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Date: May 12, 2018
Region: 2018 East Region
Tournament: Toledo Bend #2
Tournament Trail: 2018 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Langley and Campise take it on Toledo Bend at Bass Champs Rambo and Clark crowned Anglers of the Year
By: Patty Lenderman

By Patty Lenderman

With the mass of top notch teams and over $66,000 up for grabs, the last regular season event for Bass Champs’ East Region was quite an event on May 12th at Cypress Bend Marina on Toledo Bend. Scads of big bass were brought to the scales, and the last push for points were on the line for the Anglers of the Year race. In the end, Oscar Langele Jr and James Campise topped a field of 227 teams to take home the mother load.

Forecasters had predicted high winds for the event, so for safety reasons everyone was allowed to trailer their boats to launches closer to areas they would be fishing. Anglers could go to their spots, but couldn’t make their first cast until 7am. Due to the number of participants, Bass Champs offered two “Zero Bonuses”. Teams who elected not to weigh their catch at the end of the day, and instead released their fish back into the lake, were entered into a drawing to receive a $500 check for conservation. Seven teams had weights over 20 pounds, and five teams brought in kickers over 8 pounds! It was a site to see as these avid anglers brought in their bounties.

Oscar Langele Jr and James Campise had quite a day. “We were excited to get to trailer to a closer boat launch to where we were fishing. That helped us out a lot. We started out catching a six pounder for our first fish of the day,” James recalled. “The rod broke in half while we were getting her in. At that point we knew we were going to have a good day!” They drug Carolina rigged worms at main lake points in 8’-15’ depths. “The bite was really slow. We’d catch one off a spot, and have to move to another.” Continuing to hit the same type areas, Oscar caught their third fish, weighing 8.67 pounds. “After that we struggled for a few hours. The bite just quit. It took until 11:00 to get five fish in the boat.” They continued jumping around from spot to spot, and ended up culling four times before days end. “Our last crucial cull was when we had about 10 minutes left to fish. We upgraded about a pound. Turns out we may not have needed it, but it sure would have been close! They ended up bringing in a total of 24.20 pounds to win the event. Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed 1st place check for $20,000 and they won the Lowrance bonus as well. “We have fished Bass Champs for years. With the competition in this region, it is just a miracle to win – but we’ll take it!”

It was Logan Sherrer and Ryan Lavigne who took 2nd place having 22.71 lbs by the end of the day. “We trailered to our spot, and got there around 6:45,” Logan began. “The fish were schooling already all around us. We had to just sit and watch them until it got to be 7:00. That was really hard!” Once they were able to start casting, Ryan lost one right off the bat. Then he made up for it, landing a five pounder on a topwater lure and they managed another three pound bass off their first spot on a worm before heading to deeper water. “We hit about five areas, all offshore points and humps in around 17’ of water,” Logan continued. “The fish were biting fairly steady, and we had about 16 pounds at 2:00.” Then, using a 10” worm, Ryan got their big bite. Catching their biggest fish of the day at 8.43 lbs, they increased their overall weight by another six pounds! “We probably culled four times before the end of the day. Surprisingly, everything went as planned!” The duo cashed in $5,000 for their day.

Cole Stewart braved it alone, but hit it hard and came out well. “The day started out really fast for me. I went to a point that was 12’-15’ deep and used crank baits. I had a limit in the boat within ten minutes that probably weighed around 16 pounds.” When the bite started to slow down, he went to another area. “I only stayed gone about an hour, and decided to head back. The bigger fish started to bite, and I started culling up. I caught between 50-60 fish all day.” His best cull of the day was exchanging a 6-1/4 pounder for a two pound fish. At the scales, his best five locked in at 22.19 pounds, winning 3rd place and a check for $4,000.

There were a lot of big bass brought in weighing in the 8 pound range. The biggest of them all was brought in by Buddy Bumstead and Danny Cherry at 8.89 lbs. “We just got lucky,” Buddy stated. “Since we were allowed to trailer, we put in at White Oak and ran down to the Housen area. Danny and his wife had found this spot a week before in practice.” It was a deep spot, around 22’, with structure. “They had caught an 8 and a 7 pounder there. It didn’t hold a lot of fish, but it was holding quality.” “We had around a 45 minute wait once we got there before we could start fishing.” Tying on a Texas rigged Ol’ Monster worm, the duo began their quest. “The bite was slow, and few and far between,” Buddy recalled. At 10:30 they got their 4th bite of the day, and when Buddy set the hook – it pulled back! “The fish started taking drag as soon as I set the hook. It was a fight to get her in, and she came up three times showing herself before we got her to the boat!” Danny secured her in the net, and they continued fishing the area until around noon then moved to another spot. “We caught our last fish of the day at 1:30. We only caught five fish, no more.” They won $1,000 for having the biggest fish of the tournament, and having 16.43 lbs they won 17th place for another $1,030 check.

Rounding out the top five, 4th place was won by Scooter Clark and Ryan Pinkston with 22.06 lbs, and Glen Freeman and Jeff Rice took 5th with 21.57 lbs. All total 30 places were paid, and the last check went to Andrew Golden and John Barrera with 14.71 lbs.

After accumulating points all through the season, Cory Rambo and Rusty Clark were declared Anglers of the Year for Bass Champs East Region. Their consistency paid off, and their entry fees for the 2019 season will be waived as a part of the benefits for achieving this title. Congratulations to Rambo and Clark!

The Championship will be held October 13-14 at a location that will be announced soon. Be sure and sign up for the free E-Newsletter so you won’t miss out on any news or information from Bass Champs.

The Techron TX Shootout is coming up next month on Sam Rayburn. It is an open team event, and $50,000 is guaranteed to the winners! Mark your calendars for June 23rd and plan to fish this from the Umphrey Family Pavilion. For more information visit www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274.
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