TEAM USA BRINGS HOME THE TROPHY AGAIN!
Team Captains exchanging pennants at opening ceremony
Overall Winners Leslie Kennedy and Trevor Romans
2nd Overall Forrest Wilson & Derrick Kuyrkendall
3rd Overall David Webber & Mike Kernan
Chad Potts & Jeff Welch with 3 fish over 25lbs including the
Big Bass of the event (12.54 lbs)
Cana y Carete Tournament Trail President, Pedro Sors
during the final weigh in ceremonies.
|Previous International Cup Results: 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008|
Team USA brings the cup back home from the International Challenge at Sugar Lake
By Patty Lenderman
Sugar Lake set the stage for the 5th
Annual International Challenge August 8-9, 2009.
Team Anglers of the Year from each
region of Bass Champs across Texas convoyed to this world class
fishery to compete against Mexico’s best teams.
Sugar Lake is located just outside of
Roma, Mexico and is known for its big bass.
This was not the first visit to Sugar
Lake for the annual challenge, and several of the USA teams had been
The official practice days were Thursday and
Friday, and a meeting was held after everyone got off the water.
During regular Bass Champs season,
these teams compete against each other.
Here, they worked together, sharing
information with each other for the best overall outcome.
The team met several times during
practice to discuss strategies and techniques.
In addition, many of the team members
had never been to Sugar Lake before so the information shared was
welcomed with open arms.
Not only did the team share information
on the water,
previous team members from years past
also played a part by sharing locations and techniques.
Previous team members Terry Oldham,
Speedy Collette, and David Waller all talked with anglers this
season and provided as much help as they could to insure team USA
Saturday was the first of the two day competition. The boats were numbered for take-off, and the National Anthems for both Mexico and the United States were played. Team USA was on a mission to keep the cup from last years’ win, and the Mexico teams were hungry to take it away. Each team could weigh in five bass. Sugar Lake is known for huge bass, and everyone was expecting to see some 30-40 lb limits.
A few of the USA teams had congealed on the same area. It was a rock ledge that stretched 150 yards. Trevor Romans and Leslie Kennedy were among the teams fishing there. “We found a lot of good fish in practice,” Leslie recalled. “We found this ledge Friday. It was holding some really big ones.” They described the ledge as having a 90 degree bend in it, ledges, and areas on top of areas. “Two spots were just loaded. We caught a few off of swim baits, then that bite quit. After that we started popping 1 oz Oldham football head jigs with craw trailers off the bottom.” They were fishing deep, from 19’-25’. On Saturday, their biggest catch weighed around 8 pounds. “The wind picked up and was really bad Sunday. It was hard to fish our spot.” Regardless, they caught another great limit, including a double digit sow and had 66 pounds to their name over the course of two days. “This is the best two stringers we’ve ever weighed!” Trevor said. “This has been a trip of a lifetime. It was so good it was crazy. We just had a great time. This fishing experience will be hard to ever top.”
Kennedy added that he was very appreciative of
“She supports my fishing habit, and
lets me go fish.
She’s really great.”
He also wanted to thank Marine Air
Conditioning of Texas, Hendrix Rods and Liberty Bait & Tackle.
Romans & Kennedy were the 1st
place overall winners with a total of 65.21 lbs.
Mike Kernan and David Weber took 2nd
place with 64.71 lbs.
official practice days, we left our game day spots alone” Kernan
“There was one area we wanted to start
on, but another team was on it until around 10:00.”
They managed a limit to cull from in
their alternate location.
Their day started out slow on Saturday,
only having around 20 pounds in the boat to start out with.
“Once that team moved off the spot we
wanted to get to, we got on it and started culling.”
Using Carolina rigged red shad Strike
King Anaconda’s and super flukes as well as Hot Lips crank baits,
slowly but surely the next two hours they culled one at a time until
they had replaced all of their initial limit.
“Our best cull was to exchange a 5
pounder for one weighing 9 ½.”
Sunday their day was cut short by the
high winds and had to work with what they were able to get in the
“The wind just got so bad, by 11:15 we
couldn’t hold there anymore.”
Still a great stringer, they weighed in
about 28 pounds that included a 7 ½ pound kicker.
Kernan would like to thank Skeeter,
Yamaha, MinnKota, Power Tackle, Fun N Sun Boating Center, Browns
Boat Repair, Strike King, Lake Fork Tackle and LoneStarBass.com.
Derick Kuyrkendall and Forrest Wilson finished
in 3rd place overall with a 62.04 lb total.
“We had a great time.
The food, accommodations, and fishing
were all excellent.
And the tournament went well.”
They had gone down a month before to
locate some areas and established a milk run to hit.
“There were some points with bushes
along one side of them in 10’-12’ that were holding some nice bass.”
There, they used Texas rigged
watermelon red and Marti Gras senko’s as well as 7” Yum Dingers.
“Later we moved to deeper ledges and
points with Oldham jigs trailered with Strike King Rage Craws and
were able to upgrade our creel to around 35 pounds.”
Kurkendahl said “I would like to thank
my wife for her encouragement and support.
Also thank you to Bass Champs.
We had a great time, and hope to do it
Kurkendahl’s sponsors include Rapala,
P-Line, Joe Baby Lures, Daiwa, Gamakatsu and Spro.
Rounding out the top five teams, Eulogio
Aguilera and Raul Garza finished in 4th place with 56.66
pounds, then Matt Hill and Trey Webb brought in 54.46 lbs for 5th
The Big Bass of the tournament was caught by
none other than Jeff Welch of Skeeter Bass Champs.
Fishing with Chad Potts and sharing the
rock ledge found by several other teams, he caught this 12.54 pound
bass using a Oldham 1 oz jig and Berkley 10 inch power worm trailer
which was the biggest caught in the tournament among many double
digit bass brought in.
Welch & Potts finished in 6th
place overall with a 53.88 lb total.
“We really enjoy going to Mexico and competing against the teams there. They are skilled and highly competitive anglers yet they always show us the utmost hospitality while we are there. I am proud of our anglers. They fished hard and because of everyone’s efforts we brought the cup back home to USA. Be ready for next year. Team Mexico will be!” – Chad Potts, President / Skeeter Bass Champs.
2009 Bass Champs Sponsors
Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, The Outdoor Channel, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Minn Kota Trolling Motors, Humminbird Electronics, Berkley, Progressive Insurance, Please Release Me Fish Formula, All-Star Rods, Abu Garcia Reels, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Continental Batteries, Navionics, Billy Bobs Texas