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Date: March 19, 2011
Region: 2011 East Region
Tournament: Lake Sam Rayburn #3
Tournament Trail: 2011 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Rayburn pumps out the big ones at Bass Champs - Garrie & Morris win with over 29 lbs
By: Patty Lenderman

It was an exciting race to the finish as Bass Champs East Texas division fished Sam Rayburn March 19, 2011. Ten sacks over 20 pounds were seen, but Jonathan Garrie and Keith Morris dominated the event with over 29 pounds to win the guaranteed $20,000 1st place check.

It’s that time of year when first sunburns are dominant in anglers. The fishing as hot too, with scads of heavy sacks and several seven and eight pound bass being brought in.

When Jonathan Garrie and Keith Morris heaved their five fish limit to the scales, 25 pounds was already in the lead. Their five fish limit soared past the 25 pound mark to a 29.41 lb total to win the tournament. “We fished deep channels, targeting pre-spawn bass” the team explained. Using custom painted crank baits from 6th Sense lures with Custom Angle Rods, they were fishing in 20’ of water. “We went to several old haunts, and it really panned out for us.” The team caught over four limits to cull from, their biggest being around 7 pounds. “We did lose another good one, but thankfully it didn’t hurt us.” Bass Champs presented them the guaranteed 1st place purse of $20,000.

Harold Allen and Albert Collins won 2nd place with 25.47 lbs. “We were using lures from E2 Baits, both Texas and Carolina rigged on our new I-Rods today.” Fishing both shallow and deep water, they targeted main lake points leading to flats. “The morning bite was slow. We caught one good one early, then a few short ones.” As the day warmed, the bite kept getting better. “We caught fish fairly steady all day long, but our bigger ones came in the afternoon.” Bass Champs presented them with $5,000 for their 2nd place win. Being the highest team in a qualified Skeeter boat, they doubled their winnings to $10,000. “We would like to thank Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Humminbird, 6th Sense Lures, MinnKota, Ardent Reels, Strike King, Vicious line, Navionics, and The Lakecaster for coming out to cover these events.”

Crankbaits were also working for the 3rd place winners Ricky Newman and Shannon Hale. “We had a great day! The bite was slow in the morning, but we just kept cranking, and it just kept getting better.” They were targeting both pre and post spawn fish. “We weren’t looking for beds, instead we hunted those in transition. Some were heading to spawn, some had finished and were heading out.” Their bait of choice was a square billed Bandit crank bait, thrown in 4’-6’ depths. Their spots were close to deep water with grass. “One broke off on us around mid-day, but we culled five times before we were through.” The team was awarded $3,000 and would like to thank Hale Tackle for their support.

Lots of big bass crossed the scales, but the biggest of the day was caught by Ryan Pinkston and Scooter Clark. The bass weighed 8.61 lbs, and the team was awarded $1,000 for that single catch.

The Dodge Ram bonus was awarded to Brandon Tingey and Lance Duff. As winners of this bonus, The owners entry fees into any Bass Champs event are waived for the next 12 months!

Tournament statistics:
Total Entries: 214 Teams
Total Collected: $55,640
Total Payback (C & P): $61,750
Payback Percentage: 111%
Total fish: 746
Total weight: 2092.97 lbs
Average weight: 2.81 lbs
Number of limits: 140

There is no way to guess who will win 2011 Anglers of the Year for the East Texas division. With only two events left in the season, here are the points leaders:
652 pts Brian Shook & Cody Goodman
649 pts Bob Vote & Andy Vote
632 pts Ricky Newman & Shannon Hale
623 pts Bill Rogers & Ray Livingston
615 pts Jonathan Garrie & Keith Morris
At the conclusion of all five events, the team with the most points will be crowned Anglers of the Year. This prestigious title gives the team a free pass into the next season in their division, all entry fees waived.

It is now time to head to Lake Fork for the world’s richest one-day big bass event. The Dodge Mega Bass tournament will award a new Dodge Ram pick-up EVERY hour! This is one you don’t want to miss. March 27th at Lake Fork Marina. For more details, go to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274.
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