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Austin Texas Claims Rayburn A/C Team Championship
By Ed Snyder

Anglers Choice $100,000 Texas Regional Team Championship
Saturday, October 7, 2000, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.
"We actually prayed for this weather, announced the team who just won the Texas Regional Team Championship of the Anglers Choice Tournament Circuit, "But I think we got a little more than we bargained for. High-pressure winds cleared to bluebird skies as day-2 of the Anglers Choice Team Championship launched into post-front weather conditions for the final day of competition. But even before the 3:pm weigh-in at Twin Dikes Marina could begin one team arrived early to tally up their two day effort with 10 bass/34.82 -lbs only to be bested by another 10 bass/35.16 -lb tally that would claim the Championship..............."Incredible!!"

Team Championship Re-Cap:
Day-1-Gusting tropical winds and flash-flooding rains edging an approaching cold front greeted the team anglers -1st place leaders-(5 bass/19.78 -lbs)-E/TX Div-Team-John Gunnels/Dicky Newberry fished outside 10' to 12' Southlake grass-edges with 1 -oz Oldham black/blue jigs with black/blue Larew craws for their leading bass. 2nd place leaders-(5 bass/19.65 -lbs)-C/TX Div-Team- Kenneth Fuller/Dean Jean concentrated on flippin' grass. 3rd place leaders-(5 bass/19.41 -lbs)-C/TX Div-Team- John Fleming/Greg McFaddin fished Yorzuri TNN-shad top-waters over 5' to 9' "Canyons" grassbeds. 4th place leaders-(5 bass/18.89 -lbs)- E/TX-Div-Team- Richard Carpenter/John Jordan fished Mid-lake, Black Forest, and Veach Basin 8' to 12' grass-edges with TX rigged tequila & watermelon/green Berkley Power Worms as well as 1 oz black/brown/amber Oldham jigs with pumpkin/green Larew craws. Day-1 "Overall Big Bass"-(7.86 -lbs)-W/TX-Div-Team-Jay Hix and Don Holland.

Day-2-
1st place winners-(10 bass/35.16 -lbs)-Hill Country Div-Team-Phillip Walker and James Goode of Austin TX, put their Basscat/Mercury over 5' shallow grass both days up on Easley Flats to work Waterloo rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 -lb test P-line. The Northcut Marine Pro-team fished 1/2 -oz black/gold/white Nichols spinner-baits both days to catch their two-day total of 35.16 -lbs. "We probably had a better bite yesterday, explained the Hill Country team, as they informed of catching a limit within one hour on both days. The Championship team was also recorded by FOX Southwest Sports who managed to tape them working their winning bass patterns. The "action packed" video-tape will be aired on FOX Southwest Sports Network some time in January of 2001-(check for local TV listings) The winning team-champions received two "fully-rigged" Basscat/Mercury Bass Boats. "It took two hands to win this event, they informed to the applauding crowd, "and we had some good teamwork "happening" out of our BassCat for both days of this prestigious Championship event.

2nd place winners-(10 bass/34.82 -lbs)-E/TX Div-Team-Stan Burgay of Timpson TX, and Lance Hughes of Center TX, ran their Champion/Mercury bass-rig to the Angelina and Attoyac rivers both days to work Shimano rods and reels spooled with 20 -lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The Longview Marine Pro-team concentrated on fishing 8' to 10' ridges and river-drops with Norman shad/white/green DD-22's, TX rigged 6" grape worms and Carolina rigged watermelon/chartreuse Zoom lizards. "We had a better bite today than yesterday, they informed, as they told of coming in earlier than their scheduled check-in time after culling from a 12 bass catch. The 2 nd place team won a "fully rigged" Basscat/Mercury.

