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Date: May 3, 2008
Region: 2008 East Region
Tournament: Toledo Bend
Tournament Trail: 2008 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Elliott & Hendricks win $20,000 at Bass Champs on Toledo Bend
By: Patty Lenderman

Bass Champs East Texas Region teams hit Toledo Bend May 3 for the fourth tournament stop of the season. Anglers were fishing for more than $45,000 in cash and prizes, with the top twenty one teams receiving a portion of it. Ron Hendricks and James Elliott took home the lion’s share, weighing in more than 26 pounds.

Strong thunderstorms passed through the area the night before the tournament. While the storms had finished leaving the area by take-off Saturday morning, there was still plenty of wind blowing across the lake. As the day progressed, the wind died down and blue bird skies prevailed.

When the weigh in began, several teams brought small limits to the scales at Cypress Bend Park. It was apparent that the big bite was widely elusive to this field of participants. Only three sacks over 20 pounds were weighed in, the heaviest by James Elliott and Ron Hendricks at 26.36 pounds.

Former Anglers of the Year and winners of this event, Elliott and Hendricks made a long run to catch their winning stringer. “We went about 25 miles north and fished every point on the Texas side between here and there” Elliott explained. Having better luck at secondary points, they were using Carolina rigged Big Dead Ringers and deep diving crank baits at targeted depths of 5’-14’. “We were just hitting each point, fishing them fast and heading to the next one. The bass would be sitting on one side or the other of each one. We’d catch one or two at some, twelve or fifteen at the next.” They reported an all day bite, and estimate catching about 50 keepers throughout the day. They did not register a big bass, but their biggest was around seven pounds, with their smallest just under four. Bass Champs presented them with $20,000 for their 1st place win.

Kris Wilson and David Harvey won 2nd place with 23.96 pounds. “It started really slow for us, but the bite was steady all day” Kris said. “We only went to about five spots.” The areas they were fishing included drains, high spots and stumps. The bait of choice was a Carolina rigged Big Bite Creature bait, finding their bass in 8’ depths. Their kicker weighed in at 7.58 pounds, securing their 2nd place finish. Bass Champs paid them $3,000 for their finish.

Richard Weeks and Andrew Upshaw had brought the first sack over 20 pounds in to weigh, ultimately taking 3rd place with 20.02. “It was very windy first thing” Andrew said. Ducking into protected areas, they moved around a lot hitting 25-30 spots. “The fish were deep, about 10’-20’. We were using Texas rigged V&M plastics and DD-22 crank baits and caught fish all day long.” Andrew had been throwing one of his favorite crank baits, and accidentally hit Richard in the head with it. “The bait just shattered!” They laughed. “We had fun today!”

Cody Sicinsky brought the first big bass in to weigh, tipping the scales at 8.34 pounds. Fishing with his partner Jason Bass, they had a total of 17.50 pounds and held the top big bass spot for a little while, until Jerry Sisco and Mike Cortelloni weighed in their big bass at 8.64 pounds. Jerry hooked the big bass, and at the end of the weigh in he was a little shocked but very happy they won the Big Bass prize. “I was throwing a Carolina rigged speed craw about 12’ deep in scattered grass. We were fishing a main lake ridge, taking waves over the bow of the boat.” He got the bite around 1:00. “She just picked up the bait and swam off with it. When I set the hook, she wrapped up in a tree.” After a lot of finagling he managed to work her off of it and into the boat. “We just got lucky. Mike had found these fish, and we were able to catch them today.” The team won $1,000 for Big Bass, and since the team had an Abu Garcia Revo Reel in their boat, they won the Revo Bonus and received two additional Revo reels. They finished in 10th place overall for an additional $1,000.

Top 10 Teams:
1st $20,000 26.36 lbs James Elliott & Ron Hendricks
2nd $ 3,000 23.96 lbs Kris Wilson & David Harvey
3rd $ 2,000 20.02 lbs Richard Weeks II & Andrew Upshaw
4th $ 1,100 18.76 lbs Don Rossell & Raul Morineau
5th $ 1,000 18.72 lbs Michael Duff & Lance Duff
6th $ 1,000 17.50 lbs Jason Bass & Cody Sicinski
7th $ 1,000 16.94 lbs John LeMaire & Joshua LeMaire
8th $ 1,000 16.62 lbs Stan Burgay & Charles Reagan
9th $ 1,000 16.50 lbs Phil Marks & Tim Reneau
10th $ 1,000 16.20 lbs Mike Cortelloni & Jerry Sisco

Sponsor Bonus winners:
Skeeter Bonus $1,000 John Lynch & Bill Rogers
Abu Garcia Revo 2 reels Mike Cortelloni & Jerry Sisco

There is only one tournament left in the 2008 season for the East Texas Region. It will be held on Sam Rayburn June 14 at the Umphrey Family Pavilion.
Quick look at the points standings in the race for Angler of the Year:
865 pts Kris Wilson & David Harvey
805 pts Allen Shelton & Strider Browning
789 pts David Fox & George Jeane Sr
774 pts Richard Weeks II & Andrew Upshaw
766 pts Pete Shivers & Allan Shivers

The next stop for the Bass Champs tournament trail will be on Lake Belton with the Central Region May 10. Bass Champs tournaments are open for anyone to fish, so sign up now for your chance at some big money! Also don’t forget to register for the 2nd Annual Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn July 26 & 27. There will be a new Dodge Truck awarded each hour, both days – a total of 12 trucks will be won!

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