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Date: September 10, 2011
Region: 2011 Bass Champs Championships
Tournament: Central Championship 2011
Tournament Trail: 2011 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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2011 Bass Champs Central Region Championship now in the books
By: Patty Lenderman

Glitz, glitter, prestige – it was all there for the 2011 Skeeter Bass Champs Central Championship September 10-11, 2011. Teamed anglers from all four Texas regions who qualified to fish converged on Lake Belton to grab a piece of the pie that included a brand new Skeeter ZX20 powere by a Yamaha 225 SHO. Charles Whited and Bill Polkinghorn won taking home over $60,000 in cash and prizes.

The camera’s were rolling as this two day event commenced taping the action for the Bass Champs TV show aired on the WFN network. Fishing was tough on Belton and anglers worked for every fish caught.

Whited & Polkinghorn did not perform as they would have liked the first day of competition. “We caught several smallmouth using a shallow running crank bait,” Whited explained. They went up river to areas with rocks, wood, and other structure. At the end of the day they only had just over 8 lbs in their sack putting them in 11th place going into day 2. “By the end of the first day we figured out that the fish were suspended in the hardwood. That was the real key. We started fishing a different pattern on day 2. It was tough. Brutal, even.” They utilized that key pattern to bring in 15 pounds on the second day, which included a 6.62 kicker that won Big Bass for a $500 check. Their total two day weight was 23.89 lbs, taking the win by mere ounces. “We’ve been fishing with Bass Champs for 10 years or more and really enjoy it. They are real professionals and run a great circuit.” Bass Champs presented them with a brand new Skeeter ZX20 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO as they were declared winners of the Central Region Championship. They would also like to thank Texas Boatworld, Power Tackle, Pro’s Choice Baits, Triton Boats, Fish Finders Marine, Texas Bass Tackle, XCite Baits, Choke Canyon Lodge and Oldham Jigs.

Daniel and Adrian Barnes had done some scouting before the championship and located schooling fish. “Our whole plan coming into the tournament centered around catching schoolies.” They headed out on day 1 and encountered a problem. “They just weren’t there. We had to scramble and figure something else out – quick!” Switching rigs to a Texas rigged Berkley Power worm, they headed to a main lake point about 13’ deep. “That worked out well and we had a limit in 45 minutes. When the bite quit there, we hit some brush piles and was able to cull a few times.” Moving yet again, they found some schoolies. “We caught several using a fluke and a bait we call the ‘money maker’.” When that played out they went site fishing. This time they used wacky worms. “We broke off on two nice fish. If we had been able to catch them, we may have won!” The second day they found a boat already sitting on their first targeted spot. “We turned around and hit another area and put a limit together. After that we tried our site fishing area again, but only caught small ones.” They needed more weight. “We had seen another spot and decided to go try it.” It was there that they caught their kicker. “We made a cull with that one that added three pounds to our limit!” Their two day total was 23.16 lbs for a 2nd place Championship finish. Daniel and Adrian have fished with Bass Champs for over 8 years. “Our families have always been very supportive of our fishing, and we appreciate them a lot. My wife and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this year, and she has been really great.” They would also like to thank Power Tackle and Tournament Saver Pro. They received $1,100 for their win.

3rd place winners Justin Stone and Spike Stoker started out on the river end of the lake on day 1, targeting shallow bushes along the shoreline. “We used several watermelon based Baby Brushhogs all weekend.” They had around a 9 lb limit by 10am and culled up several times from there. “The second day we hit the mouth of the river, at shallow bushes along that shoreline.” They report catching a lot of fish, making several culls, “but we just couldn’t catch any kickers. It all went well, we didn’t miss any.” They won $800 for their 3rd place finish, then their check was doubled being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat. “We’d like to thank our families for their great support as well as Skeeter and Bass Champs.”

There are still three championships to go wrapping up the 2011 season. Next stop will be the North Region Championship at Cedar Creek Sept 17-18. Qualified teams from any region can fish all four championships for their chance to win.

The East Championship was originally scheduled on Toledo Bend October 1-2 but has been moved to Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Pavilion on those dates.

The final championship will take place at Falcon Lake October 8-9 for the South Region.

Bass Champs would like to thank all participants in the 2011 tournament trails, and good luck to all championship qualifiers.

Also special thanks to Bass Champs 2011 sponsors: Skeeter, Yamaha, Dodge Ram Trucks, WFN, Berkley, Academy, Minn Kota, Abu Garcia, Allen Samuels Dodge, Costga, Humminbird, Please Release Me, Continental Batteries, Navionics, Line-X, Progressive Insurancem, All Star Rods, H3, Billy Bobs Texas, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Zapata Chamber of Commerce, Sabine County Chamber of Commerce and Wood County Chamber of Commerce.
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