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Date: March 10, 2012
Region: 2012 South Region
Tournament: Lake Falcon #2
Tournament Trail: 2012 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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201 teams at Falcon pump out HUGE sacks for Bass Champs teams – Ridley & Jones take home over $25,000 with nearly a 40 pound sack
By: Patty Lenderman

Lake Falcon did not disappoint Skeeter Bass Champs South Region anglers March 10, 2012. Just over 200 teams competed for well over $55,000 in cash and prizes in a whopping 107% payback event. It took nearly 30 pounds to win a check in 27 places paid, but David Ridley and Alton Jones Jr had nearly a 40 pound sack to win 1st place taking home over $25,000. TWELVE double digit bass were weighed in and the race for Big Bass in this exciting Bass Champs tournament.

The day was challenging working with the rain, wind, and cold weather Mother Nature had in store for them. They were rewarded for their efforts as twenty six teams caught limits exceeding 30 pounds.

The biggest sack of the day was caught by David Ridley and Alton Jones Jr. “We didn’t have an opportunity to practice and locate fish, so we just went fishing. The lake has come up quite a bit with the recent rains, and we had about 20 different spots we wanted to check out that were bare at the last tournament here.” They went to a variety of spots that included points, ditches and drains, all in about 6’-14’ depths. “What we found was the areas that had some kind of rock or gravel seemed to be holding the better fish.” Using Bomber Fat Free crank baits in a shad pattern, “We didn’t find any one place loaded, just caught one here and one there. We also tried other baits, but the quality fish were all on the crank bait.” They put a limit together by 9:30, but it only got better after that. “We caught our two biggest back to back around 1:30.” Alton caught their kicker weighing 10.02 pounds, backed up by David’s biggest catch over 9 pounds. “It was such a blast today. We just can’t believe it!” Their five fish totaled 39.15 pounds to win 1st place and the guaranteed $20,000 check. They were also fishing from a qualified Skeeter boat for an additional $5,000 bonus. Still raking in the winnings, David’s Dodge truck also qualified them for the Dodge Ram Bonus, wrapping their winnings up with the Sure Life bonus for using the product in their livewell. “This is just amazing. We have won an extra $8,000 in the last two tournaments from Skeeter boats that adds a ton to our bottom line. We really appreciate Skeeter Boats for making those bonuses available. Buying that new Dodge truck has also paid huge dividends! Thanks to Dodge, we’ve won that bonus five times now!” David would like to thank his sponsors, including Lovett & Associates, Allen Samuels Dodge in Waco TX, American Bank, American Rodsmiths, Bluebonnett Health Services, Yum & Bomber. “We are so thankful to the Lord who provides the opportunity to do what we love to do. We pray consistently, and before each and every event. We would also like to thank Bass Champs for having these tournaments. They really make it fun for everyone. We really enjoy how Jeff and Chad put on a great production.”

David Zak and Randy Caddell caught a huge sack weighing 38.13 lbs to win 2nd place and $5,000. “It was a good day. Randy and I were supposed to practice the week before, but I couldn’t make it.” Randy located fish at rocky points in up to 18’ of water. “We picked six or eight of those spots to hit with a Strike King 6xD Sexy Shad crank bait.” They estimate spending about two hours on each point. “Four of our points already had people fishing on them, so we kept moving.” They drew boat #156, so did not make their first cast until 7:30. “It was 8:10 when we boated our first fish, and had a limit in the boat by 10:30. We caught one of them, about 8#, on a jig. We also tried plastics but didn’t catch any on them.” At noon they caught a seven pounder and exchanged it for a five pound fish, bettering their weight by two pounds. “We lost three or four at the boat, but we don’t think they would have helped.”

3rd place was won by Scott Saunders and Cody Johnson. “Between the rain, wind and cold, we got beat up pretty bad.” They were going in blind in this tournament. “We had good fish located in areas the last time the lake was this height.” Drawing boat #149, they had a 28 mile run to get to their spot hitting wind blown rocky ledges and points with crank baits and flukes. “(The bite) started out slow, then really took off. Before long we had a limit in the boat, then we had about a 10 minute run where we were culling just as fast as we could.” In back to back casts, they also added a 10.49 lb’r followed by an 8. “We had all of our fish by 12:30.We got lucky. They were where they were supposed to be.” Bass Champs paid them $3,000 for their 3rd place win. “We’d like to thank Texas Land & Ranch Co. in Utopia TX, along with the Texas Land Men. Also they guys at Falcon Lake Tackle in Zapata for taking good care of us.

The race for Big Bass was intense. A full dozen big bass over the 10 pound mark were registered at the scales. The biggest of them was caught by Mannie Lackey, fishing with JD Wagner, weighing 11.93 lbs. “It was my first bite!” At 7:30am, while throwing a heavy ¼ oz Texas rigged Senko in trees 8-10’ deep, “she just inhaled it. She came right straight up out of that tree.” Once he set the hook, the fight was on with Mannie winning the battle to get her in the boat. “About 20 minutes later, a bigger one broke off on me.” While Mannie has caught big fish before, “this is my best tournament fish. I’m really proud of her. We got her to the Bass Champs tank alive and good shape to be released.” The team was awarded $1,000 for Big Bass, plus won an additional $250 for the Line-X bonus.

It took 29.95 pounds to win a check. Danny Langley and Kevin Ordner won 27th place to win $600.

Who will be this years’ Anglers of the Year? It is too close to tell, as the point rankings are very tight, including a tie among the top five. With two events to go, the current standings are:
612 pts David Ridley & Alton Jones Jr
603 pts Charlie Forster & Mike Bingham
590 pts Trent Huckaby & Tyler Young
571 pts Matt Rigby & William Rigby
571 pts Mike Bates & Ronald Heineman

At the conclusion of all five events, the Anglers of the Year will be determined. As part of this prestigious title, their entry fees will be waived for the 2013 season. Good luck to all teams!

There are two tournaments left for the South Region 2012 season. The next will be on Amistad April 21, then wrapping it up on Choke Canyon May 19.

There are still several opportunities to fish in any of the remaining Bass Champs tournaments. The remaining open season events are:
March 17 (Central #3) Lake LBJ
March 24 (East #3) Sam Rayburn
April 14 (North #3) Lake Fork
April 21 (South #4) Lake Amistad
April 28 (East #4) Sam Rayburn
May 5 (Central #4) Lake Travis
May 12 (North #4) Lake Tawakoni
May 19 (South #5) Choke Canyon
June 2 (Central #5) Lake Belton
June 16 (East #5) Sam Rayburn
June 23 (North #5) Ray Roberts

For more information click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817.439.3274
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