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Date: October 15, 2011
Tournament: Berkley Big Bass Lake Fork 2011
Prize WinnersHourlyStoryPhotos
TWO Skeeter boat winners at the 6th Annual Berkley Big Bass tournament on Lake Fork
By: Patty Lenderman

TWO Skeeter boat winners at the 6th Annual Berkley Big Bass tournament on Lake Fork

Now in its sixth year, Berkley Baits held their annual Big Bass event on Lake Fork October 15-16, 2011. Being a slot lake, TWO Skeeter bass boats were awarded along with hourly paybacks for the top 10 anglers every single hour!

The tournament is unique and exciting in many ways. First for the anglers with so many chances to win a check over the course of two days. Second, many have the opportunity to discover a new array of Berkley tackle – because in this tournament, only Berkley products can be used!

Lake Fork is a slot lake. That means that any bass under 16” is legal, and any bass over 24” is legal. Everything measuring in-between is not legal and must be released immediately. Therefore, top prizes were awarded to the biggest bass over and the biggest bass under the slot limit.

The first day began with anglers only weighing fish under the slot limit. It was during the 10:00 hour that the first catches over the slot were brought in. Ron Jones of Nacogdoches, TX brought in the biggest of the two over the slot weighed in to lead the tournament with his 8.33 lb catch. It was the only hour the first day that bass over the slot were brought in. Charles Floyd of Emory, TX took the top lead on day 1 with the biggest bass under the slot weighing 2.54 lbs.

With over 700 anglers participating from eleven states including Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee and Kansas, there was more excitement to come on the final day.

It was during the 9:00 hour on day 2 when Tommy Climer of Mesquite, TX took the top spot for the biggest bass under the slot weighing 2.76 lbs. Having fished nearly all of the previous Berkley events, he was no novice to how to play the game. “I had weighed one the first day and got a check.” Things got even better on the second day. Going to the backs of creeks, staying close to the channel near drop off areas with brush, he chose a Berkley bait just introduced this year – the Havoc Craw Fatty in watermelon candy. I caught her at 8:40. She barely measured under 16” on my board. We decided to take her in.” The fish was closely scrutinized as on the official board it was an even closer call. “If it was just another 1/32” bigger, it would not have been legal!” Tommy took a 2nd place chair for that hour, behind an angler with one over the slot to win $400 for that hour. At the end of the day, the bass held to win a new 2012 Skeeter SX 190 powered by a Yamaha 150 valued over $40,000. “My brother and I have fished with Bass Champs for the past 9 years. We fish everything together, and I’m glad he was there!” Tommy would like to acknowledge his sponsors, including Dobyns Rods, Bass Tackle Depot, Daiwa, C & E Alternators and Red Head Graphics.

The day 1 leader for the biggest bass over the slot was holding top spot until the very end. During the last hour, two bigger bass were brought in to take over the tournament. Michael Davis of Bossier City, LA had the biggest of them all.

“I fished with a High School buddy. We were only looking for big bass, not ‘unders’. We ended up in shallow water, where there was a lot of bait fish.” He caught a few using Berkley soft plastics and brought them in. “I ended up getting bumped, but my partner won a spot.” He knew he needed to catch bigger fish. They went to a point with a long sandy ridge. “The bass were ambushing the bait fish on that point. I had to give them a more shad type presentation. It was time to break out the Popper.” They continued to fish all day. The last hour weigh in had already started. Then at 2:08 Michael caught his big bass on a purple Berkley Frenzy Popper. “Once we got it in the livewell, we fired up the big motor and it started to fowl.” The scales would close at 2:30, so they had to hurry. “We made it just under the wire!” Michael won $500 for the hour, and in addition was presented the grand prize Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha 200SHO. “This was my first Berkley tournament. We just came here to have a good time and enjoy some good fishing. Then we end up winning a boat! We really had a good time and are looking forward to the next Berkley Big Bass tournament.”

Click to www.BassChamps.com to see a full schedule of all Bass Champs hosted events and the 2012 tournament schedules!
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