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Date: June 23, 2007
Region: 2007 North region
Tournament: Richland Chambers 2007
Tournament Trail: 2007 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Bensley & Hulsey surge ahead of the pack to win Bass Champs at Richland Chambers Blassingame and Elmore Jump take over the AOY Race.
By: Patty Lenderman

The North region of Bass Champs gathered for the final tournament this 2007 season June 23 at Richland Chambers. 183 teams fished for more than $49,000 paid out in cash and prizes. Willie Bensley & Michael Hulsey hauled in the only bag breaking the 20 lb mark to win the top prize of $20,000!

It was a hot Texas day that started out wet. There was a ten pound gap in the top ten places, then the weights significantly tightened up. This was the last push for points for the Angler of the Year race, and also for a spot in the top ten by points for a free entry into the Championship.

Willie Bensley & Michael Hulsey weighed in 24.02 lbs, almost five pounds ahead of their nearest competitor. “We had a great day!” Bensley stated. “The morning started out slow. We tried for a topwater bite, but only caught one. We threw a Carolina rig the rest of the day.” Willie gave a lot of credit to his partner Michael. “Michael was sick today and had sore ribs. He stayed on the trolling motor all day in the wind. He really toughed it out.” Once the morning bite was done, they headed to the South end of the lake to fish deep structure in 28'-35'. They were using a centipede ‘tater tot’ on their rigs. “We would get a bite about every 30 to 45 minutes. We had just about decided to leave that spot when we hooked onto a five pounder. After that we just stayed there the rest of the day.” Their biggest bass weighed 6.38 lbs. “We really enjoy fishing Bass Champs. This is my third year fishing the circuit and Michael’s fourth. It’s the first year for us to fish it together. We’d like to thank our families for their love and support for us to fish. We’d also like to thank our friends and associates. One of the other anglers, Tommy Renfro helped us out today. We had some fish in distress and he gave us some Sure Life which really helped a lot. Bass Champs is a first class operation - the best circuit we’ve ever fished. We really enjoy the comraderie.” They won $20,000 for 1st place plus got the $200 Sure Life bonus.

Landon Ware and Cody Schultz landed 2nd place with their limit weighing 19.40 lbs. Bass Champs presented them a $3,000 check for their win.

Francisco “Frank” Tenorio fishing with Chris Lam took 3rd place with 16.86 lbs. “It was hot today, but it started out wet. We caught fish right away and had a limit by 8:00.” They were fishing shallow main lake points, about 2' deep with brush and grass. “We were using a prototype bait from Spain. Longas Baits manufactures these lures, which are similar to a senko. We were fishing it Texas rigged.” They were working their bait slow like a shaky head. “We only fished two areas, hitting both ends of the lake.” They ended up culling their entire first limit, having their biggest cull with a two pounder. “We fished the tail end of last years’ season, this is the first year we’ve completed. I moved here from Spain four years ago, and am learning a lot from the Bass Champs trail. I’d like to thank R G Logistics and Water Mill Express for their support.” The team won $2,000 for their 3rd place finish.

Mark Mitchell caught the big bass of the day weighing 7.60 lbs. “We were flipping boat docks with a watermelon red Yamamoto 5" cut tail shaky head worm. It was around 7:15, and she bit like a bream. I set the hook, and she set it back! I lost her. We gave her a rest, and came back about three hours later. She bit again. When I set the hook, I could feel the weight. I got real lucky, she headed straight for deep open water. I would have been in trouble if she decided to head into the docks. She jumped three times while I played her out. I got really worried. As soon as we got her in the net the hook fell out. I was just really lucky.” Mark and his partner Isaac Bradford won 23rd place overall for a total winning of $1,500. “I’m glad I was using a Yamamoto cut tail worm. It seems I’ve always been a day late and a fish short. It was finally my turn.”

Top Teams:
1st $20,000 24.02 lbs Willie Bensley & Michael Hulsey
2nd $ 3,000 19.40 lbs Landon Ware & Cody Schultz
3rd $ 2,000 16.86 lbs Francisco Tenorio & Chris Lam
4th $ 1,200 16.58 lbs Joey Browning & David Browning
5th $ 1,100 16.16 lbs Charles Reagan & Stevie Joe Smith
6th $ 1,050 15.76 lbs Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
7th $ 1,040 15.32 lbs Brady Winans & Spencer Turner
8th $ 1,030 15.30 lbs Trevor Romans & Les Kennedy
9th $ 1,020 15.26 lbs Bryan Tucker & Paul Chadwick
10th $ 1,010 15.24 lbs Hugo Velasco & Royce Sanders Jr
.......and last in the money........
25th $ 500 11.80 lbs Drew Sloan & Sam Cebo Smith

Big Bass $1,000 7.60 lbs Mark Mitchell & Isaac Bradford

Sponsor Bonuses:
Skeeter Bonus $1,000 Richard Draper & Phil Marks
Allen Samuels Dodge $2,000 Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
Line-X $1,000 Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
Sure-Life $ 200 Willie Bensley & Michael Hulsey

Congratulations to Shonn Blassingame and Shane Elmore, the 2007 North Region Anglers of the year. One of the perks to holding this prestigious title includes their 2008 entry fees waived the other is the team gets to join the 12 teams from the U.S.A. in the 3rd annual International Championship held on Sugar Lake this August. The top ten teams in the AOY points race will have no entry fee into the Championship. Congratulations anglers!

Top Teams:
940 pts Shonn Blassingame & Shane Elmore
916 pts Michael Burns & Rob Burns
878 pts Allen Shelton & Scott Dean
877 pts Brad Morris & Kevin Hatcher
867 pts Mick Batson & Lee Batson
865 pts JD Laughery & Tommy Climer
860 pts Eddie Ramsey & Michael Edgett
829 pts Michael Manrose & Gary Kinard
827 pts Trevor Romans & Les Kennedy
Championship - October 20-21 the North and East regions will have a combined championship worth more than $100,000 GUARANTEED! It will be held on a neutral lake that is not normally fished by either region. This prestigious event will be Nationally Televised.

Upcoming Bass Champs hosted events:

Upcoming Bass Champs hosted events:
July 29 Sam Rayburn 1st Annual Dodge Mega Bass Tournament
Sept 8-9 Choke Canyon 1st Annual Anchor Marine Big Bass Round-up
Sept 21-23 Clarks Hill Lake Southeast Skeeter Owners Tournament
Sept 28 Lake Lewisville 5th annual DBJ Charity Event
Oct 13-14 Lake Fork 2nd annual Berkley Big Bass Tournament

For more information, click to www.basschamps.com or call 817-439-3274.
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