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Date: March 16, 2013
Region: 2013 East Region
Tournament: Lake Sam Rayburn #3
Tournament Trail: 2013 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Castledine & Howell bring in three fish that weigh like five to win Bass Champs on Sam Rayburn
By: Patty Lenderman, Lakecaster

Bass Champs tournament trail has gone to a three fish limit per team at each event. The weights seen on Sam Rayburn March 16 looked like five fish totals! Well over half the field of 204 boats brought in limits all vying for a portion of the 102% payback at this tournament, totaling over $57,000 in cash and prizes. Todd Castledine and Billy Howell left the pack in the dust, winning the tournament with more than 23 pounds.

Anglers from all over Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi converged on Sam Rayburn, taking off from the Umphrey Pavilion in flights at safe light. The morning hours were calm for a smooth ride out to coveted areas of the lake, but as the day wore on wind speeds increased giving rise to big waves and rough water.

Shane Hilton and CJ Nichols set the initial bar to beat bringing in 18.38 lbs that included a nice 8.45 lb kicker. Before it was all said and done, both their Big Bass and total weight were bested three more times.

1st place ultimately went to Todd Castledine and Billy Howell with their three fish limit weight of 23.57 lbs, more than four pounds ahead of the rest of the teams. “Our day started out horrible,” Todd recalled. “We didn’t have three in the boat until nearly 11am. We started catching them good after 10:30, but most of them were ‘cruisers’.” Using a prototype bait from Kicker Fish called a Tail Slapper, they caught their limit and then some. “When it was getting close to time to come in, we decided to hit one last spot. It was a last minute decision, but it paid off.” Todd caught their biggest fish of the day there weighing 9.01 lbs. They culled a four pound bass with it, upgrading their total by five pounds. “We caught a lot of fish today, probably around 25 or so. It ended up being a really good day for us!” Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed 1st place $15,000 check. “First and foremost we always want to thank Jesus Christ.” Todds other sponsors include: Kicker Fish, Legend Boats, Mercury, Power Pole, Combat Lures, TFO fords, Hydrowave and Cannan LED Lights. Billy would additionally like to add DSDS, Stoney Howell for sponsoring their entry, “and I would like to dedicate this tournament in loving memory of William Harrison Howell Sr.”

Of all of the big bass brought in, Allen Shelton and Rick Scott had the biggest weighing in at 10.54 lbs. This big sow anchored the teams’ 2nd place finish with a total weight of 19.06 lbs. “When we got to our first spot, the bite was pretty slow.” Using a variety of baits including spinnerbaits, jigs and others – they began to entice a bite. “We finally put a five pounder in the boat along with two swimmers for a limit. Then, at 11:00 we caught the big one.” They stayed in that same area all day, and estimate catching 20 keepers, making four culls to their final weight. “We just roamed around and fished shallow water.” Bass Champs presented the team with a 2nd place check for $5,000. They also won $1,000 for having the Big Bass of the tournament. They also received the Under Armour bonus, Abu Garcia Revo and Costa Del Mar bonuses plus the Dodge Ram bonus giving them free entries into any Bass Champs tournaments for the next 12 months – a $7,500 value with that bonus alone. They would like to thank Fun N Sun for their support with Skeeter boats, and Bass Champs for having this tournament trail and all of the hard work they put into it. “A lot goes into these tournaments and these guys do a great job.”

3rd place was won by Brian Shook and Danny Iles with a total weight of 18.49 lbs. “It’s been so warm lately that we decided to site fish,” Danny explained. They made a long run to their targeted fishing areas. “That didn’t work out for us, so we just worked our way down banks the rest of the day. We just weren’t real sure where to look for bedding bass. We saw one every now and then and threw Strike King plastics to them.” Staying in the back of pockets, they caught three or four ‘good ones’, and the rest were small they said. Their best three were good enough for a 3rd place finish and a $3,000 payday. They would like to thank Needmore Tackle, Power Tackle, Costa Del Mar, Carlson’s Marine, 6th Sense Lures, Ranger Boats, both Mercury and Yamaha, and Jordan Marine.

CJ Nichols and Shane Hilton held on for a 4th place finish with their 18.38 lb sack, garnering a $2,000 paycheck. Being the highest finishing team in a Skeeter boat, they doubled their winnings to a $4,000 total.

Twenty seven teams took home paychecks for their fishing success. The last $1,000 check was given to Kevin Burks and Jason Gates with 11.91 lbs.

The points are tight in the Angler of the Year race. With only two tournaments left for the East Region teams, the top five points leaders are:
592 pts Dicky Newberry & Ken Smith
588 pts Martin Elshout & Mark Price
586 pts Rusty Clark & Cory Rambo
574 pts Jonathan Garrie & Wayne Triana Jr
539 pts Michael & Lance Lowery

The team who achieves the most points at the conclusion of all five tournaments in their region will be crowned Anglers of the Year. The entry fees for that team will be waived for that region in 2014. Good luck!

The final East Region tournaments will be held April 13 and June 15, both out of the Umphrey Pavilion on Sam Rayburn. All tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish, so don’t miss your chance.

The Dodge Ram Mega Bass tournament is just around the corner! It is the worlds richest one day Big Bass tournament, where a Dodge Ram Truck will be awarded to the angler with the biggest bass every single hour! In addition to a brand new truck, the person catching the biggest bass of the day will also be awarded a brand new Skeeter ZX190 bass boat! Entry fees are only $150, and the top 15 places will be awarded every hour.

For more information on any Bass Champs tournament, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274

Photo’s from this event are available at www.TheLakecaster.com
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