2018 Bass Champs Schedules
HomeResultsScheduleRulesSponsors
TelevisionMerchandiseEntry FormsNewsletterContact Us
Results
BIG BASS TOURNAMENT
Date: March 27, 2011
Tournament: Ram Mega Bass 2011
Prize WinnersHourlyStoryPhotos
Richard Draper of Cypress, Texas tops 1,371 Anglers and Wins a New Ram Outdoorsman at the 1st annual Ram Mega Bass tournament on Lake Fork. Six other anglers take home a Ram Truck as well.
By: Don Hampton - The Fisherman’s Guide News


History was made on Lake Fork, March 27th, 2011. Texas #1 Tournament Trail, Bass Champs, hosted the world’s richest one day hourly big bass tournament, the Ram Mega Bass. This event featured a payback unlike any bass tournament in the world, awarding a brand new Ram Truck to the angler that weighed in the heaviest bass EVERY HOUR. In total there were 7 Ram Trucks awarded, plus over 70 hourly checks for a total payback of more than $175,000 in cash and prizes! It was clear this event drew national attention as 1,371 anglers from 14 different states came in to Lake Fork to cast for the keys to a new Ram Truck.

Frontal conditions, high winds, and a stubborn bite did not dampen the spirits of these anglers. With a new Dodge Ram truck and ten additional cash prizes to be paid out each hour of the tournament, anglers skills and strategies were put to the test.

Lake Fork is known for exceptionally large bass but tournament anglers are also very much aware of the 16 to 24-inch slot on this reservoir. No bass greater than 16-inches or less than 24-inches can be retained and brought to the weigh-in so this leaves ample opportunity for the anglers to apply strategy as to when to weigh their fish for the best opportunity to secure a check or a truck.

With seven dodge trucks at stake, the heaviest bass to be caught in the tournament would drive home a Ram Outdoorsman va-lued over $32,000. Richard Draper from Cypress, Texas was only a few casts away from calling it a day and putting the boat on the trailer when he hooked into what turned out to be the most valuable fish of the day. Draper said, "We were literally within a few hundred yards of the boat ramp and only had about 2 minutes of fishing time left. We decided to go back and cast into the same tree that we caught an 8 lb slot fish earlier in the day, and it paid off. I pretty much stuck with Watermelon Red Texas rigged soft plastics bait most of the day. When I pitched into the tree, my line jumped, I set the hook, and that's when the excitement started. We had already folded the net up, because we were literally within minutes of calling it quits. When I set the hook, I knew it was a good fish, but figured it was another slot fish. As soon as she came to the top, everyone saw her and was scrambling to get the net out again. We didn't have time to extend the pole on the net, and the pole was basically blocking half of the net." Draper continued, "In the rush to get the fish in the boat, my partner didn't even bother extending the pole, he just grabbed the net like a big bucket with both hands, hit the deck of the boat on his stomach and scooped up the fish. He had to make her fit between the pole in the center of the net, and one of the sides. I'm not sure how he got her to fit, but I guess luck was on our side, he timed it just right and put her in the boat. We were all excited, but didn't have time to spend reflecting on everything. We were running crazy trying to get everything put up and make it to weigh in on time. There was a lot of drama going on at the weigh in with all of the over's the final hour. I knew mine was over 10 lbs, but when the scales said 11.02, and I realized I was in the lead for the overall, it was unbelievable feeling. Bass Champs always puts on a first class event, and this one is no different. We had a great time, and we will definitely be back next year."

Over the course of the tournament, 13 bass over the 24-inch slot were brought to the weigh-in. Anglers having caught these huge bass could decide whether or not to commit for the hour and weigh their fish. This is where most of the strategy came in to play. If an angler thought another’s bass was heavier than their own, they could hold theirs to be weighed for the next hour in hopes it would be the heaviest in that hour winning them a new Ram truck. This strategy paid off for a couple but for others it bit harder than the bass when they held for the last hour of the tournament and six bass over the slot came to the weigh-in. Two of these last hour bass were the heaviest of the tournament to be brought to the weigh-in exceeding the weight of those anglers who passed weighing their fish in previous hours.

One angler that approved of these strategies was Jeff Snyder from Royse City, Texas. He was the only angler to win a Dodge Truck in an hour for an under 16” bass. His bass winning him first in the hour weighed 2.59-pounds. There were three bass in the line over 24-inches that would have beaten Jeff out of first place for the hour but their strategy didn’t pay off. The angler that had the heaviest bass and committed for the hour intimidating the other two not to weigh theirs had a bass that did not quite measure the 24-inches required thus making Mr. Snyder winner with heaviest bass in the hour.


Other anglers winning first in an hour and taking home a new Dodge truck valued at over $21,000 were Robert Butler from De-Queen, Arkansas with a 9.65-pound bass; Tim Walker from Grand Prairie, Texas with a 9.38-pound bass; Chuck Pinson Jr. from Longview, Texas with a 9.32-pound bass; Chance Olson from Tyler, Texas with an 8.90-pound bass; and James Blythe from Haughton, Louisiana with an 8.14-pound bass.

All anglers reported a good bite on the lake despite the weather conditions. Winning weights 16-inches and under ranged from 2.21-pounds to 2.82-pounds. Some of the strategy fish that did not win a new Dodge truck but won cash in an hour were a 10.86, a 9.33, an 8.91, and a 7.93-pound bass.

Bass Champs President, Chad Potts stated, "This was the first year for us to do this event on Lake Fork, and I feel like it was a huge success. Having a truck on the line every single hour creates drama at every single weigh in. Everyone in the crowd got to witness gamesmanship and strategy from anglers in the weigh in line that just doesn't happen at any other event. It was almost like watching poker with fish. Those guys in the tub line were trying to strategize, bluff, talk their way into the lead, etc. It was actually very exciting and is going to make a great TV show. Our camera crew was filming the whole tournament, and I can't wait to see how it turns out on TV." Potts continued, "I've been asked all day if we were going to do this event next year, and the answer is YES! We are definitely going to the Mega Bass event next year on Fork, and we are going to make it even bigger and better. The date for the 2012 Ram Mega Bass is set for Sunday, April 1st. I'm looking forward to next year's event. It's going to be exciting. I would also like to thank all of our staff, Lake Fork Marina & Motel, Allen Samuels Dodge at Alliance for getting all of the trucks out to the lake, and of course RAM Trucks for their support of Bass Champs and grass roots anglers. This event takes a lot of man hours to accomplish and all of the people that worked hard made this event a huge success."

To find out more details about Bass Champs, future events, TV Schedules, and more visit www.basschamps.com and subscribe to our free e-Newsletter.

Bass Champs will be on Lake LBJ this upcoming weekend for the Central Texas Team Region. Bass Champs will be back at Lake Fork for the Skeeter Owners Tournament June 3-5th, and back again for the 6th annual Berkley Big Bass on October 15th & 16th.
Copyright Bass Champs, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.  Ph: 817.439.3274  Fax: 817.439.3317 
www.basschamps.com
Web Design by Lana Kernan. Click here to see more sites by Lana.

Site Administration