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Date: July 29, 2007
Tournament: Dodge Mega Bass 2007
Prize WinnersHourlyStoryPhotos
Travis Patillo tops a huge field to win the 1st Annual Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Rayburn
By: Patty Lenderman

Travis Patillo tops a huge field to win the 1st Annual Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Rayburn
by Patty Lenderman

The highly anticipated first annual Dodge Mega Bass tournament on Sam Rayburn brought in anglers from all over the country, with more than 1600 participants - each one looking for the one bite that would win them one of seven hourly Dodge trucks given away. Overall, nearly a quarter of a million dollars in cash and prizes was won and awarded at this spectacular event.

East Texas has been experiencing an inordinate amount of rain this summer, pushing lake levels to exceed full pool. This has kept the bass moving and anglers on the chase after them. The forecast called for more rain through the day, but the morning started out cloudy, hazy and cool. Radio station KTXJ FM 102.7 was on site all day. T.J. Bordelon kept the announcements flowing letting the anglers what’s on top, what’s in the money each hour. Ten places were guaranteed every hour, and each participant had the option of buying into the bonus positions, 11th and 12th place.

Big Bass tournaments are played totally different than typical tournaments that weigh in at the end of the day. Set up as an hourly event, anglers must play this game more like poker. They’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to weigh them, to land in one of the money seats. Some hours it may take at least 7 pounds to be in the money where other hours maybe only three. Each weigh in hour lasts only 30 minutes, getting the anglers back on the water faster.

Willard Jordan of Longview, TX weighed in the first bass of the day at 5.66 pounds. Emcee Fish Fishburn asked him if he thought it would hold up as top bass of the hour. He said “No!” Fish asked why he thought that, and Willard simply stated “because we’re on Rayburn!”. A total of 20 anglers weighed in fish the first hour. While Willard fell from the top, he stayed in the money. The number one seat was sat in by several anglers, bringing in bigger weights. With only seconds to spare, Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, TX brought in an 8.88 lb’r, winning the first Dodge truck. Stephen caught this chunk on a prototype crank bait from Sebile called a Crankster, at about 18'.

First hour line up
1st Dodge Truck 8.88 lbs Stephen Johnston Hemphill, TX
2nd $1,000 7.12 lbs Floyd Brackman Joaquin, TX
3rd $ 750 6.86 lbs Jason Moore Nacogdoches, TX
4th $ 650 6.58 lbs Craig Fuller Nacogdoches, TX
5th $ 550 6.50 lbs Tommy Hill Lumberton, TX
6th $ 450 6.14 lbs Gary Crumpton Cushing, TX
7th $ 350 5.90 lbs Scottie Jones Gilmer, TX
8th $ 250 5.66 lbs Willard Jordan Longview, TX
9th $ 200 5.46 lbs Dave Mauldin Tombal, TX
10th $ 150 5.20 lbs Brad Morris Tyler, TX

9:00 - 9:30
As the morning progressed, more spectators trickled in. Many came to see their friends and family members weigh in, more just to watch this exciting event. Dodge brought a great display of the winning trucks, and other sponsors were on hand with product as well. Nineteen anglers weighed in the second hour, with another big bass over 8 lbs taking top spot. Again, a big bass over 8 pounds took the top spot of the hour. Rick Scott caught this winner, finding his 8.50 pound fish at a 12' drop, and like Stephen Johnston, also caught it on a crank bait. It took a slight bit more to land in top 10 this hour, Rob Burns anchored the last seat with 5.34 lbs. It was evident that anglers were using a little strategy as to when to weigh in their catch.

Round 2
1st Dodge Truck 8.50 lbs Rick Scott College Station, TX
2nd $1,000 7.30 lbs Eric Wilson Marshall, TX
3rd $ 750 6.78 lbs Jason Moore Nacogdoches, TX
4th $ 650 6.76 lbs Jason Brannan Longview, TX
5th $ 550 6.34 lbs Mickey Batson Mabank, TX
6th $ 450 6.08 lbs George Clay Deer Park, TX
7th $ 350 6.00 lbs Terry Longron Orange, TX
8th $ 250 5.80 lbs Gary Crompton Cushing, TX
9th $ 200 5.76 lbs Sharee Anglin Mabank, TX
10th $ 150 5.34 lbs Rob Burns Plano, TX

10:00 - 10:30
Carla Moorehead started the weigh in for this hour with 4.94 lbs. As more fish came in, she got to scoot down, a seat at a time, ultimately taking 10th place. It’s not just a game for the big kids, two boys each 14 years old also signed up and weighed in. Just like the previous hours, with less than a minute to go, anglers with big fish rushed to the scales. James Touchstone had been sitting in the top spot with 7.38 lbs. With only seconds to spare, Mike Robins took it away from him with 8.34 lbs. That only lasted a moment, until Travis Patillo weighed his in, taking top spot overall with 9.66 lbs.

