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Date: January 13, 2018
Region: 2018 South Region
Tournament: Lake Amistad #1
Tournament Trail: 2018 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Flores brothers win Bass Champs 2018 season kick-off on Amistad winning over $25,000
By: Patty Lenderman

Skeeter Bass Champs blasted off their 19th year of honoring the sport of competitive bass fishing and the anglers who love it on lake Amistad January 13, 2018. What started out to be a very cold day ended with hot paychecks to the top twenty-one teams enjoying an incredible 109% payback event. Michael and Armando Flores topped the field of 160 teams taking home over $25,000!

Anglers were ready in high anticipation to begin the season for their chance to catch-in some tournament winnings and get back in on the fun. The morning started out just above the freezing mark, but with little to no wind, calm water and clear skies lots of limits were caught and several big fish were seen at the scales as temperatures continued to rise, all culminating to a fantastic weigh in and start of the 2018 season.

Brothers Michael and Armando Flores are the first 1st place winners of the year, having the best five fish limit of the day weighing in at 18.64 lbs. “We had a really good day,” Michael began. “We caught most of our fish early, but continued to catch a few throughout the day.” The brothers targeted deep rock ledges for their catch using Alabama rigs. They had drawn boat #10, and by 8a.m. their day was off to a great start with four fish in their live well. “We hit several different spots, all with deep rocky ledges. Only two areas produced well for us. Our two biggest fish went around 5 and 6 pounds. As the day went on, the bite slowed down. We only culled one time after 12:00. It was definitely a team effort!” Bass Champs presented the team with the guaranteed 1st place check for $20,000. Their winnings continued with another $5,000 from Skeeter Boats being the highest placing team in a qualified Skeeter. “We just bought our new Skeeter boat last year from Dean’s Marine in Odessa, TX. I’m so glad – it is already paying off!” They also won $250 from Lowrance and another $200 from Sure-Life. What a way to start their season!

Charles Whited and Jimmy Shelton landed in 2nd place with 17.52 lbs. “It was a good tournament, everything went pretty much perfect,” Charles explained. “We had scouted for fish before the tournament, but had not found very much. It was 25 degrees during practice days.” Even though they didn’t feel like they had much to go with, they hit what they had and it paid off for them. “We targeted grass patches, putting the boat in around 25’ and casting to the outside edge of the grass, 12’ to 15’ with 1-1/4 oz Oldhams jigs.” Drawing boat #7, it didn’t take long to get to their first spot, and it was prime. They had a limit in the first 15 minutes! When the bite slowed there, they moved to other similar spots staying in the mid lake area on the American side. “We caught a few more using Alabama rigs, and some on Forage Lures rattle traps.” Around 1:00 when the water had warmed to 55 degrees, the bite picked back up. They went back to their Power Tackle rods, braided line and heavy Oldham jigs. At that point Charles hooked the tournament Big Bass weighing in at 8.36 lbs. “We lost another right after that, probably around 7 lbs!” They won $3,500 for their 2nd place finish, and another $500 for Big Bass. “We would like to thank all of our sponsors already mentioned as well as Energy Sales, Texas Boat World, Evinrude, Samdiego Custom Tackle, Daiwa, Sunline, Super Nova Lights, Grande Bass, Texas Tournament Zone and Simms Rain Gear.”

3rd place winners Kevin Gibson and Chance Woods brought in a solid sack weighing 16.65 lbs. “We started the morning on fire,” Kevin recalled. They had one spot picked out and using Alabama rigs, and had three keepers in 15 minutes. “It was an area at the mouth of a main creek channel with a big deep grass flat. When the bite would slow down, we would ease to another spot nearby, then come back to the grass flat. We just kept grinding at it all day, and caught around 15 keepers. It was a beautiful day. In previous years I got to partner with my son in Bass Champs tournaments. This year Chance and I teamed up, and this is our best finish so far!” They received $2,000 for their day.

Rounding out the top five teams: 4th- $1,700 Mike Cones & Ron Wade 16.51 lbs; 5th - $1,600 Bruce White & Cory Leita 16.11 lbs. All total twenty one teams earned a check, the last $600 went to Britten and Russell Gambrel with 10.83 lbs.

Be sure and see how to qualify for all of the Bass Champs sponsor bonuses this year. Thousands of dollars are up for grabs at every event! Go to http://www.basschamps.com/sponsorIncentives.cfm to see how you can cash in.

The next tournament will be on Sam Rayburn January 20 to kick off the East Region. All regular season events are open to anyone who would like to fish for BIG winnings!

For more information and complete schedules, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274
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