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Date: February 16, 2008
Region: 2008 East Region
Tournament: Sam Rayburn #2
Tournament Trail: 2008 Bass Champs Tournament Trail
StatsResultsBig BassStoryPhotosPoints
Two sacks over 30 pounds – Wilson & Harvey win on Rayburn with 30.62 lbs
By: By Patty Lenderman

Rayburn is HOT! Bass Champs East Region had its second 2008 event February 16 at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. The overall stats were very impressive, but so were the individual weights. Twenty four limits over 20 pounds were weighed in, two of them over 30 pounds! Lots of big bass were brought to the scales, among them two 10 pounders!

It was an exciting day, not only for the spectators who came to watch the weigh in but for the anglers who had been out on the lake to experience it. The day was perched between thunderstorms the night before and severe thunderstorms on the way. The bass went nuts! Out of 256 teams, 174 of them brought limits to the scales. It was incredible.

During the early morning hours, as time for take-off was drawing near, the wind was still howling from the storms earlier in the night. The decision to allow the teams to trailer their boats to ramps closer to their fishing holes was made. Anglers were given strict instructions that they could begin fishing no sooner than 7:00am, and put their poles down by 3:00. The scales would stay open until 4:45 to allow time for everyone to get back to the weigh in.

It was obvious from the first teams to weigh that it had been a great day to fish. One sack after another over the 20 pound mark was weighed in. John Allen brought in the first double digit bass of the day at 10 pounds even. After that, Johnny Renfro brought in the first sack with an even weight, making him eligible for a bonus. “Do you know what bonus you’re eligible for?” asked Chad Potts, President of Bass Champs. “I have no idea” Johnny answered. The first even weight weighed in each Bass Champs event is eligible for a Skeeter Dealer bonus of $250. All you have to do to win it is pick up a business card from any Skeeter Dealer and have it on you when you come to weigh in! The first team with an even total weight that has the dealers business card wins the bonus.

The weights kept stacking up, then Greg Christian and Bill Wilcox brought their limit in, trumping all of the weights that had been tallied at that point with 27.62 lbs. More heavy sacks came through, and it looked like they would win until Kris Wilson & David Harvey came to the line with their catch. Kris was carrying one side of the double bagged sack, while David carried the other side. First they weighed their kicker, and had to determine which fish was largest. Putting it on the scales, she weighed 9.48 lbs. Not quite big enough to take over Big Bass, but adding it to the rest of their creel the scales jumped to 30.62 lbs, and the crowd roared! We thought we had seen it all at that point, and the weigh in was about to the end. Another big sack of bass brought in by Chris Clemens and Dallas Cole was heading to the scales. It caught everyone’s attention, especially Wilson & Harvey. First they weighed their big bass – 10.32 lbs, taking Big Bass honors! Adding their other four, it was going to be close. The scales locked in at 30.02 lbs, another incredible weight and a close call for Wilson & Harvey!

Still reeling from their incredible day and their close win, Kris & David told us about their time on the lake. “We trailered to another launch site. At our first spot, we caught one big fish, and wrapped up a limit pretty quick with four smaller ones.” They were throwing rattle traps in 5’ drains. “We threw them every direction. The fish were everywhere.” After catching a few more in that area, they moved to another spot in search of bigger bass to cull with. “At our next spot, we started throwing crank baits. We lost a six pounder, it just pulled off. We did manage to put two more big bass in the boat.” This all happened by 10:00am, and they scrambled until 3:00 to try to find another big bass. While that search was unsuccessful, turns out they got all they needed to win 1st place and $20,000. “We’d like to thank our sponsors – Falcon Rods, Big Bite Bait Co., Costa Del Mar, Mr. Blitz and Lake Fork Tackle.”

Chris Clemens and Dallas Cole won 2nd place with 30.02 lbs. “We caught ‘em in the waves” Dallas explained. Fishing near the mid lake area, they targeted grassy points. “We were using crank baits, throwing parallel to the shoreline in water about 10’ deep. We had a limit by 9:00, but we kept moving and catching more fish. We also caught some on jigs.” Their biggest, 10.32 lbs, hit on a crank bait at 11:00. “Our biggest cull was a 3 ½ pounder at around 2:00.” They won $1,000 for their Big Bass, and Chad asked them if they had an Abu Garcia REVO reel in their boat. They did, and won the REVO reel bonus of two more REVO reels! They also received a $5,000 check for their 2nd place finish.

