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Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw wins $25,200 on Toledo Bend at Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw wins $25,200 on Toledo Bend at Bass Champs
by Patty Lenderman

It was a rough, windy day on Toledo Bend May 5th for 237 teams trying to win some big money in the Bass Champs tournament. Toledo has been stingy with her bass for weeks, but the battle for bass was taken on with winds near 30 mph and very rough water. Bass Champs paid out nearly $61,000 in cash and prizes and thirty two teams received a check. Rusty Clark and Shelby Shaw won over $25,000 for 1st place.

As the teams began trickling to the scales at Cypress Bend, it was apparent that it was a tough day to find a bite. Chad Dyess and Michael Crawford established the initial lead with 14.16 lbs, which held as top weight for nearly an hour before heavier weights were brought in. Jimmy Sorter weighed the first big bass over 9 pounds, then Ken Robinson weighed one in at 9.40. Jason Woods, fishing with Cory Rambo caught the biggest bass of the day weighing 10.02 lbs winning a check for $1,000.

The weights were as spread out as the bass seemed to be. Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw weighed in 19.26 lbs, ahead of second place by a pound and a half. Their targeted fishing holes were out on the main lake, exposed to the wind. “We lost a four pounder first thing in the morning. The wind was tough, but we stayed there and caught a limit that probably weighed 13 pounds” Shelby explained. They were throwing a Carolina rigged fluke in 17-18' of water. “The fish were there, but the waves were coming in about 4' high and ran us off. We hit about four or five spots, throwing the fluke most of the day, but also a Wave Worms Tiki Monkey. We caught our biggest one on that.” They were able to cull up several times, gaining the pounds needed to take the win. Shelby normally runs in an LMC Marine Triton Boat, but they fish Bass Champs in Rusty’s qualified Skeeter boat, adding $5,000 to their 1st place winnings. They also won the Sure-Life products bonus of $200 bringing their grand total to $25,200!

Bert Thompson and his fiancé Jackie Downs won 2nd place with 17.74 lbs. Jackie said “It was windy!” Bert said they caught fish all day, from start to finish. “We fished main lake points with Carolina rigged lizards. We were sitting in about 15', catching them in 8'.” They had picked out four spots to fish, and they all produced for them. “It was a steady bite all day!” They enjoyed a $5,000 payday.

3rd place was won by Joe Joslin and George Jeane Sr with 17.58 lbs. “We made one big circle on the southern end” Joe stated. “Mostly we were hitting drop offs and grass edges with a Carolina rig. Our biggest fish came off of a Texas rigged Stanley Reaction 6" red bug wedge worm in about 24'.” Their kicker weighed about 7 pounds. “We caught a few on crank baits, too. Our last fish was also our shallowest, weighing about 5 pounds coming out of six foot of water. It was a tough day fighting those waves, but we hung in there!” Bass Champs presented them with a $3,000 check for 3rd place. Joe would like to thank Stanley Baits, Berkley Flourocarbon Vanish line, Fenwick rods, Abu Garcia Revo reels, Skeeter Boats and Red River Marine in Alexandria, LA.

Of all the big bass brought to the scales, Jason Woods, fishing with Cory Rambo, caught the biggest of them all at 10.02 lbs. “We’ve been on fish for three weeks, and felt pretty good going in. Once we got to our first spot, I stuck her within three casts. I was flipping in about 18' right at a drop on a main lake point. She thumped it, I set the hook, and knew right away she was a big one. I told Cory to get the net! He asked if it was a good one, then looked back and saw my rod bowed. We got her in, but thirty minutes later the wind picked up pretty good and we had to leave that spot.” They won $1,000 for that one fish, but had a couple more to go with it to win 10th place for an additional $1,050.

Top 10:
1st $20,000 19.26 lbs Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw
2nd $ 5,000 17.74 lbs Bert Thompson & Jackie Downs
3rd $ 3,000 17.58 lbs Joe Joslin & George Jeane Sr
4th $ 2,000 16.82 lbs Pete Shivers & Bill Duncan
5th $ 1,200 14.52 lbs Bill Domingue & Greg Pugh
6th $ 1,090 14.20 lbs Bill Smith & Kevin Baxter
7th $ 1,080 14.16 lbs Chad Dyess & Michael Crawford
8th $ 1,070 13.96 lbs Randy Hanna & Lonnie Stanley
9th $ 1,060 13.84 lbs Mike Murski & Phil Marks
10th $ 1,050 13.54 lbs Cory Rambo & Jason Woods
........and last in the money.....
32nd $ 300 10.82 lbs Eddy Gresham & Danny Cross

Big Bass $1,000 10.02 lbs Jason Woods & Cory Rambo

Bonus Money
Skeeter Bonus $5,000 Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw
Sure-Life Bonus $ 200 Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw

There is only one more tournament for the East region. On June 16th the final event will be held back on Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. One last push to close the gap in the points race for Angler of the Year.

Top Six Points Leaders:
1127 Lance Hughes & Scooter Clark
1052 John Olson & Trey Smith
1047 Clint West & Clay West
1021 Rusty Clark & Shelby Shaw
1008 Douglas Posey & Lloyd Curtis
1005 Martin Elshout & Mark Price

The Championship for the North and East regions will be a two day event held October 20-21. The location will be kept secret until just before the Championship. In the mean time, be sure to sign up for the Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn July 29th. It is the richest one day big bass tournament in the country, paying back ten places per hour. The top prize winner each hour will receive a brand new Dodge pick up truck! For more information, click to www.basschamps.com or call 817-439-3274.
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