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Date: March 4, 2017
Region: 2017 Central Region
Tournament: Lake LBJ #1
Tournament Trail: 2017 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Father & Son team up to win big on Lake LBJ at Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs paid back 107% for the second Central Region tournament of the year on Lake LBJ March 4, 2017. The rain could not squelch these avid anglers from catching loads of big bass and bringing multiple double digit kickers to the scales. Weights of the top teams were stacked so tight merely drops of water separated them. Father and son Rick & Adam Clark came out on top winning over $25,000.

The morning began with overcast skies and calm breezes as 221 boats were released in flights to head to their fishing spots. Drizzling rain began soaking the region around midday, increasing as the afternoon wore on. Temperatures only rose to the mid 60’s. The bass were on the move and several hefty sacks and huge kickers were brought to the scales.

“I was probably the least prepared for this tournament then I have been for one in twenty years,” Adam Clark began. “Dad and I just went fishing for this one, and let the fish tell us what to do.” When they were released for take-off at the launch, they hunted for main lake points without a lot of people already fishing on them. “There were a lot of boats on the lake. We finally started fishing in one spot, and found some good fish. Our third bass weighed around eight pounds and we also got one about six off of it.” They started out in pre-spawn areas, and used jigs all day long in depths 1’-15’ deep. “Throughout the day, we fished docks, coves, wherever – we just followed our instincts.” They culled several times but their last cull was the one that put them over the top. “We landed a 7 pounder there at the end and culled a two pounder with it.” That gain of five pounds made a huge difference in their finish with the final top weights stacked so tight. “In a tournament like this, you have to learn how to successfully fish behind other anglers.” All total their final five bass weighed in at 26.75 pounds to win the tournament and the guaranteed $20,000 1st place check. They were also running in a qualified Skeeter boat and won the Skeeter bonus for an additional $5,000. Their winnings didn’t stop there. For using Sure-Life in their livewell, they cashed in for another $200. “I’ve been fishing Bass Champs since they first started,” Adam continued. “Over the years I have had a few other partners, but dad and I teamed up about four years ago. Together we were able to achieve the Anglers of the Year ranking, and now our first 1st place win. If we can win the championship we will achieve the trifecta! Bass Champs is a great organization and we really appreciate them.”

Charles Whited and Bill Polkinghorn squeezed out a 2nd place win with a 23.85 lb limit. “We fished the outer grass edges with Forge crank baits and magnum flukes by Livingston Lure School Master,” Charles explained. Starting out at a grass bed, they put a small limit together. “We bounced around a lot. The overcast skies really had them biting. We just fished all main lake stuff. There were lots of boats, we just had to fish around them. We just had the right baits!” They estimate catching between 18-20 fish all day, and achieved their 2nd place win by a hair! Bass Champs presented them a check for $5,000 and they would like to thank Sam Miago Custom Tackle, Power Tackle Rods, Livingston Lures, Forge Lures, Energy Sales, Grande Bass, Simms Rain Gear, Texas Boat World, Fishermans Corner, Sunline – “and Bass Champs. They put on great tournaments geared for the working man.”

The remaining line-up was incredibly tight. Rounding out the top 10:
3rd $4,000 23.79 lbs Mike Grounds & Brad Dobbs
4th $3,000 23.25 lbs Lucas Larson & Bill Rule
5th $2,500 23.10 lbs Kenneth Fuller Jr & Curtis Junge
6th $2,000 22.56 lbs Chad Maxwell & Nick Boatright
7th $1,500 22.31 lbs David Lindley & Austin Dunavant
8th $1,400 21.90 lbs Weston Brown & David Doonan
9th $1,300 21.88 lbs George Barnett & Brian Fennell
10th $1,200 21.36 lbs Marcus Samaniego & Kelley Mauldin
and last in the money
29th $600 18.27 lbs Ronny & Eddy Maynard

There were so many huge kicker bass caught. Mike Grounds and Brad Dobbs had a 10.34 lb kicker that anchored their 3rd place overall win. There were several others tickling the ten pound mark brought to the scales as well. The biggest bass of the day though was even bigger.

An 11.49 lb’r took the Big Bass crown, caught by Nick Boatright fishing with Chad Maxwell. “The bite was really slow for us,” Nick recalled. “We were catching some, but it was so rainy and nasty out. We couldn’t get on the same fish we found in practice.” They put a limit together, and culled a few. Then it happened. “I was casting to a bank at a creek ledge with a Texas rigged Senko. I got the bite in about 8’ of water.” The ‘bite’ was this big monster bass, and set the bar for his new personal best catch – and what a time to do it! Bass Champs paid $1,000 for this one fish, plus the team won 6th place overall for another $2,000. They increased their winnings even more with the Costa Del Mar bonus. What a day! “I couldn’t quit shaking for a while. It was really great.”

Several teams increased their winnings by qualifying for sponsor bonuses:
Sportsman’s Auto Bonus – Weston Brown & David Doonan
Lowrance Gen3 Bonus – Wendel Ramsey Sr & Jr
Sportsman’s Auto Bonus – Jim Byars & George Deloach

The Angler of the Year points race saw a major shake-up in this event. The current leaders with two events to go are:
383 pts Charles Whited & Bill Polkinghorn
378 pts Jason Buchanan & Terry Kircus
371 pts Adam & Rick Clark
366 pts Brandon & Joe Bray
363 pts James Hester & Ken McKee
Good luck all Central Region teams at your next event April 8 on Lake Belton!

Before the end of the year, Bass Champs will pay out over $2 MILLION, and the winnings are already racking up - so far top teams have earned $480,540 in six events!
Jan 14 – East Region – Sam Rayburn PAID $106,900
Jan 21 – South Region – Falcon PAID $49,650
Feb 4 – Central Region – Travis PAID $52,450
Feb 11 – East Region – Toledo Bend PAID $83,300
Feb 18 – North Region – Cedar Creek PAID $71,880
Feb 25 – South Region – Amistad PAID $48,000
March 4 – Central Region – LBJ PAID $68,360

All Bass Champs regular season events are open to anyone who would like to fish, and have a chance at cashing in big!
March 11 – East Region – Sam Rayburn
March 19 – Mega Bass – Lake Fork
March 25 – South Region - Falcon
April 1 – North Region – Ray Roberts
April 8 – Central Region - Belton
April 22 – South Region - Amistad
April 29 – North Region – Lake Fork
May 13 – East Region – Toledo Bend
May 20 – Central Region - LBJ
June 3 – North Region – Tawakoni
June 9-11 – Skeeter Owner’s Tournament – Fork
June 25 – Techron TX Shootout – Sam Rayburn
Oct 14-15 – 2017 Team Championship – TBA
Oct 21-22 – 12th Annual Berkley Big Bass - Fork

Get signed up now for the Annual Mega Bass tournament on Lake Fork - the richest one-day hourly big bass tournament in the world is happening March 19. $20,000 will be given away EVERY single hour of the event – and it gets even better. At the end of the day, the angler catching the largest bass under the slot and the angler catching the biggest bass over the slot will each win a new Skeeter Boat! Anglers will be winning over $200,000 in cash and prizes – all in one day. Don’t miss your chance to win!

For those who have never fished on Lake Fork but would like to give it a try for your chance to win, the ‘slot’ rules on Lake Fork are simple: Any bass under 16” may be retained and weighed. Any bass over 24” may be retained. Any bass in-between those measurements are illegal to keep and must be released immediately. So go grab your gear and get ready to cash in – Entry fees are only $160 per angler and up to 12 places are paid every single hour.

For more information, visit www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274
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