia Revo bonuses as well!

There were a lot of big bass weighed in, including another over ten pounds. Perry Moss and Greg Smith of Shreveport, LA caught one weighing 10.25 lbs that anchored their 5th place overall finish.

Rounding out the top 10:
4th $4,250 29.32 lbs Matt Morris & Billy Gaston
5th $3,200 28.96 lbs Perry Moss & Greg Smith
6th $2.500+ 26.80 lbs Dale Boren & Rick Scott
7th $2,000 26.70 lbs Norman Land & Travis Moore
8th $1,800 25.92 lbs Michael Latham & Ben Vaughan
9th $1,700 25.79 lbs Martin Elshout & Mark Price
10th $1,600 25.18 lbs Chris Nunnelee & Gary Paris
and last in the money

46th $600 20.26 lbs John Iles & Brian Shook

Due to the number of entries in this tournament, the ‘Zero Bonus’ was again offered to everyone for two chances to win a $500 check. This gives teams who would not have a chance to win a check in the regular line-up to opt to release the fish they have instead of weighing them in, thus having an opportunity to still win a check. It was a tough call for many, as the Angler of the Year race is still tight going into the final event.
The winners of the “ZERO BONUS” were:
Dean Coleman and Randy Quinn: $500
Bud Boles and Colton Boles: $500

With only one tournament to go, the East Region points leaders are:
1014 pts Clayton Boulware & Albert Collins
979 pts Harold Allen & Matt Loetscher
975 pts Kris Wilson & Bryan Lohr
974 pts Todd Castledine & Russell Cecil
948 pts Ben Matsubu & Brando Davidson
Good luck all East Texas Region teams in the final event on Toledo Bend May 13!

Before the end of the year, Bass Champs will pay out over $2 MILLION, and the winnings are already racking up - so far top teams have earned $580,600 in seven events!
Jan 14 – East Region – Sam Rayburn PAID $106,900
Jan 21 – South Region – Falcon PAID $49,650
Feb 4 – Central Region – Travis PAID $52,450
Feb 11 – East Region – Toledo Bend PAID $83,300
Feb 18 – North Region – Cedar Creek PAID $71,880
Feb 25 – South Region – Amistad PAID $48,000
March 4 – Central Region – LBJ PAID $68,360
March 11 – East Region – Sam Rayburn PAID $100,060

All Bass Champs regular season events are open to anyone who would like to fish, and have a chance at cashing in big!
March 19 – Mega Bass – Lake Fork
March 25 – South Region - Falcon
April 1 – North Region – Ray Roberts
April 8 – Central Region - Belton
April 22 – South Region - Amistad
April 29 – North Region – Lake Fork
May 13 – East Region – Toledo Bend
May 20 – Central Region - LBJ
June 3 – North Region – Tawakoni
June 9-11 – Skeeter Owner’s Tournament – Fork
June 25 – Techron TX Shootout – Sam Rayburn
Oct 14-15 – 2017 Team Championship – TBA
Oct 21-22 – 12th Annual Berkley Big Bass - Fork

It’s finally here! The Annual Mega Bass tournament on Lake Fork - the richest one-day hourly big bass tournament in the world is happening March 19. $20,000 will be given away EVERY single hour of the event – and it gets even better. At the end of the day, the angler catching the largest bass under the slot and the angler catching the biggest bass over the slot will each win a new Skeeter Boat! Anglers will be winning over $200,000 in cash and prizes – all in one day. Don’t miss your chance to win!

For those who have never fished on Lake Fork but would like to give it a try for your chance to win, the ‘slot’ rules on Lake Fork are simple: Any bass under 16” may be retained and weighed. Any bass over 24” may be retained. Any bass in-between those measurements are illegal to keep and must be released immediately. So go grab your gear and get ready to cash in – Entry fees are only $160 per angler and up to 15 places are paid every single hour.

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