Round 3
1st Dodge Truck 9.66 lbs Travis Pattillo Silsbee, TX
2nd $1,000 8.34 lbs Mike Robins Lyte, TX
3rd $ 750 7.38 lbs James Touchstone Caldwell, TX
4th $ 650 6.58 lbs James Williams Nacogdoches, TX
5th $ 550 6.50 lbs Cole Stewart Hemphill, TX
6th $ 450 6.28 lbs Barry Houser Magnolia, TX
7th $ 350 5.56 lbs RD Lewis Hemphill, TX
8th $ 250 5.52 lbs Roland Anderson Vidor, TX
9th $ 200 5.38 lbs Steve Byrd Colgate, OK
10th $ 150 4.94 lbs Carla Moorehead Jasper, TX

11:00 - 11:30
When you’ve got it and you know it, weigh it in! Abram Caton stepped up to the scales with his 8.24 lb bass as soon as this hour opened. He started and finished in the 1st place seat this round. A few anglers got close to catching his weight, but missed the mark while still winning nice hourly checks. The predicted rain finally started, only lasting a few minutes.

Round 4
1st Dodge Truck 8.24 lbs Abram Caton Gladewater, TX
2nd $1,000 7.96 lbs Don Gordon Austin, TX
3rd $ 750 7.94 lbs Edward Gawdin Stamant, LA
4th $ 650 7.46 lbs Mark George Liberty, TX
5th $ 550 6.82 lbs Mike Peters Gainsville, TX
6th $ 450 5.74 lbs Marty Kelley Houston, TX
7th $ 350 5.54 lbs Jason Dean Lufkin, TX
8th $ 250 5.14 lbs Dicky Newberry Houston, TX
9th $ 200 5.04 lbs Chris Chitty Willis Pointe, TX
10th $ 150 5.00 lbs Stan Lawing Poetry, TX

12:00 - 12:30
Rayburn is loaded with four and five pound bass and we got to see a lot of them. Rayburn also has a reputation for its big bass, and just like in the previous hours, it took one over 8 pounds to win. 15 year old Justin Marcum won this hour with an 8.84 pound bass. Excited, shy, shocked - this lucky angler gets his drivers licence in two short months. What a way to be ready to go! What’s the first thing he’s going to do? Call all of his friends, of course!.

Round 5
1st Dodge Truck 8.84 lbs Justin Marcum Hallseville, TX
2nd $1,000 6.94 lbs Lee Batson Forney, TX
3rd $ 750 6.52 lbs Jeremy Bazyn Tomball, TX
4th $ 650 6.42 lbs Roy Sanford Sam Rayburn, TX
5th $ 550 6.26 lbs Pete Ellis Vidor, TX
6th $ 450 6.14 lbs Jim Achilles Austin, TX
7th $ 350 5.76 lbs David Cotton Kaufman, TX
8th $ 250 5.68 lbs Kevin Martin Lufkin, TX
9th $ 200 5.36 lbs Bruce Hernandez Natchitoches, LA
10th $ 150 5.34 lbs Brian Merrifield Athens, TX

1:00 - 1:30
Time is running out at this point, and the choices of when to weigh is also running out. Anglers started bringing in their fish, in an off chance that what they had would grab a check. In the last minute, Dicky Newberry, who had won a check earlier, took this hours lead with 7.60 lbs. As the countdown with the last seconds for the scales to be open ticked down, Anthony Clemens rushed his 8.88 lb bass to the scales to win the hour. “My truck has been broken down for months, and I’ve been using my parents’. I really needed this!” In shock and disbelief, Anthony took a seat to start filling out the necessary paperwork to claim his win.

Round 6
1st Dodge Truck 8.88 lbs Anthony Clemens Anacoco, LA
2nd $1,000 7.60 lbs Dicky Newberry Houston, TX
3rd $ 750 7.40 lbs Dennis Fikes Kingwood, TX
4th $ 650 7.16 lbs Michael Sanford Chireno, TX
5th $ 550 6.76 lbs Johnny Commander Crocket, TX
6th $ 450 6.30 lbs Wesley Dawson Silsbee, TX
7th $ 350 6.24
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