In 3rd place with 27.62 lbs was the team of Greg Christian and Bill Wilcox. They also trailered, and once they started fishing their morning went fast and furious. “We were hitting points with a Carolina rigged watermelon red baby brush hog in 2’-6’. We put a limit in the boat around 8:00, and in the next two hours caught about five limits!” They didn’t cull a single fish after 10:30. “We looked for deeper, bigger fish in brush piles, but couldn’t find any we could cull with. Our smallest fish weighed about 4 pounds.” Bill is television host for Honey Hole All Outdoors. He had recently done a show with Cody Byrd. “I had been teasing him on the show about how I keep finding bobbers that he leaves every time I’m out on a lake. He doesn’t really leave them, I just have a little fun teasing him about it. Well, today when we went to put our first fish in the livewell, I opened it to find it full of floating bobbers!” It didn’t take them long to figure out who pulled the well deserved prank. They won $3,000 for their 3rd place finish, and would like to thank Pro Rule, Fun N Sun, Skeeter, Yamaha, Kistler Rods and Honey Hole All Outdoors.

Top 10 Teams:
1st $20,000 30.62 lbs Kris Wilson & David Harvey
2nd $ 5,000 30.02 lbs Chris Clemens & Dallas Cole
3rd $ 3,000 27.62 lbs Greg Christian & Bill Wilcox
4th $ 2,000 23.34 lbs Jerry McMullen & Randy Turner
5th $ 1,600 23.32 lbs Phil Marks & Tim Reneau
6th $ 1,300 22.50 lbs Terry Helgeson & Anthony Clemens
7th $ 1,080 22.22 lbs Pete & Allan Shivers
8th $ 1,070 22.20 lbs Jason Wells & Vic Cooper
9th $ 1,060 22.06 lbs Artie Longron
10th $ 1,050 21.54 lbs James Coleman & Ted Kinard
……and last in the money…..
35th $ 600 18.36 lbs Ron Smyer & Gary Carter

Big Bass $1,000 10.32 lbs Chris Clemens & Dallas Cole

Bonus Winners:
Skeeter Bonus $1,015 (13th place) Brandon Tingey & Terry Tingey
REVO Bonus 2 Revo Reels Chris Clemens & Dallas Cole

Tournament Director Jeff Welch takes charge of all bass brought in to the tournament. “I’d like to really hand it to our anglers. Out of the 952 bass brought in, they were all weighed in alive and all but a couple were released in good shape. Jeff continued, "We would also like to give a special thanks to the City of Jasper for helping the event go smooth, and providing assistance with our anglers and staff. It is always nice to host a tournament in a city that cares so much for the lake and all of the activities surrounding it the way that the City of Jasper does."

Besides the lucrative guaranteed payouts at every event, Bass Champs sponsors are ready to pay even more!
Skeeter Bonus – Double your money bonus up to $5,000 for the highest finisher in a qualified Skeeter Boat at every tournament
Besides the lucrative guaranteed payouts at every event, Bass Champs sponsors are ready to pay even more!
Sure-Life Please Release Me – If your team wins a Bass Champs Team Event with 5 live fish and you have either – Catch and Release or Please Release Me in your live well – you will receive an additional $200
Abu Garcia REVO - If your team wins Big Bass and you have an Abu Garcia REVO in your boat, you will win two new REVO’s

“There are a lot of Bass Champs tournaments all over the state. Bass Champs will be paying back over $2,500,000 to anglers this year, and anyone can come fish with us. There are several teams coming after the money fishing more than one region. It’s here - come get some of the big bucks we’re paying out!” - Chad Potts, Bass Champs President
The next stop for Bass Champs will be at Lake Amistad with the South Region February 23. The next East Texas Region tournament will be April 12 on Sam Rayburn. In the mean time, be sure and sign up for the Dawson Marine Big Bass tournament hosted by Bass Champs on March 29. For more information, call 817-439-3274 or click to www.basschamps.com
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