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Date: April 14, 2012
Region: 2012 North Region
Tournament: Lake Fork
Tournament Trail: 2012 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Over $20,000 won at Skeeter Bass Champs on Lake Fork by McCollum & Edge with 10.39 lbs
By: Patty Lenderman

It’s hard to believe, but over $20,000 was won by weighing in just over 10 pounds of bass! Yep, it happened on Lake Fork April 14, 2012 at Skeeter Bass Champs North Region tournament #3! Sam McCollum and Kyle Edge brought in five short fat bass topping a field of 188 teams to win the guaranteed 1st place check plus a free entry into any other Bass Champs tournament.

You know how weights in tournaments are interpreted in hundredths? Most of us think in terms of pounds and ounces. Just to expound on how close these weights were as anglers were looking for short, fat bass, one ounce = .0625 on digital scales rendering in hundredths of a pound. Being that Lake Fork is a slot lake, and only fish under 16” or over 24” is legal to keep, those tiny increments become even more important. Picture this: Only 1.52 pounds separated 1st place and 27th place, the last to grab a check. That’s an average of only a quarter of an ounce between each place paid!

Sam McCollum of Corsicana, TX and Kyle Edge of Spring, TX had phenomenal success on Lake Fork. “It was the best day of fishing we have ever had in our lives!” They absorbed the biggest separation between their weight and the next highest, winning by just over 8 ounces. “We caught close to 100 fish today. It was just amazing.” They targeted shallow, stumpy areas ranging from 1 ½’ to 9’ deep using both spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs. It didn’t take long to put a limit together. By 7:30 they had their limit and started culling. “After the initial morning bite was over, we hit a three hour stretch where we didn’t catch anything. Then, around 12:30 or so the wind picked up and so did the bite. We saw some big fish, and threw into the bait fish that were there. (The bass) would get our baits and just wouldn’t come off! At one point, each of us made six consecutive casts, and we caught six fish each. It was crazy. We caught at least two 22” long, four or five 20”. There for a while we didn’t even take time to measure. We quickly eyeballed them and got them off the hook so we could throw back in. We probably caught around 40 slot fish.” By days end their hands were sore, their arms were sore, but it was all worth it as they were awarded $20,000 for their 10.39 lb limit. They also qualified for the Dodge Ram bonus, giving them a free entry into any Bass Champs tournament in the next 12 months. “We’d like to thank the Good Lord for looking out for us today. I know my grandpa, who is with the Lord now, was looking over us too. We could not do this without the support of our families, and we want them to know we really appreciate them.”

Tim Cline and Terry Peacock won 2nd place with their 9.88 lb limit. “Our day started quick – we caught a limit at our first stop within 10 minutes dragging a wacky worm.” They were working the first break line off the bank. “We had to work our baits slow. Painstakingly slow.” After catching several fish in their first spot, they moved around to other areas. “We just kept going back to that first spot and were able to cull several times. It was just holding a lot of the right size ‘unders’.” At one point, when Tim decided to take his rain jacket off, he reeled in but left about 2’ of slack on his line. “I just sat my pole down while I took my jacket off. The worm was hanging over in the water. All of a sudden, a bass got it right there, and tried to take my pole!” He flipped the bass right into the boat, and it was a good one to cull with. “It was just a great day for us. We made our last cull at 2pm.” They were awarded $3,000 for their 2nd place finish and would like to thank Nitro, Mercury, Power Tackle, Reserve Fishing, Xcite baits, Izor line and Bass Assault lures.

Rounding out the top five were Troy Clemens and Shawn Burris in 4th place with 9.78 lbs, Lee Yowell and Brian Schott with 9.74 lbs and Chuck Turner and Mark Huffman in 5th place with 9.63 lbs.

Skeeter Bass Champs sponsors added a lot to the winnings.
Dodge Ram Bonus (Free Entry) Sam McCollum & Kyle Edge
Skeeter Bonus ($1,200) Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
Fun N Sun Bonus ($500) Bill Wilcox & Hugo Velasco

There has been more shifting in the Angler of the Year points race! Top 5 teams after three events are:
494 pts Mike Burns & Rob Burns
491 pts Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
490 pts Shonn Blassingame & Cody Burdine
482 pts Keith Ivy Jr & Arthur Tucker
459 pts Brandon Baker & Scott Barnett

The countdown is on for the final Bass Champs 2012 events.
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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