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Date: February 4, 2012
Region: 2012 North Region
Tournament: Lake Cedar Creek
Tournament Trail: 2012 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
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Tight race to the finish – Yowell & Schott win over $25,000 at Bass Champs on Cedar Creek
By: Patty Lenderman

It’s official – all four Bass Champs Texas Regions have now begun. The North Region kicked off February 4th on Cedar Creek with 160 teams vying for a portion of the 105% tournament payback. Every ounce counted as weights were stacked tight! Lee Yowell and Brian Schott came out on top to win over $25,000.

Anglers experienced high winds and rough waves, working for every ounce of bass. Anglers coming from as far as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona and all over the state of Texas pit their skills against contending teams to garner one of the 21 places paid. It took 12.68 lbs to catch a check of the nearly $44,000 paid back in cash and prizes in this 105% payback event.

In a very close race for top weights, Lee Yowell & Brian Schott came out on top for a big win with their 16.96 lb limit. “We planned to hit docks all day,” Schott explained. Keeping to their plan – and on the move – they fished around an estimated 100 docks before days end. “We were fishing with spinnerbaits, square bill crank baits and rattle traps all day. About every 10th dock we’d catch a keeper. It seemed to be docks that had 2’-4’ of water that was holding bass.” They landed 12 keeper fish, and had gotten three big bites, landing two of them. Coming in, they were just hoping to be in the money line. When the scales closed they had won the tournament! “We just barely squeaked it out.” Winning by a mere ounce and a half, Bass Champs presented the team with the guaranteed 1st place check for $20,000. Thanks to sponsor incentive bonuses, it didn’t stop there. Being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat, they received an additional $5,000. They were also in top contention to win the Sure Life bonus for another $200. “We’d like to thank Skeeter and Yamaha as our sponsors, but also Bass Champs Tournament Trail. These guys put on great tournaments.”

Jeremy Zmolik and Strider Browning had done a little scouting prior to the tournament, and found some quality fish. “We found a few spots in the backs of coves where the water was a little warmer. The fish were in shallow water, 2’-4’.” They had a milk run set up with about 15 spots. “It started out pretty slow for us. We didn’t have a single keeper in the boat until about 9:30. Then it picked up pretty fast.” Using both spinnerbaits and Texas rigged lizards and craw worms, once they broke the ice with their first keeper, they kept catching and had a limit at 11:00. “We culled the rest of the day. Our best cull yielded us a 1 ½ pound difference.” They have been fishing Bass Champs well over a decade and have been in the money line many times. Bringing in 16.71 lbs, they enjoyed a $3,000 check for their 2nd place win.

Brothers Mike and Rob Burns won 3rd place with a 16.33 lb limit. “I was worried that I might have to fish this one alone,” Mike began. “Rob had fished another tournament on Amistad the day before, but he drove all night to get here.” The duo has fished Bass Champs together since the trail began, and was not going to miss the kick off event. “We decided to concentrate on boat docks with perch colored crank baits.” It was a good plan, and they caught fish. It wasn’t long before they noticed a pattern to particular docks. “Our better fish were coming off docks that were at least 4’ deep.” By 11:00 they had a limit in the boat. “Later we noticed a bird catching some bait fish. We went over there and caught our biggest of the day, around 5 pounds.” Their final limit squeezed them into a 3rd place win and a check for $2,000. “We really like fishing with Bass Champs and would like to thank them for putting these tournaments on for us.”

There was only 4.28 pounds separating 1st place and 21st place. Rusty Edwards and Gene Robertson caught the last check with their 12.68 lb sack.

It was also a close run for the biggest single catch of the tournament. Marcus Brister and Bonnie Reagan brought in the Big Bass of the tournament, receiving $1,000 for their 6.57 lb catch. It anchored their 7th place overall win that paid an additional $1,000. Since the bass was caught using an Abu Garcia Revo Reel, they also won that bonus, receiving two brand new Revo’s.

There are a lot of ways to win in every Bass Champs tournament. Go to the Sponsors page on the Bass Champs website to learn how you can qualify to win an array of bonuses every time you fish a Bass Champs tournament!

Sponsor Bonus Incentive Winners:
Skeeter Bonus: $5,000 – Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
Dodge Ram Bonus: Free Entry – Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
Sure Life: $200 – Lee Yowell & Brian Schott
Fun N Sun Bonus: $500 – Brandon Baker & Scott Barnett
Revo Reel Bonus: 2 Reels – Marcus Brister & Bonnie Reagan

Every year, Bass Champs tournament trail awards well over $2 MILLION dollars to participating anglers through cash and prizes. Check out the full 2012 schedule to see your next opportunity to win a part of it on our website.

The next North Region event will be on Ray Roberts on March 3. In the mean time, Bass Champs staff and crew are headed to Lake Amistad February 11 for South Region tournament #2. Anyone can enter any Bass Champs tournament, so sign up now for your chance to win some big money. Click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274 for more information.
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