Lakecaster Online

Domingue and Pugh Win Tournament of Champions
By Patty Lenderman

October 19-20, 2002
Cypress Bend Resort, Toledo Bend

One hundred teams gathered to fish the Tournament of Champions, a two day Champion boat owner's event sponsored by Champion Boats. The anglers duked it out for cash and prizes as they were hammered by chilly fall fronts and wet weather. Ten places were paid in cash and prizes as well as draw prizes including a brand new Champion Bass Boat.

Day one brought in a total tournament weight of 727.11 lbs with 86% of the field bringing fish to the scales. The team of James Elliott and Lance Hughes of Center, TX topped the leader board with 19.42 lbs. For their day 1 catch they used black/brown/amber jigs with 4" Gene Larew craw trailers as well as Carolina rigged watermelon worms. Fishing 4-14' points and creeks, they found their fish holding in timber. Their best bite was around 9:00AM just before the front came in.

Day 1 leaders:
1st - 19.42 lbs - James Elliott / Lance Hughes
2nd - 17.29 lbs - John Schweitzer / Bill Ligon
3rd - 16.84 lbs - Donald Little / Vennie Landreneau
4th - 14.81 lbs - George Purvis / Jason Dutton
5th - 14.67 lbs - James Tilley / James Matney
Big Bass - 9.11 lbs - William Menasco / Robert Menasco

Day two started out with left over showers clearing throughout the day, and the leader board shifted as the final weights were tallied.

1st place - 33.35 lbs - Bill Domingue of Sulpher, LA and Greg Pugh of Lake Charles, LA came from 14th place on day one to win the tournament with their 21.15 lb day two stringer. This included two kicker fish over 6 lbs. Their first fish of the day was a catfish caught on a spinner bait. Continuing to work their spinnerbait pattern, they found that the bass were short-striking the bait so they used teamwork to land the bass in the boat, throwing the baits one behind the other. Greg hooked their 6.73 lb kicker fish and as he was reeling it in ready for Bill to get the net, Bill also hooked into their other 6 lb'r and they got their fish to the boat at the same time. They were on good fish both days, culling 3-4 limits each day. They fished 10-15' main lake ridges with 1 oz. chartreuse/white spinnerbaits as well as DD-22's and red bug trick worms. This team is sponsored by Lake Area Marine, Shimano, Lowrance, Champion/Mercury.

2nd place - 31.74 lbs - John Schweitzer of Houston and Bill Ligon of Cypress, TX maintained their second place position for both days. Using white spinner baits and Carolina rigged watermelon flukes they fished grassy points in Housen Bay in 8-9' of water. They reported an all day bite and were able to cull 5 limits to their final weight.

3rd place - 29.33 lbs - Dean Jones of Sulpher, LA and Larry Bell of Lake Charles, LA was sitting in 46th place on day one and brought in a 20.96 lb stringer day two to secure their 3rd place overall position. They brought in big bass for day two weighing in at 7.10 lbs. While trying to wrangle her into the boat she wrapped around the trolling motor and they had to act quickly to keep her from breaking off. They caught their fish on the south end of the lake on spinner baits and worked hard for their catch. Larry noted that "There's nothin' like it when a plan comes together".

Overall tournament standings:
1st place - 33.35 lbs - Bill Domingue / Greg Pugh
2nd place - 31.74 lbs - John Schweitzer / Bill Ligon
3rd place - 29.33 lbs - Dean Jones / Larry Bell
4th place - 27.95 lbs - Charles Viazey / Mike Mahan
5th place - 26.91 lbs - Keith Jones / Lance Hughes
Big Bass - 9.11 lbs - William Menasco / Robert Menasco
Champion Boat Draw Winners - Jake Wedel / Fred Fegaly of Broken Arrow, OK

The Tournament of Champions tournament trail was started in 1977. This was the second of five events for the season. The next event will be November 9th at Lake Mead, Nevada. For more information please go to their website

Sponsors include: Champion Boats - Lake Area Marine (318) 433-7019 - Nichols Longview Marine Center (903) 663-5008 - Red Wing Boat Company (713) 921-0656 - Mercury - Lowrance - Minn Kota - Pradco - Berkley Trilene & Pure Fishing - Dual Pro Charging Systems - Daiwa - Loc R Bar - Solar Bat - Venom Lures - War Eagle Spinner Baits

Bill Domingue & Greg Pugh take 1st place with 33.35 lb two day total

2nd place winners John Schweitzer & Bill Ligon
< photos by Patty Lenderman>

Dean Jones & Larry Bell take 3rd place overall and day 2 big bass

(L-R) Big Bass Winners William & Robert Menasco, 3rd place - Dean Jones & Larry Bell, 2nd place - John Schweitzer & Bill Ligon, 1st place - Greg Pugh & Bill Domingue

Congratulations to Champion Boat draw winners Jake Wedel & Fred Fegaly

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