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Date: March 29, 2008
Tournament: Dawson Marine Sam Rayburn 2008
Prize WinnersHourlyStoryPhotos
Keith Caka Wins Dawson Marine Big Bass tournament hosted by Bass Champs
By: Patty Lenderman

Big Bass tournaments are a lot of fun to fish. There’s no pressure to get a big stringer of fish, just looking for one. Nearly 400 anglers headed out on Sam Rayburn March 29 to find that one big bass that would get them in part of the money to be won in hourly checks, and hopeful to get that really big one that would win the Grand Prize – a Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha VMax motor. There was nearly $40,000 at stake in cash and prizes!

As the day broke in the early hours, conditions were perfect. There was a thick haze, the lake was flat with still winds. Temperatures started out in the mid 60’s. Anglers searching for bedding fish would be able to see them with the calm water, and they could fish anywhere on the lake not having to worry about bad weather. The stage was set at the Umphrey Family Pavilion and ready to weigh in some big bass!

The format to win money in this tournament was through the top 10 bass of each hour, the first hour 8:00-8:30. Lonnie White of San Augustine, TX fired up the scales with the first fish of the day weighing 4.74 lbs. He warmed several of the hot seats as more anglers weighed in and bumped him down to finish 9th place that hour.
Top weights 8:00-8:30
1st $500 8.92 lbs Todd Soape Orange, TX
2nd $400 7.62 lbs Mike Stegall Pt. Neches, TX
3rd $300 7.32 lbs Jim Sluss Newton, TX
4th $200 7.06 lbs Myron Beachy Baytown, TX
5th $175 6.58 lbs Alvin Jones Downsville, LA
6th $150 6.14 lbs Rusty Harvey Nederland, TX
7th $125 5.94 lbs Donnie Pickard Bridge City, TX
8th $120 4.86 lbs Kris Wilson Montgomery, TX
9th $110 4.74 lbs Lonnie White Jr San Augustine, TX
10th $100 3.70 lbs Cody Davis Lumberton, TX

After the weights were made official, they were back out on the water. Mike Lout with KJAS radio out of Jasper, TX stayed on site to keep the anglers and listeners informed all day as to what weight was on top and what was on bottom. Wayne Stevens joined in to co-host the show and later Steve Stewart came on site to keep all the listeners updated.. Dawson Marine had several Skeeter Boat models on display including the grand prize boat. The Bass Champs crew kept the weigh-in running smooth throughout the day.

Very few anglers weighed in during the 9-9:30 hour. Only six anglers brought their fish to the scales, leaving four chairs and $455 unclaimed!
1st $500 7.02 lbs John Gothia Bridge City, TX
2nd $400 6.96 lbs Richard Maddox Baytown, TX
3rd $300 6.12 lbs Tracy Linaweaver Evans, LA
4th $200 5.08 lbs Cody Comeaux Lumberton, TX
5th $175 5.06 lbs Jim Marcum Hallsville, TX
6th $150 3.50 lbs Todd Soape Orange, TX

As the 10:00 hour approached, moments of sunshine began peeking through the dense clouds. A slight breeze picked up, and anticipation rose in the crowd of spectators as to what we would see weighed in next.

There were no seats unclaimed this hour, and a new big bass of the day was established by Keith Caka of Brookeland, TX
Top fish 10:00-10:30
1st $500 9.32 lbs Keith Caka Brookeland, TX
2nd $400 7.24 lbs Jason Hanks Jasper, TX
3rd $300 7.12 lbs David Curtis Trinity, TX
4th $200 6.18 lbs Paul Eason Brookeland, TX
5th $175 5.34 lbs Tim Mitchell Lumberton, TX
6th $150 5.22 lbs Jeremy Johnson Lufkin, TX
7th $125 4.82 lbs Jerry Taylor Marble Falls, TX
8th $120 4.70 lbs Wayne McDaniel Sam Rayburn, TX
9th $110 3.76 lbs Shawn Butler Orange, TX
10th $100 3.20 lbs Todd Soape Orange, TX

