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Date: April 24, 2010
Region: 2010 East Region
Tournament: Sam Rayburn #4 2010
Tournament Trail: 2010 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Viles & Unger win over $21,000 at Bass Champs on Sam Rayburn
By: Patty Lenderman

Viles & Unger win over $21,000 at Bass Champs on Sam Rayburn

Anglers from all over the state of Texas, Louisiana, some coming from Mississipi and Arkansas, came to fish on Sam Rayburn with the Bass Champs tournament trail April 24, 2010. Challenged by a ravaged lake from a big bass tournament the week before, coupled with what mother nature had in store, these teams had their job made out for them. John Viles & David Unger put their faith in the right spot to win big.

The weatherman had predicted strong storms, and indicated some could be severe. Bass Champs released the 220 teams to launch anywhere on the lake they desired, to be closer to their fishing holes in this inclement weather. The wind was furious, blowing 15-20 miles first thing in the morning, followed by rain and thunderstorms. It quickly passed through the area giving way to partly cloudy skies and later blue bird conditions, but the wind did not lay down until that evening.

Picking the right fishing hole and launch point was vital. “We’ve been fishing Bass Champs for a lot of years, but have never won,” David Unger stated. “There’s this one area that we’ve collected a check on a few times, and we decided to start there.” Using a watermelon red senko along with Revo reels on Allstar and Castaway rods, they hugged the buck brush, fishing in 2’-4’ depths. “This area was a little protected from the wind, and there were some willow trees along the banks as well.” Their day started out with a bang! Their first fish was a 6 pounder, then a 4. John Viles hooked their next catch – a 9.44 lb’r! “We had forgotten the net, and had to lip all of our fish into the boat” Viles said. They stayed along a stretch of about 300 yards for their creel, ending up with a winning weight of 22.50 lbs. “This is one of the best days we’ve ever had!” Bass Champs presented them with the $20,000 1st place purse. Viles additionally received a new Revo reel for catching the Big Bass of the tournament with one. They were also awarded the Sure Life $200 bonus for using the product in their livewell. “We’d like to thank Bass Champs for putting on these tournaments. It’s a great organization and we really enjoy fishing with them.” The team would like to thank Bass Cat and Mercury.

Ricky Potts and Bill Hudspeth had the 2nd place weight of 20 pounds even. “The wind was really bad this morning,” Hudspeth began. “It was blowing between 15-20 mph.” They too elected to trailer closer to their desired fishing area, but headed straight out into the wind to fish main lake points with a Carolina rig. “We had a power bite early in the morning, due to the weather and the fronts changing.” They managed an initial limit in their first spot, but then the bite slowed down. “Our second area wasn’t too far away, and we just kept hitting windy main lake points.” Culling twice, they packed up to make a big run to their final area. “There were lots of swells going across the lake. After getting there, we made two final culls and that was it for us.” Their weight held to win 2nd place and a check for $5,000. They doubled their winnings being the highest qualified team in a Skeeter boat!

The Army Bass Anglers East Texas Team of Jason Blackmon & Alfred Pemberton, Jr took a close 2nd place with 19.62 lbs. They had two spots picked out and they were both directly in the wind. “These were post spawn areas and main lake points in 3’-5’ of water.” Using a rattle trap, spinnerbait and Lake Fork craw tubes, the big ones showed up right away. “We had a limit before 8:00. Our first fish was a seven pounder, and right after that we boated a 5#.” Continuing to put solid chunks in their livewell, later in the morning they moved to their second area. “We were pretty concerned about our trolling motor. It didn’t get a break all day, but thankfully it held up.” Early in the afternoon the bigger ones started biting again, between 1:00 – 2:30. The team was presented $3,000 for their 3rd place finish.

Top Teams:
1st $20,000 + 22.50 lbs John Viles & David Unger
2nd $ 5,000 + 20.00 lbs Ricky Potts & Bill Hudspeth
3rd $ 3,000 19.62 lbs Jason Blackmon & Alfred Pemberton, Jr
4th $ 2,000 19.50 lbs Steve Burgay & Chandler Burgay
5th $ 1,200 19.36 lbs Jeff Reynolds & Randall Bruce
6th $ 1,090 18.96 lbs Jaret Latta & Chris Fontenot
7th $ 1,080 18.40 lbs Kent Graham & Ricky Allen
8th $ 1,070 18.38 lbs Randall Cagle & James Shaw
9th $ 1,060 17.98 lbs Scott Cooke & Rickey Moon
10th $ 1,050 17.96 lbs Chris Harvey & Rusty Harvey
….and last in the money….
29th $ 500 14.52 lbs Kris Wilson & David Harvey, Jr

Big Bass $1,000 9.44 lbs John Viles & Donald Unger

Sponsor Incentive Bonus Recipients:
Skeeter Bonus $5,000 Ricky Potts & Bill Hudspeth
Revo Bonus Revo Reel John Viles
Sure Life Bonus $ 200 John Viles & Donald Unger

With the Youth Team incentives that Bass Champs offers, there are more and more teams fishing with members under 16 years old. Fathers and grandfathers with sons and daughters, grandkids too. In this tournament, three generations were represented with the Burgay family!

Tournament Statistics:
Total Entries: 220 Teams
Total Collected: $57,200
Total Payback (C & P) $56,750
Payback Percentage: 99%
Total Fish: 659
Total Weight: 1656.98 lbs
Average Weight: 2.51 lbs
Number of limits: 112
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