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Results
TEAM TOURNAMENT
Date: April 22, 2017
Region: 2017 South Region
Tournament: Lake Amistad #2
Tournament Trail: 2017 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Steed & Haralson win Bass Champs South Region season finale on Amistad Anglers of the Year declared
By: Patty Lenderman


Bass Champs South Region teams took the final plunge on Lake Amistad April 22 to wrap up the 2017 season. Not only were these 152 teams vying for a portion of this incredible 107% payback tournament, but it was the final push for Angler of the Year points. Multiple awards were earned at this last South Region event as well as lots of money won. Jimmy Steed and Charlie Haralson won 1st place and over $20,000 catching over 25 pounds, and the Angler of the Year race was tight!

Amistad is a shared lake between Texas and Mexico, and is renowned for its big bass and huge stringers. Anglers had their work cut out for them as a cold front moved in shortly after the fishing began, bringing excessive winds and high waves. As the front curled around the area, so did the wind direction as it continued blowing at over 25 mph at times. Nevertheless, multiple 7 and 8 pound kickers were seen at the scales, including one over nine pounds. 120 teams brought in their five fish limits making for a great season finale.

Winners Jimmy Steed and Charlie Haralson had not had much luck finding fish during practice. “We decided to just go fishing.” Using a shaky head rig and a drop shot, they started their hunt for bass. “We caught a good one early on, and that kind of steered us to what we needed to do for the rest of the day.” Positioning their boat in up to 50’ of water along ledges, they casted to depths of 20’-25’. “It took a while to let our baits sink, but the fish were there, and it didn’t take long to get our bites.” They caught quite a few fish, many of them were small, but had a limit in the boat by 9:30. Continuing their hunt, the team hit six or seven spots throughout the day, all with the same structure and depths in mind. “Once we got our limit, we were only able to cull twice, and had what we weighed in by 11:00.” Their creel included two nice ones around 7 pounds each, helping with their total weight of 25.05 pounds. Bass Champs presented the winners with the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check, then Sure Life added another $200 to their winnings. “We have been fishing with Bass Champs since they opened up the South Region in 2004 and were fortunate to have won the first tournament on Falcon. We really enjoy fishing these tournaments!” They would like to thank Big Bite Baits, 13 Fishing and Seaguar Line for their help and support.

2nd place was won by Bret Mills and Richard Tampke, bringing in a five-bass limit of 23.73 pounds. They had one spot to anchor their chances in about the size of an acre. “It was on a main lake area, and it was tough fishing it with the wind and 2’ waves,” Mills recalled. They were using Carolina rigs in about 15’ of water. “We started out using 6” and 8” lizards, and while we caught a lot of fish, they were all small.” The bite, albeit mostly ‘dinks’, was too good to leave their spot. “It is hard to leave biting bass to go hunt for biting bass. We just adjusted by putting on bigger lizards, 10”, and that worked for us.” The bigger fish started biting at that point, and they landed a 7 pounder and their kicker at 8.22 before rounding up their limit. At the end of the day they secured a 2nd place win and a check for $3,000. “Bass Champs is a fantastic organization, and they run great tournaments for us!”

Rounding out the top 10:
3rd $2,000 22.74 lbs Larry Fillmon & Trent Huckaby
4th $1,500 22.70 lbs Ernestino Pruneda & Cody White
5th $1,400+ 22.37 lbs Jim Robertson & Beau Kaiser
6th $1,200 21.95 lbs William Blaine & Ross Jewell
7th $1,100 21.67 lbs Tim Reneau & Ruben Longoria
8th $1,040 20.47 lbs Bill Garza Jr & Ira Lynn
9th $1,030 20.46 lbs Allen Shelton & Brad Drake
10th $1,020+ 19.77 lbs Mike Coon & David Laine
And last in the money
20th $600 18.05 lbs Buford Estep Sr & Buford Estep Jr

The biggest bass of the day was reeled in by Ronnie Dubois fishing with partner Stevan Walker. “We had a spot picked out on the Mexico side of the lake, and fished in about 6’ of water with a baby bass Senko,” Walker explained. “The fish were really biting, but they wouldn’t measure.” Stevan kept casting, and then thought is bait was caught in the grass. “She had just inhaled my bait and sat there with it. I tugged on my line, and it tugged back!” They landed the big sow, tipping the scales at 9.03 pounds earning a check for Big Bass of $500. They had a tough day, but caught a lot of fish. They also won the Costa Del Mar and Abu Garcia bonuses. “We had a good day and had a lot of fun!”

Bass Champs sponsors added to the winnings for a few more teams too. Sure Life added winnings for Jimmy Steed & Charlie Haralson for using the product in their livewell. Jim Robertson & Beau Kaiser doubled their winnings for being in a qualified Skeeter boat, and won the Lowrance Gen3 Cash. Mike Coon and David Laine won the Sportsman’s Auto Network Bonus, valued at over $5,000. Bass Champs sponsors have more winnings available to win at every single tournament – a little homework pays off BIG at Bass Champs!

In the Angler of the Year race, it was a push for every point. In the end, Spike Stoker and Stuart Jeffrey came up from their third-place position after the third event to win Anglers of the Year by ONE point! For their great efforts and consistency, they not only carry this prestigious title, but their entry fees for the South Region 2018 events are waived. Congratulations to them for a job well done!

There are still a few tournaments left to go with a couple of specialty events as well. Every tournament except the Team Championship is open to anyone who would like to fish. Sign up now for these remaining chances to win!
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 – Location to be announced in July
Oct 21-22 – 12th Annual Berkley Big Bass - Fork

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