More and more anglers bringing their fish to the scales this hour, including the first woman and youth angler of the day to weigh in.
Top fish 11:00-11:30
1st $500 8.28 lbs Gary Boyett Etoile, TX
2nd $400 7.26 lbs David Curtis Trinity, TX
3rd $300 5.90 lbs James Coleman Splendora, TX
4th $200 5.72 lbs Floyd Manous Dayton, TX
5th $175 4.48 lbs Mark Davis Silsbee, TX
6th $150 4.24 lbs Lynn Shivers Etoile, TX
7th $125 4.18 lbs Carla Moorehead Jasper, TX
8th $115 4.04 lbs David Shaw Huntington, TX
8th (tie) $115 4.04 lbs Larry Nichols Brookeland, TX
10th $100 3.90 lbs Dillon Renfro (13 yrs) Zavalla, TX

With only three more hours of weigh in to go, anticipation is still high to see the double digit bass that Sam Rayburn has been famed for. With just a few hours left in play, more fish were brought in keeping the final standings in shuffle to the end.

Top fish 12:00-12:30
1st $500 7.86 lbs Dennis Oates Pollock, TX
2nd $400 6.78 lbs Chris Ryder Vidor, TX
3rd $300 5.94 lbs Jeff Manous Greenwood, Ark
4th $200 5.86 lbs Tim Hopson Nacogdoches, TX
5th $175 5.58 lbs Bo Stanford Corrigan, TX
6th $150 5.52 lbs Carl Boatman Jasper, TX
7th $125 4.88 lbs Jody Holt Sam Rayburn, TX
8th $120 4.14 lbs Russ Sanders Ft. Worth, TX
9th $110 3.92 lbs Trey Hall III Wortham, TX
10th $100 3.80 lbs Andrea Studensky Buna, TX

The fight got tight this hour with two ties in the standings!
Top weights 1:00-1:30
1st $500 7.12 lbs Ryan Hightower Lufkin, TX
2nd $400 6.82 lbs Mike Dorcz Humble, TX
3rd $300 6.26 lbs Matt James Groveton, TX
4th $187.50 6.20 lbs Carl White Lumberton, TX
4th (tie) $187.50 6.20 lbs Rusty Harvey Nederland, TX
6th $150 5.80 lbs Jeremy Freeman
7th $125 5.78 lbs Matt Williams Nacogdoches, TX
8th $115 5.10 lbs Jody Holt Sam Rayburn, TX
8th (tie) $115 5.10 lbs Chris Ryder Vidor, TX
10th $100 4.70 lbs Doyle Lasyone Ball, LA

And the last hour
Top weights 2:00-2:30
1st $500 7.42 lbs Don Rossell
2nd $400 6.78 lbs Scott Jordan
3rd $300 6.64 lbs John Gothia
4th $200 6.04 lbs Curt Smith
5th $175 5.54 lbs CJ Nichols
6th $150 5.36 lbs Myron Beachy
7th $125 5.24 lbs Kevin Welker
8th $120 5.22 lbs Brian Martin
9th $110 5.10 lbs Dennis Edgar
10th $ 50 5.06 lbs Julian Clepper
10th (tie) $ 50 5.06 lbs Carl Boatman

At 2:30 the scales officially closed. Keith Caka was called to the stage as the overall winner of the tournament with his 9.32 lb bass! “I really didn’t expect to win!” Keith said. “I just knew someone would come in with a 10 pounder today. This is great!” He reported catching his winning bass on a 5’ grassy flat that had a 10’ drain on a Senko. Belinda Dawson of Dawson Marine congratulated the winner giving him his trophy and presenting him with his Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha V-Max motor. His bass just reached a new value of $4,000 per pound!

“I’d like to thank everyone for coming out and participating with us” Belinda said to the crowd. “We really enjoy doing this and hope everyone had a great time.”

Bass Champs is coming back in two weeks for more fish catching, money winning action April 12 on Sam Rayburn with their East Texas Team circuit. For more information on any Bass Champs event, click to www.basschamps.com or call 817-439-3274

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