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Date: April 30, 2016
Region: 2016 North Region
Tournament: Cedar Creek Lake
Tournament Trail: 2016 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
19.39 lbs wins over $20,000 on Cedar Creek at Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

Skeeter Bass Champs headed to Cedar Creek Lake for the third North Region event of the season on April 30. Forecasted stormy weather did not daunt 246 teams from fishing for a portion of the nearly $71,000 payback. Luck was in the air as the weather turned out well and new Bass Champs team Lionel Serna and Justin Garnett reeled in 1st place and over $20,000 with 19.39 pounds!

Big thunderstorms had been rolling across Texas and more were forecast for tournament day. Cedar Creek got an estimated 5” of rain preceding the tournament, muddying up the water. The morning started out cloudy, with occasional light rain the first part of the day, shifting to a modest North breeze and sunny skies. A lot of money was on the line to be paid out in this event to the top 32 teams, so the hunt was on to find the bass they needed to cash in. Winners Serna and Garnett almost didn’t sign up to fish, but are really glad they did!

“It took a little convincing to get Justin to fish the tournament with the forecasted storms,” Lionel explained. “Another factor was that we had done a little pre-fishing, but hadn’t done any good.” Regardless of those factors, the team had participated in a few other Bass Champs events including the Mega Bass tournament and were looking forward to fishing another Bass Champs tournament. “We drew boat #15 which was already a good start to our day.” They headed straight to their first spot, and on Lionel’s third cast he boated a 7-1/2 pounder on a spinnerbait! “After that we caught a few more small ones there, then decided to check out some other spots.” As they were heading to another area, they decided that a bank line along the way looked pretty good. There, using a Texas rigged Senko, Justin caught his biggest fish of the day. A little while later they decided to make another move. “We headed to a pocket, and I caught my biggest fish. By 10:00 we had a limit in the boat.” At that point they estimate having around 16 pounds. “We fished in that pocket for a little while before we headed back to our first spot.” There they broke off on a three pounder and a five pounder, but managed to catch a few they could cull with. “We were having motor problems, and could only idle so we started working our way back around 1:00. It took us an hour and a half to get to the weigh in.” First weighing their biggest, a 7.67 pounder, then adding the rest of their creel, the team had 19.39 pounds total. Coming in early, they had a long wait as they watched the rest of the field weigh in their catch until they were declared winners of the guaranteed $20,000 check! They also cashed in on the Power Pole Captain’s Cash bonus. “We were just at the right place at the right time to catch these fish. Thanks to Serna Services Air Conditioning, I get to fish once or twice a week which really helps. I’d also like to thank all my buddies who showed me the ropes to tournament fishing, my wife, and the Good Lord for blessing us today. We really enjoy fishing with Bass Champs, and are looking forward to fishing more tournaments with them!”

Joel McBride of Corinth, TX and Joe Rome of Flower Mound finished in 2nd place with their 17.67 lb sack. “We didn’t do any pre-fishing for this tournament, but the water levels and clarity were very similar to last year so we figured the grass would be in the same places,” Joe explained. They drew boat #222, and set out to find their fish in shallow grassy areas. “We started out with Senko’s and flukes, and caught a five and a four pounder in the morning along with some smaller fish.” Joel rigged up a Carolina rigged craw worm with a heavy weight, and started popping it through the grass. “That method was working well, so we both started fishing it.” They found their fish in 1’-3’ of water, having a milk run with three different spots. “One area was highly pressured. When we arrived at it there were already about 8 boats fishing it. The pattern we were using was different than what the people in the other boats were using. We fished behind them, and started catching fish.” They were able to cull by ounces for most of the day. “Having drawn boat #222 really worked out well for us, we didn’t have to be in until 4:00. Around 3:30-3:40 we caught three of our weigh fish, all three pounders that made all the difference for us.” Bass Champs presented them with a check for $5,500. “Bass Champs has a great series. We’ve been fishing it almost since they started. The teams we fish against are all very courteous and nice, especially when we’re sharing water.” This team has cashed in many times before, but this is their best finish yet.

3rd place was won by Keith Trimble of Trinidad, TX and Clyde Welker of Keller. “We started out in some spots way North,” Keith began. “There had been some good fish in those areas, but we couldn’t get them to cooperate so we headed back south.” Fishing shallow grassy water with Texas rigged brush hogs and chatterbaits, they started putting fish in the boat. By 10am they had a small limit, around 12 pounds. “At one point we put three in the boat in back to back casts – a five pounder and two fours!” Their total weight kept growing, but they weren’t done yet. “Our best cull of the day was exchanging a two pounder with a six.” At the end of the day, the team amassed 17.60 lbs in their creel. Bass Champs paid them $4,200 for their finish plus they won the Lowrance Gen3 Bonus as well! “I’d like to thank my partner Clyde. Fishing against all these guys – it definitely takes both of us!”

The biggest bass of the day was caught by the team of Johnny Underfusser and Larry Bench, both from Denison, TX. Their big catch weighed in at 8.88 lbs, catching a check for $1,000.

Several teams increased their winnings thanks to the sponsor bonuses. 10th place winners Branded Hollingshead of Azle, TX and John Byler of Southlake doubled their $1,300 winnings with the Skeeter bonus, and they won the Fun-N-Sun bonus cash as well.

The Sportsman’s Auto Network paid the 12th and 13th place teams of Trevor Romans & Matt McMillan and Monte Coon & Gary Ables, adding even more to their winnings.

Fun-N-Sun provided a ‘First Out of the Money’ bonus to the 33rd place team of Jacob and Larry Johnston.

With three of four events completed for the North Region, there is only one remaining tournament to determine Anglers of the Year. The top five teams in the running for this prestigious title are:
836 pts Trevor Romans & Matt McMillan
821 pts Drew Sloan & Terry Hawkins
775 pts Ron Rogers & Jarrett Gable
762 pts Jerry Olds & Jason May
761 pts Mark Biondi Jr & Mark Biondi Sr
Good luck teams!

The final event for the North Region will be on Lake Tawakoni June 4. In the meantime, Bass Champs staff and crew are headed to Toledo Bend to wrap up the East Region on May 7. Remember, all Bass Champs regular season tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish for a chance to win some big money. The remaining opportunities are:
May 7 (East) Toledo Bend
May 14 (Central) LBJ
May 21 (South) Amistad
June 4 (North) Tawakoni

Also mark your calendars and plan to fish these upcoming Bass Champs hosted events:
June 10 - Skeeter Owner’s Tournament, Lake Fork
June 26 – TX Shootout, Sam Rayburn
Oct 15-16 – 11th Annual Berkley Big Bass, Lake Fork
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