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Date: February 7, 2009
Region: 2009 Central Region
Tournament: Lake Travis #1
Tournament Trail: 2009 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Moody & Shelton top 220 teams at Lake Travis
By: Patty Lenderman

Skeeter Bass Champs Central Region held its inaugural 2009 event on Lake Travis February 7. Two hundred nineteen teams fished for a payback of $60,250 in cash and prizes, a 103% payback percentage! The wind added to the challenges the contenders faced, but Heath Moody and Allen Shelton topped the field with 20.70 pounds.

Most of Texas is in some degree of drought stage. Lake Travis has felt the effects of the lack of rainfall and was 27 feet low on tournament day. High or low, the crystal clear aquamarine water of the lake is unmistakably beautiful. The wind had been relentless for days, blowing in excess of 20mph with higher gusts. The teams did not catch any slack from the wind Saturday, and many had to find alternative fishing areas to try to find some cover and calmer water.

When all of the bass brought in had been weighed, Allen Shelton and Heath Moody were declared the 1st place winners. “Heath went and found our fish about a week and a half ago” Allen explained. “We were boat #8 going out, and Heath caught our first fish pretty quick on a jig.” The wind made it hard to keep fishing in that spot, forcing them to make a move. “The clouds and the wind clued us in on some shallow, do-nothin’ looking banks.” Throwing chatter baits, crank baits, and several other lures, slowly but surely they put a limit together. “We were just trash fishing. At 1:00 we finally put our fifth fish in the boat.” It was a slow bite, but Allen said they just had a gut feeling about that spot. “It was a creek that had three spots in it we kept hitting. On Lake Travis, when you’re catching four pounders, you just don’t move.” They had a six pound kicker among their creel, but possibly their most crucial catch was the one cull they made. They were able to put their smallest, a two pounder, back in the lake in exchange for a four pound catch. “We’d like to thank our wives for putting up with all the fishing we do.” This team fishes all four Bass Champs Regions! “Also a big thank you to Fun N Sun. We were having boat trouble, and they worked on our boat Friday night before the tournament in the parking lot and got us back going again.” They would also like to thank Skeeter Boats, Sure-Life Please Release Me, and Wild Well Control. Bass Champs presented them with the $20,000 1st place purse, another $5,000 bonus from Skeeter boats and $200 from Sure-Life.

Jody Holubek and Dale Boren won 2nd place with 18.26 pounds. They had found quality bites during practice and their fish held for tournament day. “We were fishing jigs in shallow water in the backs of pockets. It was VERY windy, so we just kept to the calm sides.” They put a good limit together by 10:30, and was able to cull up a few times to their final weight. “We probably boated around 20 bass, but at 1:30 they just shut down.” They were presented $5,000 for their 2nd place win.

The father and son team of Greg Westall Sr & Jr took the 3rd place spot with 17.46 pounds. It was their first tournament together, although Greg Jr. fishes other tournament events aspiring to become a pro. “By 9:30 we had three solid fish throwing crank baits” Greg Sr. recalled. “It got tough in the middle of the day. We moved and tried different spots, but it didn’t do any good. Finally we went back to our first area and picked up two more in the stumps crankin’. I told Junior he’d better come to the party. At 2:30 he put a three pounder in the boat that was worth a few thousand. I’m real proud of him. He’s 18 years old, and he really kept with it. I enjoyed fishing the tournament with my son. We’re going to fish more of them!” Greg Sr. laughed and said he had called his wife to tell her the news. Excited and in somewhat disbelief, she was happy for her husband and son. “I guess you can call us ‘Team Mama!’”

Several bass in the five and six pound range were brought in, but the biggest of the day weighed 7.44 pounds. Lucas Larson caught her fishing with his partner Bill Rule. “I caught her on my third cast, around 8:00.” Fighting the wind, the team was sitting just off of a main lake point pitching a jig with a Critter type trailer in about 15’ of water. “I didn’t know it was a big one right off. She made one jump then went right into the net.” They won $1,000 for their Big Bass, finished in 10th place overall for an additional $1,050 and received the All-Star rod bonus of a few new rods. “We’ve been fishing Bass Champs on and off for the past five years now. They run a really good tournament. Smoothest run of any of them.”

It took 11.52 pounds to be in the money, and two teams tied the weight for the last two $500 checks. Scott Stagner & Todd Tindel, along with Jim Fielding Jr and Johnny Snyder Jr tied for 28th place.

Incentive Bonus Winners:
Skeeter Bonus $5,000 Allen Shelton & Heath Moody
Sure Life Bonus $ 200 Allen Shelton & Heath Moody
All Star Rod Lucas Larson & Bill Rule

Don’t miss any of the opportunities to win some big money fishing with Skeeter Bass Champs this year. Four regions, thirteen different lakes and over $1 MILLION dollars in cash and prizes will be given away.

South Region schedule:
1/17/09 Lake Amistad PAID - $50,750
2/21/09 Lake Amistad
3/21/09 Choke Canyon
4/18/09 Falcon Lake
5/16/09 Choke Canyon

East Region schedule:
1/24/09 Sam Rayburn PAID - $71,410
2/28/09 Sam Rayburn
3/28/09 Sam Rayburn
5/09/09 Toledo Bend
6/13/09 Sam Rayburn

Central Region schedule:
2/07/09 Travis PAID – $60,250
3/07/09 Belton
4/04/09 LBJ
5/02/09 Belton
6/06/09 Travis

North Region schedule:
2/14/09 Richland Chambers NEXT – Don’t miss it!
3/14/09 Cedar Creek
4/25/09 Lake Fork
5/30/09 Lewisville
6/27/09 Tawakoni

Special thanks to Skeeter Bass Champs 2009 sponsors for helping to make this another great tournament season: Skeeter – Yamaha – Berkley – MinnKota – Outdoor Channel – Academy – Humminbird – Progressive – Sure Life – Costa Del Mar – Continental Batteries – Navionics – Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk – Abu Garcia – All Star Rods
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