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Date: July 23, 2011
Region: 2011 North Region
Tournament: Lake Cedar Creek
Tournament Trail: 2011 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Bass Champs pays over $25,000 to Cedar Creek winners Shelton & Dean, AOY winners determined
By: Patty Lenderman

It was a hot day on Cedar Creek July 23, 2011 as the Bass Champs North Region wrapped up the final tournament before the Championships. While less than a half a pound separated 2nd – 6th places, Allen Shelton and Scott Dean dominated the pack by over 4 pounds to win more than $25,000.

Although they’ve enjoyed a few 2nd place finishes, it’s been 8 years since the last 1st place Bass Champs win for Scott Dean and Allen Shelton. Many would agree that it is a tough crowd that fishes Bass Champs and you always have to play your ‘A’ game.

“We had pre-fished the weekend before, and found some luck on offshore stuff. The lake is 4’ low, and come tournament day we found there were lots of people on that pattern”, Dean explained. Deciding that they were going to have to do something different from the rest of the pack, they headed to areas with docks. “Once we started fishing docks, even though it was much shallower, we started catching some quality fish.” They left one important piece of equipment at home – the net. “When we got our first good fish to the boat and tried to lip it in, we lost it. After that we just started slinging them in.” Little by little, one fish at a time, they finally had their five fish limit secured by noon. “We tried other areas, but it didn’t work.” Going back to the docks, they landed another five pounder, then another cull, then one last cull. “It was fun – exciting. We pitched a lot of water, looking for some shade or cover that the bass might be in.” Their tactic worked, ending up with a 21.60 lb total. Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check. They were also in a qualified Skeeter boat to receive an additional $5,000. Adding to that was the Dodge Ram Bonus for free entries into any Bass Champs tournaments for the next 12 months, the FNS and Sure-Life bonuses. “This is a great tournament trail and we really appreciate Bass Champs!” Shelton would like to thank Skeeter boats and Fun N Sun for sponsoring the Bass Champs tournament trail, while Dean would like to thank his sponsors, including Mercury, MotorGuide, Royal Purple, Falcon Rods, Daiwa Reels, Triton, Hi-Seas fluorocarbon line, Double Z Custom Lures, Spro, Gamakatsu, and North Texas Marine.

The next four places were separated by mere hundredths of a pound. Paul Chadwick and Brad Cooper won 2nd place with 17.52 lbs. “We had an alright day, only putting 6 keepers in the boat and a lot of short fish” Cooper reported. With no opportunity to scout the lake before the tournament, “we just got lucky. Paul caught our kicker (6.22 lbs) around 9am in 10’-12’ of water, but it took us until nearly 10am to figure out a pattern on the docks.” Using jigs and shaky heads, they pecked out a limit by around 1:00. “Paul caught most of our fish today, but I was able to cull one of them!” Although Paul has fished Bass Champs in years past, this is Brad’s first season. “I’m really happy with how we’ve done this year. We’ve been able to get checks in 3 tournaments, and ended up 6th place overall in points. I thank Jesus Christ for blessing us, and am looking forward to fishing next year.” The team was awarded $3,000.

Steve White and Robert Megallon caught the 3rd place stringer weighing 17.39 lbs. “We caught the big ones early, but only caught 8 keepers total all day.” They started their day targeting a deep water hole, but found it crowded with other anglers. “We headed to secondary points after that.” Using 10” worms in the morning and crank baits in the afternoon, they had a sixteen pound limit in the boat around 9am. “They just quit biting after that until around 1:30, then we made one last cull exchanging a 3 pounder for a 1 ½. That really helped.” Their 3rd place finish yielded them a $2,000 payday.

Gene Crane and Rick Clark achieved 4th place just 3/100ths of a pound behind 3rd, anchored by the Big Bass of the tournament. “Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then!” declared Clark. The team had not fished Cedar Creek in nearly 5 years, and after taking a break from tournament fishing this is their first year back with Bass Champs. They hit ridges with drop offs 12 to 15’ deep. “Gene caught our big bass, using a DD-22 in about 12’ of water just after 9:00. We were lucky it was a good fish and we got her in.” The Big Bass weighed 7.35 lbs, winning $1,000 for that single catch. They wrapped up a limit, and culled up a few times adding precious ounces to their creel. Their final weight was 17.36 lbs, winning another $1,200 for their 4th place finish. Bass Champs sponsors had more winnings awarded to them, including the Costa Del Mar bonus, WFN and Lin-X bonuses. “We can’t say enough about Jeff and Chad. This is a great circuit, good for everyone. The people that participate are great comrades, tough sticks, and we have a great respect for them. Fishing Bass Champs is a good experience, and you can learn a lot from these guys.”

There were 169 teams participating in this event, enjoying a 116% payback totaling $51,050 in cash and prizes.

Now that all five North Region events are in the books, the points have been tallied. The leaderboard took many shifts after each tournament, and the race was tight. Congratulations to Bass Champs North Region Anglers of the Year Tim Wilcoxson and Eric Elder. Their efforts and consistency has paid off to achieve this prestigious title, and with it their 2012 entries into this region have been waived.

This was the last open season tournament in the 2011 Bass Champs tournament trail. It is now Championship season, and any team who has fished all five events in any region qualifies to fish all four championships! The winner at each one will receive a brand new Skeeter ZX 225 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO, equipped with MinnKota & Humminbird valued at $55,000.

Central Championship – Lake Belton – September 10-11, 2011
North Championship – Cedar Creek – September 17-18, 2011
East Championship – Toledo Bend – October 1-2, 2011
South Championship – Falcon Lake – October 8-9, 2011

“Everyone here at Skeeter Bass Champs would like to thank all of the teams in all of the regions that have participated with us this year. Thanks to you and our great sponsors, you have made Bass Champs the best and most lucrative tournament trail in Texas. We would like to wish all of our Championship qualifiers good luck, and stay tuned to our website to see all of the exciting news for our 2012 season.” – Chad Potts, President/Bass Champs

For more information click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274
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