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Date: March 17, 2018
Tournament: Sportmans Auto Network Mega Bass 2018
Prize WinnersHourlyStoryPhotos
Record field at Bass Champs Mega Bass event – Garrett Hall wins by 4/100ths of a pound!
By: Patty Lenderman

Record field at Bass Champs Mega Bass event – Garrett Hall wins by 4/100ths of a pound!
By Patty Lenderman

It was a sight to be seen on Lake Fork March 17, 2018 as Bass Champs hosted their 10th annual Sportsman’s Auto Network Mega Bass tournament – the worlds’ richest one day hourly big bass event. Setting new records, over 1900 anglers from Canada and 23 states spanning from Ohio to Texas converged at Lake Fork Marina where three eleven pounders were weighed throughout the day, and over $100,000 was won in cash and prizes to top hourly winners. Garrett Hall of Kilgore, TX caught THE mega bass of the day to win the grand prize of a new Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha SHO and equipped with Lowrance and Power Pole.

$20,000 was guaranteed to be up for grabs every hour of the day. The person weighing in the biggest bass of each hour won $15,000! You rarely see any bass weighed in between four and just over eight pounds. Those fish generally measure in the ‘slot’ and must be released immediately. Only bass under 16” or over 24” can be retained and brought in to weigh.

When the scales opened, the race was on to see who would catch not only a “money fish” each hour, but who would go home with the additional grand prize of a fully rigged Skeeter boat. All but two hours of the day the top winners had caught bass over the slot limit, and overall weights were tight. The first double digit sow came in during the 9:00 hour caught by Owen Rowland at 11.34 lbs. His $15,000 check was secured, but he had a long wait until the scales closed to see if anyone else would catch a bigger bass, winning the boat.

The next few hours only bass under the slot were weighed, and Owen’s hopes were high. It wasn’t until the 1:00 hour that yet another eleven pounder was brought in. It was another giant, and the weights were definitely going to be close. With all eyes on the scales, Garrett Hall of Kilgore, TX took his bass to the scales, and it locked in at 11.38 lbs, overtaking the top weight by 4/100ths of a pound!! It wasn’t over yet. There was still one hour to go. In that last hour, another giant was brought in by Bryan Toombs of Royse City, TX. At this point the crowd watching the scales was quite large, and everyone watched as this fat momba jomba was heaved to the stage. Tipping the scales at 11.13 lbs, a combination of cheers and awe’s came from the onlookers as the weigh in came to a final end.

When it was all said and done, Garrett Hall received not only the $15,000 check for top bass of the hour, but a brand new fully rigged Skeeter ZX200 powered by a Yamaha SHO, equipped with Lowrance and Power Pole – all total his winnings were over $70,000! “My partner and I had gone north to shallow banks looking for fish,” Garrett began. “We managed to catch a few, but just started working our way southward.” They had some luck on a Space Monkey, square billed crank baits, and senko’s. “My partner tied on a white chatter bait, and he was having some pretty good luck with that, so I dug in my tackle box and tied one on too.” It wasn’t long before his partner got hung up and broke his bait off, so Garrett went to the front of the boat to run the trolling motor while he re-rigged. “He got his pole ready and asked if I wanted him to get back on the trolling motor, but I told him I was fine and just kept fishing.” Within three or four casts, Garrett got the bite. “As soon as I set the hook, I knew it was a good fish. It took a couple of cranks to get her turned my direction, and as soon as I did she turned and started peeling line.” After a battle of wills, he got her to the boat where his partner secured her in the net with the first attempt. “We took pictures, and guessed it was around 12 pounds. I tried to fish some more after that, but couldn’t. This is the biggest fish I have ever caught!” They decided to bring it in to weigh. “I heard on the radio that 11.34 was leading.” Putting his big catch on the scales, her weight tallied to 11.38 lbs, and it was announced that he was now leading the tournament. Chad Potts asked Garrett if that made him nervous. “YES - I figured he would have a good chance at winning an hour but I didn’t figure I would win the whole tournament! This is one fish I will never forget.”

“We have such a great time hosting this event,” declared Chad Potts, President of Bass Champs. “Lake Fork holds such quality bass that makes these weigh ins that much more spectacular. We’d like to thank everyone for coming to fish this with us again this year, and especially those who come from such long distances. Congratulations to all of our winners, and we’ll look forward to seeing you again next year!”

Top hourly $15,000 winners include:
8:00 8.40 lbs. Anthony Jones, Irving TX
9:00 11.34 lbs. Owen Rowland, Bearden AR
10:00 2.50 lbs. Richard Michaels, Alba TX
11:00 2.55 lbs. Alan Swarts, Mt Vernon, TX
12:00 9.65 lbs. Eric Worley, Fort Worth, TX
1:00 11.38 lbs. Garrett Hall, Kilgore TX
2:00 11.13 lbs. Bryan Toombs, Royse City, TX

Bass Champs will be hosting another one day event in June that you don’t want to miss. On June 23rd the scene will be set at the Umphrey Family Pavilion on Sam Rayburn for the Techron TX Shootout. The top winners in this team event will win $50,000!

For more details visit www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274
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