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Date: May 15, 2010
Region: 2010 North Region
Tournament: Lake Lewisville
Tournament Trail: 2010 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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It was a near miss for Johnson & Balch who won Bass Champs on Lewisville for over $25,000
By: Patty Lenderman

Fishing was easy – catching was the greatest challenge on Lake Lewisville. Skeeter Bass Champs North Region completed their third of five qualifying events toward the Championship May 15, 2010. Locating the babes to track down the mama’s was the key element for the top teams. Billy Johnson and Blake Balch took a hit on their weight, still winning by 2/100ths of a pound! Over $47,000 was paid back to the top teams, a payback total of 108%!!

Timing for the fry hatch was just about right on Lewisville, and finding them was crucial to finding the sows guarding them. Billy Ray Johnson and Blake Balch had found some fish nearby the tournament site two weeks before, so they set their sites on that location for the tournament. “We were using Stanly Vibrashaft ½ ounce double willow spinnerbaits. The fry balls were at the ends of the docks, near the Styrofoam blocks.” Throwing their lures past the fry balls and pulling it through them, the sows would attack the bait to protect them. “We had a limit within an hour. After we got our first five in the livewell, we culled to our final weight. After 10:30 it was over for us.” They had two solid four pounders among their creel, but one of their five had died giving them a one pound penalty. Their final official weight was 16.72 lbs, just staying ahead of the pack by 2/100ths of a pound to win 1st place and over $25,000! “We’ve been fishing with Bass Champs for about 6 years now. Been privileged to win several checks along the way, which isn’t easy – there’s a lot of good sticks fishing this circuit. This is our first win – I guess it was our time!” Their win included the $20,000 guaranteed 1st place check, another $5,000 from Skeeter Boats and $500 from Fun N Sun. “This is a great circuit. I’ve been tournament fishing for 30 years, and have tried many, seen a lot of them come and go. Bass Champs is solid, and have a lot of great sponsors. They run a clean tournament and we really love it to death!”

Alan Perrin and Darrell Campbell won 2nd place with 16.70 lbs. “It was a grind all day!” Alan stated. “We caught three early on spinnerbaits, then hit the buck brush the rest of the day with soft plastics.” They kept on the move, hitting around a dozen spots. Two of them were most productive. “Darrell was our vacuum cleaner today. He caught most of the fish, I was the net man. The morning bite was best, but after 11:00 it got tough. We had two good ones today, a 5 and 6 pounder. We’re really grateful for the fish we caught. Had a great time.” The team was awarded $3,000 for their 2mnd place finish.

15.84 lbs won 3rd place, caught by Jeff Reynolds and Randall Bruce. They didn’t have an opportunity to do any scouting, so they depended on their knowledge and skills to get what they needed. “We figured the shad would be spawning around the docks. We went to a few, and saw that they had already spawned and there were lots of fry.” Using a spinnerbait and a white 3/8 oz Strike King swim jig, they started going after them. “The bite just wasn’t there, so we went to the banks and tried some topwater baits. That got us a keeper, but wasn’t getting us what we needed.” They decided to go back to the docks and hit them again. “It’s all about timing, being at the right place at the right time. We worked our lures really fast and (the bass) were hitting. They were on the outside edge of the docks, and when we swam the jigs by we’d get the reaction bite. We caught our best one, about 4 ½ pounds at noon and the bite stayed good until 1:00.” Covering lots of docks, their effort paid off to the tune of $2,000. They would like to thank Strike King lures and Viscious line for their support.

Mike Coleman caught the biggest bass of the day weighing 8.26 lbs. Fishing with partner Kevin Dritschler, it was the second – and last fish of the day for the team to bag. Around 2:30, using a Zoom frog on a bare bank with a few flooded over stick-ups, the massive bass swirled on the bait. Mike immediately set the hook and the fight was on! The team managed the bass into the livewell, and cashed in $1,000 for the catch.

There is a lot of extra cash available at every Bass Champs tournament. Sponsor incentive winners for this event include:
Skeeter Double Money Bonus $5,000 Billy Johnson & Blake Balch
Fun N Sun Bonus $ 500 Billy Johnson & Blake Balch
Hooter Bonus $ 280 Kevin Dritschler & Mike Coleman

Bass Champs collected $44,200 in entry fees from 170 participating teams. They paid back $47,550 in cash and prizes, totaling 108% payback!

So far the North Region has completed three of five season events. Here’s how the points leaders are stacking up so far:
554 pts Allen Shelton & Scott Dean
540 pts Keith White & Travis White
537 pts Stan Lawing & JD Laughery
535 pts Tim Wilcoxson & Eric Elder
525 pts Tommy Climer Jr & Tony Climer

For complete standings, click to www.BassChamps.com

The next stop for the North Region will be on Lake Tawakoni June 19th. To register or get more information contact Bass Champs at 817-439-3274.
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