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Date: February 9, 2008
Region: 2008 North Region
Tournament: Cedar Creek #1
Tournament Trail: 2008 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Stewart & Yarbrough wins Bass Champs North Region event on Cedar Creek
By: Patty Lenderman

The day could not have been prettier February 9 for the Bass Champs North Region opener on Cedar Creek. The last of the four regions to begin the 2008 tournament season, 235 teams competed for nearly $62,000 in cash and prizes. Daniel Stewart & JD Yarbrough took the top $20,000 check, winning the first event of the year.

“I don’t remember the North Region ever having their first tournament in good weather” stated Chad Potts. “Today was really great. (The anglers) didn’t have to worry with any weather contingencies, just concentrate on fishing.”

It took five solid fish weighing a total of 18.34 lbs to win. Stewart & Yarbrough didn’t have a particular kicker in their bag, just good solid chunks. “It started slow for us today” Daniel stated. We drew a bad number, but didn’t really care because we didn’t have anything going. We piddled around until 10:30 or so, and watched the water continue to warm up.” Their morning bite didn’t pan out for them, and at that point decided to check out shallow fish. “I had some artificial brush piles in my shop the last couple of years, and about two weeks ago we planted them near some docks here on the lake. We went to them and started flipping Texas rigs, and about 11:00 finally caught one.” JD commented that at least they would not zero. “Soon after that, we caught another and things began looking up. We glanced up a creek, and noticed birds, and shad jumping.” Grabbing their rattle traps, they headed that direction. “It didn’t take long to finish a limit.” Time was running out, and they had a small swimmer they really wanted to cull. “I started saying a short prayer, asking God to please let me have one more good one. I barely got it out before I set the hook on a four pounder.” They have been fishing Bass Champs for six years, and while they have won several checks including a 2nd place finish, this is their first win. “It’s great to open this year with a win. I’ve got a great partner, we’ve been fishing together for the past 12 years.” Bass Champs presented them with a $20,000 check for their victory.

Russell Lee and Kevin Henry won 2nd place, weighing in a 17.30 lb sack. “We caught a lot of fish” Russell stated. “Probably around 20 or 25 keepers, all out of one spot.” They were throwing rattle traps in shallow water near creeks. “We had a limit in the boat by 9:30, but caught our biggest fish the last hour, about four pounds.” The area they were in didn’t have a lot of pressure from other anglers, and they were able to cull several times. “Our biggest cull was a 2 ½ pounder.” They won $5,000 for 2nd place, but being the highest finishing qualified Skeeter Boat team, doubled their winnings with another $5,000 from Skeeter Boats. They also won the $500 Fun-N-Sun Bonus for a $10,500 total winning day. “We’d like to thank Allen Samuels Dodge in Ennis, TX and JB Lawn Service for their sponsorship. Most of all a big thanks to our families for their support.”

Eric Leuschner caught the biggest bass of the day weighing 10.44 pounds. It was also the biggest bass he’s ever caught, and what a day to do it. “I was pitching docks, dead sticking a Zoom finesse drop shot with 8 pound test line. It was my third cast at this dock we were fishing. She hit at 2:00. When I set the hook, I just kept screaming to my partner (Ronnie Kelley) ‘NET! NET! NET!’ I played her out, and she finally just came to the boat and Ronnie netted her with no problem.” They still had time that they could keep fishing, they were still one shy of a limit. “I kept looking at her in the livewell, and didn’t think she was acting right. I wanted to get her in before she died.” Once they got in, the bass was in great shape and after spending a little time in the oxygen saturated and treated release tank was put back into Cedar Creek Lake to be caught again another day. Eric won $1,000 for his Big Bass catch, and the team won another $1,090 for their 6th place overall finish.

Shonn Blassingame and Shane Elmore finished 20th on the day but were the highest finishers with a qualified truck from Allen Samuels Dodge in North Richland Hills, TX. They won an additional $2000 for that bonus. They also were the highest finisher with a LINE-X Bedliner from LINE-X of North Texas. They took home an additional $1000 for that bonus. In total, the team took home $2,600 for 20th place. It pays to support Bass Champs sponsors. To find out more about the 2008 Bass Champs Sponsor Incentives click the following link. http://www.basschamps.com/basschamps/sponsorIncentives.cfm

With all of the regions started, 2008 is in full swing. “There are a lot of Bass Champs tournaments all over the state. Bass Champs will be paying back over $2,500,000 to anglers this year, and anyone can come fish with us. There are several teams coming after the money fishing more than one region. It’s here - come get some of the big bucks we’re paying out!” - Chad Potts, Bass Champs President

Besides the lucrative guaranteed payouts at every event, Bass Champs sponsors are ready to pay even more!
Skeeter Bonus – Double your money bonus up to $5,000 for the highest finisher in a qualified Skeeter Boat at every tournament
Allen Samuels Dodge - $2,000 for the highest finishing team in the money who has purchased a new Dodge vehicle from Allen Samuels Dodge winin two years of the tournament date (North team region only)
Besides the lucrative guaranteed payouts at every event, Bass Champs sponsors are ready to pay even more!
Sure-Life Please Release Me – If your team wins a Bass Champs Team Event with 5 live fish and you have either – Catch and Release or Please Release Me in your live well – you will receive an additional $200
Abu Garcia REVO - If your team wins Big Bass and you have an Abu Garcia REVO in your boat, you will win two new REVO’s
Line-X - $1,000 bonus to the highest finishing team in the money wit a Line-X bedliner purchased from Line-X of North Texas on their vehicle (North team region only)

The next North team region event will be March 8 on Tawakoni. Be sure and join us for even more fish catching action and payback. If you’d like to fish a Bass Champs event before then, head to Sam Rayburn February 16 for an East region tournament. For more information, call 817-439-3274 or click to www.basschamps.com

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