3rd place winners-(10 bass/33.98 -lbs)-E/TX Div-Team- John Gunnels and Dicky Newberry of Houston TX, managed to work 10' Southlake grass-clumps both days out of their Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig as they fished Waterloo rods and Shimano reels spooled with 65 -lb test Berkley "Whiplash" braid. The Dawson Marine Pro-team worked 1 -oz black/blue Oldham jigs with black/blue Larew craws. "Our bite was a lot "tuffer" today, they explained as they informed of catching only 7 bass today. The 3 rd place team took home a "fully rigged" BassCat/Mercury.

4th place winners-(10 bass/32.27 -lbs)-E/TX Div-Team- Ricky Friedrich of Houston TX, and Matt Reed of Madisonville TX, hovered their Ranger/Mercury bass-rig over 5' to 6' Southlake grass-clumps both days to work Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 -lb test Berkley mono. The Cen-Tex Marine Pro-team fished 1/2 -oz Texan Lure white buzz-baits and 1/2 -oz Stanley chartreuse/white spinner-baits to catch their two day weight for their 4 th place finish. The "E/TX Team Anglers of The Year" went on to thank Dr. Miller of Texas Lures and Mike Hood of Marine Prop- and Ricky gave a very special THANKS to his wife for letting him fish on her birthday. "We won it for you honey"(nice try Ricky). The 4 th place anglers won a "fully rigged" BassCat/Mercury.

Day-2 "Overall Big Bass"-(7.86 -lbs)-W/TX Div-Team-Jay Bean and Don Holland of Abiline TX, were fishing a Northlake shallow grass-pocket when Jay nailed the 7.86 -lb lunker on a 5/16 -oz white/chartreuse Buzz-bait on a 7:40 am bite. The team took home $500 for the "overall" Big Bass of the tournament.

Top 5 winning leader-board marks:
1-Hill Country-Phillip Walker/James Goode----------------10 bass/35.16 -lbs-(2)BassCats
2-E/TX-Stan Burgay/Lance Hughes--------------------------10 bass/34.82 -bs-BassCat
3-E/TX-John Gunnels/Dicky Newberry----------------------10 bass/33.98 -lbs-BassCat
4-E/TX-Ricky Friedrich/Matt Reed---------------------------10 bass/32.37 -lbs-BassCat
5-ALT-Danny Gulledge/Tom Wingfield---------------------10 bass/30.58 -bs-$5,500
Qualifying for the Sam Rayburn Regional began in November 1999 and ended in August 2000. Each team competed in seven regional events to qualify for this event. The teams represented are the top 15 points leaders and five wild card teams from their local areas. This is the largest and most prestigious championship series a team can qualify for in the country, "As the highest finishing teams at this event from their respective regions will advance into the Mercury National Team Championship to be held at Lake Granbury Texas in December where they will compete for $100,000.00 in cash plus two fully rigged Bass Cat Boats. The winning team in the Mercury Nationals will receive $50,000.00 in cash.
All Bass live released at the tournament site by the Anglers Choice fish recovery crew.

Day-1-Tally-622 bass-1,563 lbs-
Day-2-Tally-417 bass-1,039 lbs-

For more information on this, as well as other Anglers Choice events contact Johnnie Davis at (817) 326-5821.
Angler's Choice Sponsors: Mercury Outboards, Bass Cat Performance Boats, MotorGuide trolling motors, DieHard Marine Batteries, Big Foot, T&H Marine Accessories, Pure Fishing, Berkley, ABU Garcia, Fenwick, Cabela's and Sure Life Laboratories, the Jasper Chamber Of Commerce, Holiday Inn Express, Ramada Inn, Best Western, Rayburn Country, Chateau Inn and Twin Dikes Marina, "and" the Anglers Choice Team Circuit Anglers.


Happy to be off their "rock & roll' pattern- team Burgay/Hughes display their 2nd place finish

Top four Championship teams- 1st kneeling- and 2nd -thru- 4th standing
< photos by Ed Snyder >

"We prayed for this weather" stated the winning team, but we got more than we bargained for

The "overall" 7.86 -lb Big Bass winners with their regional director

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