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Date: May 14, 2011
Region: 2011 North Region
Tournament: Lake Tawakoni
Tournament Trail: 2011 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Lawing & Laughery enjoy their first win at Bass Champs on Tawakoni for over $20,000
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs North Region battled the breeze May 14, 2011 on Lake Tawakoni. Stan Lawing and JD Laughery topped the pack of 171 teams winning more than $20,000. “There’s no where else average anglers can fish for money like this!”

There have been several tournaments on Tawakoni in the past few weeks, leaving slim pickin’ for these Bass Champs teams. The wind also played a major factor for many, keeping them off of some of their coveted fishing spots. Nevertheless, several solid bass were caught anchoring many respectable limits.

Lawing is a fireman by trade, while Laughery is in construction. Pooling their talents for fishing together, their success was definitely measured in dollars. “In practice, we found four areas holding bed fish. We were really glad they were still there for the tournament.” They had a good start to the day, with JD catching the first fish on his first cast, then a six pounder as their third keeper. “The fish were biting so good, once we caught that six pounder we relaxed just a little.” They used Double Z T-worms with weighted hooks as well as chatter baits, buzz baits, and the new Spro square bill crank bait. “The water was pretty muddy, but once we got a good cloud cover, we could see (the bass). Out of our four spots, we only hit three of them. After we’d catch one out of the bed and leave it for a while, another would move in and take over the bed.” Throughout the day, they estimate catching 8-9 limits. “The Lord really blessed us. In the last 10 minutes, we made the last cull that secured the win for us.” Stan gives his partner credit for catching most of their fish. “Bass Champs anglers are real special. They show respect to fellow anglers. We would like to thank Bass Champs for putting on such quality events. We’ve been fishing with them since they first started. There is nowhere else you can fish a one day tournament for a chance to win $20,000!” Stan and JD would also like to thank Monte and Lance at Fun N Sun Marine, Skeeter, Yamaha, MinnKota, Humminbird, Spro, Gamakatsu, New Voltage P-Line, Lake Fork Tackle and Double Z lures. “Most of all we’d like to thank the Good Lord for blessing us. We’ve had several top 10’s, but this is our first win!” Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed $20,000 1st place check, and added to it the $200 Sure Life bonus and the Skeeter Real Money bonus.

Rick Clark and Gene Crane caught a five fish limit weighing 18.29 lbs taking 2nd place and winning $3,000.

The father & son team of Scott and Josh Keithly took 3rd place with 17.53 lbs. “It was a little windy out there, but we had a lot of fun” Josh reports. “We were able to get a little practice before the tournament, and ended up flipping windy docks and lily pads with Texas rigs.” They were hoping to get some topwater action early, but that didn’t pan out for them. “That’s when we switched to the Texas rigs. Our first fish was our six pound kicker.” Moving to another area, they added a two and a three pounder to their creel fairly quickly. “We just started running and gunning to various docks, and finished out our limit. We caught several small fish, but were able to cull with a few of them.” They work together in a family sign and flagpole business, FSI out of Arlington. This is their 3rd season fishing together in the Bass Champs trail, and took home $2,000 for their 3rd place win. Josh also won the Dodge Ram Bonus, giving him free entries into any Bass Champs tournaments for the next 12 months. “I’m really excited about that. We’re going to fish a few in other regions nearby!”

The biggest bass of the tournament was brought in by Dale and Sean Gossett, another father and son team. The brute tallied 7.52 lbs earning a $1,000 check. “It was a really odd deal. When the lake was down about 10 years ago, I remember seeing this particular rocky point. When we were approaching it, another boat passed by between us and the point but decided to keep going. Thank goodness – we got the big one!” The catch was made with an H2O crank bait around 1:00.

With three out of five North Region events now in the books, the Angler of the Year race is still too close to call. The top five teams in points are:
589 pts Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
586 pts Tim Wilcoxson & Eric Elder
552 pts Scott Barnett & Brandon Baker
542 pts Paul McCollum & Sam McCollum
541 pts Zach Parker & Heath Moody

The last two North Region tournaments will be June 25th on Lake Ray Roberts, then July 23rd at Lake Cedar Creek.

Bass Champs staff and crew are heading to Lake O.H. Ivie for the final South region event May 21st. All Bass Champs events are open for anyone to enter, so call 817-439-3274 to sign up or click to the website, www.BassChamps.com

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