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Date: March 1, 2008
Region: 2008 Central Region
Tournament: Lake Belton #1
Tournament Trail: 2008 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Weatherly and Brown top ANOTHER RECORD FIELD of over 500 anglers at Belton with over 20 lbs
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs Central Region just keeps growing and growing. More than 500 anglers headed to Belton for some stiff competition March 1. There was a lot of anticipation as these teams headed out to fish for part of $64,760 being paid back. Over half the field brought five fish limits to the scales, but only one topped the 20 lb mark to win! Weatherly and Brown took home more than $20,000.

John Weatherly and Cliff Brown won 1st place with 20.80 pounds. More than half their total weight was in a single bass! “We drew boat #1, and I think it may be the first time that boat #1 won 1st place in Bass Champs history!” stated Weatherly. They started out in a spot that John had wanted to fish, and right away caught a three pounder. “All we used today was black & blue True Tungsten jigs.” They didn’t get a lot of bites, just six all day and boated five of them. “We caught our biggest around 11:30. She was sitting in a submerged tree about 15' deep.” It was humongous - 10.96 lbs! That was their fourth fish of the day, and they needed one more to make a limit. John lost the rod & reel he just caught this big bass on. It caught the limb of a tree as they were passing by and it slipped out of the boat in an instant. Just goes to show that it was a good combo, catching anything within reach! They finally boated their fifth fish around 2:00 and headed to the weigh in soon after. They won $20,000 for 1st place, another $1,000 for Big Bass and they also won the Revo Reel bonus and each received a new reel. They were also using SureLife to help keep their fish in good shape, and won that bonus for an additional $200. “This is our first win in Bass Champs and our second year to fish in it. We really enjoy fishing this circuit, you guys put on a good tournament.” They would like to acknowledge Texas Boat World of Harker Heights, Texas for being a significant part of their fishing fun.

The 2nd place winners are a father and son team. Joe and Brandon Bray brought in a five bass limit weighing 17.36 lbs. “We were boat number 123, not a bad draw” Joe began. Throwing rattle traps, Brandon boated two good fish within fifteen minutes. “One of them came off - looking back, you never know if that was the one that would have made all the difference for us. After that, we headed up the river and caught two more.” They made their way back down the lake and started throwing brush hogs. “We targeted points with brush. I caught our big bass (8.14 lbs) that wrapped up a limit. We caught three more fish to cull with after that.” Joe would like to express his appreciation to the folks at Horseshoe Bay Marina on Lake LBJ. Bass Champs presented them with a 2nd place check for $5,000. “Any day you get to fish with your son is a good day!”

Randy Hibler and Randall Christian took 3rd place with 16.96 lbs. “We caught about 30 fish today, 20 of them were keepers” Randy explained. They were all in shallow water, 2' or less.” After catching some of them on spinnerbaits, they switched to pumpkinseed brush hogs. “It was an all day bite for us. We really had a good time out there.” Targeting shallow creeks, they fished three different spots. “We were very fortunate. There were 254 boats out there fishing, and the areas we picked out are community holes and usually has several other boats in them at any given time. Today we had our first and third spots all to ourselves.” They had a limit in the boat by around 9:00, and culled a few times, but only by mere ounces, before the end of the day. “All of our fish looked just the same - about 3 ½ pounds each.” They doubled their winnings by being the highest finishing qualified Skeeter boat owner team, going home with a total of $6,000. “I’d like to thank my family for their support and encouraging me to fish” - Randy Hibler

Thirty five teams won a check, the last one was presented to Mike Coon and Jason Jeter weighing in 13.14 lbs.

The Central Region will head to LBJ for their third 2008 event April 5. There are several opportunities to cash in on part of the more than $2,500,000 that Bass Champs will award to anglers in 2008. Other opportunities in March include:

March 8 – the North Region will head to Tawakoni
March 15 – fish with the South Region on Choke Canyon
March 29 – 1st Annual Dawson Marine-Rayburn Big Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn

For more information on any Bass Champs event, call 817-439-3274 or click to www.basschamps.com
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