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Date: April 19, 2008
Region: 2008 North Region
Tournament: Lake Lewisville
Tournament Trail: 2008 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Cline & Smith win closest match of the year on Lewisville
By: Patty Lenderman

It just doesn’t get much closer than it did on Lake Lewisville April 19, 2008. Bass Champs North region had their third tournament of the season and the top weights were too close for comfort. It was one of those classic events where hundredths of ounces literally meant the difference in thousands of dollars in prize money. Anglers enjoyed more than $50,000 paid back in cash and prizes.

The timing of the full moon the night before the tournament factored in bringing bass in to several spawning flats – and many teams were in these areas ready for them. Many reported a slow but steady bite under calm blue bird skies.

Tim Cline and Raymond Smith won 1st place by a slim margin. “It started out really slow for us” Cline recalled. “It took the sun coming up to really get (the bass) going. We started out with heavy spinnerbaits - lots of casts covering lots of water.” At one point Raymond had gotten hung up. As they maneuvered the boat to retrieve his lure, Tim had his spinnerbait just dangling in the water. “I thought I must have hit the trolling motor by accident when I felt the tug. I turned around and there was a fish on my line!” Turns out it was a nice chunk. “It really boiled down to two key fish for us. We caught them back to back out of the same hole on spinnerbaits in about 10 foot.” They also found some good keepers at deeper points with breaks leading into spawning pockets. “We had all the fish we weighed in today by 10:00. We didn’t catch any we could cull with after that.” Their weight totaled 17.46 lbs. Bass Champs presented them with $20,000 for their 1st place win, plus they got the Sure-Life sponsor bonus of $200 for using the Catch & Release product in their livewell.

Robert Case Jr & Scotty Wenzel slid into a tight 2nd place, weighing in 17.42 lbs. After winning 1st place last month, their consistency is plain to see. “We started out fishing real shallow. With the water level dropping, we figured the bass had moved out. We decided to move to deeper water to find them.” They backed off with Carolina rigs to flats in 10-12’. “The little fish bit early, then the bigger fish started biting later in the day.” They anchored their limit with two bass in the five pound range. “We stayed in the same spot all day. We just had faith in the area, knowing that the better quality bass were there. Sometimes you just have to wait on the bite.” They won $3,000 for their 2nd place finish, then doubled it being the highest finishing Skeeter Boat team. In addition, they received $500 from Fun N Sun. Their winnings totaled $6,500.

The 3rd place winners kept their game plan simple. David Sabella, Sr and David Gilmore didn’t do a lot of running, staying in a few select areas. “We had never been on the lake before” David explained. “I did a little pre-fishing about a week before the tournament, and just picked out a few spots that was protected from North or South winds.” Since it was a calm day, they ventured to more areas. “We started out at the island near the dam. After catching two on a spinnerbait, we moved to an area near the old spillway.” While there were a couple of other boaters there for a short while, they basically had the area to themselves. “We worked it real slow. Like, I’d say it took us 30 minutes to go 30 yards.” They were flipping the bushes with baby brush hogs. David said they were blessed with some real solid fish. “We had debated on whose boat to use today. My Triton or his Skeeter.” They decided on the Triton. “We definitely made the wrong decision!” They were presented with $2,000 for their 3rd place finish. “I’d like to thank my sponsors – American Eagle Rods and UCR Wraps.”

The biggest bass of the tournament was caught by Zach Parker. “I had pulled into a marina, and there were several other boats in the area” Zach explained. We backed off to fish the flats with a Carolina rigged lizard.” The flats were covered in pea gravel, perfect spawning grounds for bass. “After the full moon last night, there was a big wave of bass that moved in.” He caught this 9 lb 3 oz sow that earned a check for $1,000 and was a major factor in their 11th place overall finish! “I’d like to thank God for blessing us with such a beautiful day to fish, and for giving me this big bass!”

Top 10 teams:
1st $20,000 17.46 lbs Tim Cline & Raymond Smith
2nd $ 3,000 17.42 lbs Scotty Wenzel & Robert Case Jr
3rd $ 2,000 15.56 lbs David Sabella Sr & David Gilmore
4th $ 1,150 15.46 lbs Trevor Romans & Leslie Kennedy
4th $ 1,150 15.46 lbs Casey Merriman & Jeremy Grandstaff
6th $ 1,050 14.90 lbs Jason Jones & Terry Hall
7th $ 1,040 14.88 lbs Shane Moore & Charlie David
8th $ 1,030 14.54 lbs Rick Helcamp & Gene Lathrop
9th $ 1,020 14.20 lbs Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
10th $ 1,010 14.08 lbs Calvin Vestal & Vicky Walker

Sponsor Bonus Money:
Skeeter Boats $3,000 Scotty Wenzel & Robert Case Jr
Fun N Sun $ 500 Scotty Wenzel & Robert Case Jr
Sure Life $ 200 Tim Cline & Raymond Smith
Allen Samuels Dodge $2,000 Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
Line-X $1,000 Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore

Quick update on the Angler of the Year race points standings:
534 Scotty Wenzel & Robert Case Jr
516 Trevor Romans & Leslie Kennedy
502 Shane Moore & Charlie David
497 Bruce Muller & Kolint Krhoviak
491 Daniel Stewart & JD Yarbrough

There’s a lot more excitement, money and fun to be had with Bass Champs. Join the South Region April 26 on Falcon Lake. The next North region event will be May 17 at Cedar Creek. Don’t forget to sign up now for the 2nd Annual Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn July 26-27. A Dodge truck will be won every hour! For more information on any Bass Champs tournament, call 817-439-3274 or click to www.basschamps.com.
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