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Date: September 29, 2012
Region: 2012 Bass Champs Championships
Tournament: Central Championship 2012
Tournament Trail: 2012 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Whited and Polkinghorn win back to back Bass Champs Central Region Championships
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs keeps pouring on the paybacks – Championship anglers enjoyed a 288% return September 29-30 as qualified teams from all regions converged on Lake LBJ for the Central Region Championship. A Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225SHO was on the line to be awarded to the winners and the final weights were incredibly close. For the second year in a row, Charles Whited and Bill Polkinghorn won in a come from behind finish.

The Rowdy TV crew were onsite to film the participants and events, starting filming in the boat of last years’ winners Whited and Polkinghorn. “We stayed shallow the first day, fishing grass and docks. The morning bite was really slow. Most of our fish were caught between 9-12:00.” They caught plenty of fish, a total of 10 keepers, but their weight had them in 12th place at the end of the first day. They had to put their game face on and hit them hard the final day. “We decided to fish deeper the second day and hit river ledges and brush piles in 12’-18’ of water.” They used deep diving crank baits in a chartreuse citrus color as well as Carolina rigged Grande Bass Rattle Snakes. “The fish were biting a lot better. We had a limit in the boat by 8:30am.” Scattered storms were moving through the area, and their most productive time was between 9-11am, between the storms. “We probably caught close to four limits of fish, but our biggest cull was at noon, exchanging a two pounder for one over six.” Their best five fish on the final day was over 24 pounds giving them a final two day weight of 40.59 lbs – just 2/100ths of a pound ahead of 2nd place! Charles is a full time hunting and fishing guide as well as a dedicated family man. “I could not do what I do without the support of my family. I appreciate them so much!” Bill is in the construction industry. The two of them were awarded the Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225SHO. They also received a $200 check from Sure Life for using the product in their livewell. “We would like to thank Bass Champs for having such a great circuit for us to fish!” Whited has been fishing with Bass Champs for 13 years. They would also like to thank Texas Boat World, Texas Tournament Zone, Power Tackle, Grande Bass Lures, Fish Finders Marine, Texas Bass Tackle, XCite, Oldham lures, Choke Canyon Lodge and Triton.

Timothy Griffin of Zapata, TX made a great run to the finish and almost clinched it. His two day total was 40.41 lbs that included a nice 7.55 lb kicker. Bass Champs awarded him $2,000 for their 2nd place finish. Tim spent the whole tournament on a deep ledge throwing Carolina Rigs. He caught a lot of fish the first day, but not much size. Day two, he went to a little bigger bait on the same ledge and weighed in over 24 lbs to jump into second place and nearly taking the win.

Dean Alexander and Eric Crumley started out in the lead on day one. “Saturday was overcast, so we fished shallow grass with wacky worms and jerk baits in some areas we found during practice. We had a pretty slow start the first day, and didn’t have a limit until 10am.” They knew they would have to stay on a good pattern to stay on top of the pack on the final day. “We decided to explore some different areas.” One of the camera men, Nigil, was on board with them to catch all of the action. They caught ‘keepers’ in these other areas, and had a limit in the boat by 11am - but they had no size to them. “We decided to head back to our day one spots.” They were able to increase their final weight in four final culls, but ultimately seized 3rd place with a 33.89 lb two day total. Both Dean and Eric work in commercial construction when they’re not fishing, and have been fishing with Bass Champs since the Central Region was formed. “I’d like to thank Eric for being a great partner,” Dean stated. “I would also like to thank Chad, Jeff and the group for putting on premier tournaments.” He would also like to thank Texas Tournament Zone. Bass Champs awarded them $1,750.

Rounding out the top five included 4th place of Randy Grounds and Allen Gass with 31.65 lbs, winning a check for $1,500. Allen Shelton and Brad Drake took 5th place honors with their 30.20 lb total and won a check for $1,250. They doubled their money to $2,500 being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat. They also won the Dodge Ram bonus giving them a free entry into any Bass Champs tournament in the next 12 months.

There were a lot of seven pound class kickers brought in over the course of two days. Jacob Shannon, a full time student, blew by all of them the final day bringing in his catch weighing 11.64 pounds! “We had fished in that same spot the first day.” It was on a point of the Colorado River. Jacob and his partner Stephen Shannon knew there were good fish still holding there so they went back the second day. “I was throwing a 3/8 oz finesse jig, and she picked it up and swam right towards the boat!” Generally speaking, that makes it very hard to get a good hookset. “I set the hook and she swam under the boat. She came up once and Stephen netted her in!” This catch anchored a 21st place finish for the duo and they were awarded $500 for having the Big Bass of the tournament.

A total of $73,500 was paid out in cash and prizes in this event – a whopping 288% payback percentage.

Bass Champs has paid out over TWO MILLION dollars this season and it’s not over yet. Qualified anglers from all four regions still have one more championship opportunity. Bass Champs staff and crew will head to Lake Falcon for the final event of the season October 27-28. A new Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha SHO225 motor will be awarded to the champions of that event.

“This has been an awesome season for everyone at Bass Champs,” stated Chad Potts, President. “We have four regions of very competitive men, women and youth teams and you couldn’t ask for a better group of people. Thanks to you and our generous sponsors we continue to make this circuit the best in Texas. There are some exciting announcements coming soon for our 2013 season. Stay tuned to BassChamps.com for that information and check out the 2013 schedules. We’d like to congratulate all of the winners we’ve had so far." Bass Champs only has two events remaining in 2012. The 7th Annual Berkley Big Bass on Lake Fork (Oct. 20-21) and the Lake Falcon Championship (Oct. 27-28).

Don’t miss the Bass Champs TV show on the WFN Network. All championships will be aired starting in April 2013.
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