Written by Conor Harrison, Lone Star Outdoor News
When you know a lake as well as teammates Zach Parker and Heath Moody know Lake Ray Roberts, you expect to find big fish when the Bass Champs North Region Tournament comes to town.
And find big fish they did, with the pair catching a 5-bass limit for 27.11 pounds to beat out 275 other teams and a earn first place check for $20,000.
“We’ve been fishing that lake a long time,” Parker said. “I’m from Denton, and I’ve been fishing that lake since it opened. We knew where we wanted to go. We had a buddy draw (a starting time) for us and he is joking that we owe him half.”
Although the pair broke off two big fish on zebra mussels at their first stop, they also managed to put two keepers in the boat throwing Senkos and Flukes at spawning fish in the mouths of spawning creeks.
“These are historic areas that have produced for us in the past,” Parker said. “On this lake, the fish spawn in the backs of creeks, then at the mouths of creeks and then out in the open lake. We knew when we saw the dates of the tournament where we wanted to fish.”
With two nice fish in the boat, the pair, who have teamed together since 2000, made a move to another creek and picked up a 6-pounder. From there, it was a grind to find bigger fish.
“Later in the day we started grinding and picked up our biggest fish — a 7.5-pounder,” Parker said. “She bit behind three trees and there was no way I thought we were going to land that fish. But she swam out right between all of the trees and right into the net. We just got lucky and got the right bites.”
All told, 11 teams brought in sacks weighing more than 20 pounds — a great day for anglers to cash in on the $77,903 total payback. Fifty-one limits were caught and the average weight of the 554 fish brought to the scales was 3.15 pounds.
“We’d like to thank our families, wives and children for supporting us,” Parker added. “We miss out on a lot of things by fishing these tournaments and there is a lot of sacrifice on their part. We also believe God had a big part in this.”
In second place, the team of Mark Child, Mansfield, and Brian Clark, Haltom City, caught 26.4 pounds of fish to earn a $6,000 check.
“We don’t really fish this lake too much,” Child said, “but I did fish there the week before in another tournament and did well in that event.”
Child said he and Clark didn’t do anything fancy, just covered water with soft plastics on ridges, bank lines and secondary main lake points to target spawning fish.
“We found fish throughout the day,” he said. “We had our limit by 8:30 or 9 a.m., and had 18 or 19 pounds in the boat. Then we caught one fish during the last three hours. I knew we were in an area with good, quality fish and we ended up culling three times.
“We were just looking for prespawn fish.”
Child wanted to thank their sponsors, Mercury, Legend Boats, Diamond Spinner baits, G. Loomis, Shimano and Diamond Tungsten. Clark said he wanted to thank Skeeter and Yamaha, Fun and Sun Boat Center, Dobbins Rods, Diamond Tungsten and Moritz Chevrolet.
In third place, the team of Chris Moore, Sachse, and Hal Gya, Garland, caught a 9.59-pound kicker to help their total of 23.19 pounds. The pair cashed a check for $4,500.
The big bass of the tournament was a 9.86-pounder caught by the team of Shannon Elvington and David Evans.
It took 14.65 pounds and 36th place to earn a check in the event.
The next North Region tournament will be May 2 on Cedar Creek Reservoir.
For more information, go to BassChamps.com.