Rayburn churning out lunkers

Lone Star Outdoor NewsRoy and Justin Wade of Diboll, Texas, took home the $20,000 top prize out of 344 teams at the Bass Champs East Region competition on Sam Rayburn March 11.

Teams were vying for a portion of the payback valued at over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

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-pound kicker to be weighed, then adding their final four bass to it, their total came to a whopping 30.96 pounds. 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.

Roy and Justin Wade fished in about 6 feet of water, using green pumpkin shaky heads, jigs and spinnerbaits to win the tournament.

There was only about an ounce difference between 1st and 2nd places. Alan Moore and Robert Davis, both of Lufkin, had another huge sack weighing in at 30.85 pounds. They used swim jigs and Senko’s in shallow depths of 3-6 feet to find their catch in grassy areas. They pulled out a 2nd place winning check for $7,500.

Another 30+ pound sack won 3rd place, caught by Jim Prothro of Gilmer, and Tommy Morrison of Granbury.  Their biggest fish 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. 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

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

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 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.

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 inches may be retained and weighed. Any bass over 24 inches 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.