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Date: February 12, 2011
Region: 2011 South Region
Tournament: Lake Falcon
Tournament Trail: 2011 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Cha-Ching! Vann Branch & Richard Davis cash in BIG at Bass Champs on Falcon
By: Patty Lenderman

Jackpotting takes on a whole new meaning as Vann Branch and Richard Davis fish their first tournament in over 15 years and win big! Two sacks over 40 lbs, lots of double digit kickers and huge paybacks for Bass Champs South Region teams.

Bass Champs South Region held their 2nd event of the 2011 season February 12 on Lake Falcon. Vann Branch had bought some property in the area and for the past several months has been working on building a winter home. Seeing that Bass Champs was going to be having an event on Lake Falcon, he had an idea. “Me and my best friend Richard Davis have been fishing together for over 40 years, and have fished that lake many times. We used to fish tournaments together, but haven’t fished any for over 15 years to spend more time with our families. I called Richard, who now lives in Tennessee, and kind of strong armed him to fly in and fish the tournament with me.” For most, pre-fishing was out due to the recent winter weather. “We didn’t do any pre-fishing either, just relied on knowledge we already had of the lake.” They chose to concentrate their efforts along river ledges in 17’-27’ depths with Jewel and Osprey football head jigs. They had a good start to their day, landing a five pounder in their first spot. “We missed a few after that, then moved to our second area.” Talk about a good move. They caught their first kicker, also taking Big Bass of the day – 12.65 lbs! Wait – then they landed another over 10! “We finished a good limit there, and culled a few. There were people all over this area, so we moved again. In our 3rd spot, Richard landed another over 10! We moved to yet another spot and didn’t catch anything there, and when we went to crank up, the battery was dead. We thought ‘Oh, God, don’t let this happen!’ Finally, we got it started and moved closer to the boat ramp.” There, they culled one last time, exchanging a 5 ½ pounder for a 6. Their total weight for the day was 43.57 pounds for a 1st place win. “We were very lucky and definitely blessed today. We’ve fished a lot of different circuits, and let me tell you – this one is 1st class and the crew is awesome!” Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed $20,000 for their win, plus they won $5,000 from Skeeter Boats and another $1,000 for Big Bass of the day for a total of $26,000. They also won the Sure-Life and the WFN sponsor bonuses.

Bubba Haralson and Tom Drial also brought in a phenomenal sack weighing 40.76 lbs for a 2nd place finish. They fished a little deeper, in 25’-35’ of water with football head jigs and big soft plastic jerk baits on a 3/8 oz jig head. They didn’t catch a lot of fish, but the ones they did was all real quality bass. The team was presented with a $5,000 check.

Charles Whited and Jeffrey Piel won 3rd place with 37.84 lbs. “We stayed on the Mexico side all day in 18’-25’. We didn’t get to our first spot until around 7:45, and had a limit that weighed about 25 pounds in the boat by 8:30.” The team was using ¾ oz Oldham football head jigs in a camo color as well as DD-22’s and a 1 oz Lateral Perch. They caught their biggest of the day, 11.55 lbs, around 8a.m. on the Lateral perch. Later they caught another over 9 lbs on the Oldham jig. “We culled four times to get to our final weight. We had a great day.” The team won $3,000 and would like to thank Power Tackle, Skeeter Boats, XCite Baits, Bass Kandi, Texas Bass Tackle, Stanley Baits, Pro’s Choice Baits, and Fish Finders Marine for their support.

Bruce Benedict Jr and Jonathan Jones won the Dodge Ram bonus, adding to their 9th place overall winnings.

The top 27 teams received checks in this event, the last two were a tie with 20.35 lbs. $52,260 was collected in entry fees from 201 teams, and Bass Champs paid back $58,550 in cash and prizes for a 112% payback percentage.

South Region teams will go to Lake Amistad for event #3 on March 12. In the mean time, Bass Champs staff and crew will head to Lake Sam Rayburn for the next East Region tournament on February 19.

All Bass Champs events are open for anyone to fish. If you would like to register or get more information, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274.

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