Lakecaster Online

Port Arthur team wins windy Bass 'n Bucks on Sam Rayburn
By Patty Lenderman

April 6, 2003
Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn

With Bass 'n Bucks 2003 Championship fast approaching , 173 teams fished the fourth of the five qualifying events trying to get enough points and pounds to qualify for the Championship. The championship guarantees over $85,000 in cash and prizes and it is a tough field of anglers fighting for their spot in it. In this event, it was the team of Shannon Price & Willie Fabre who triumphed with 22.17 lbs, winning a fully rigged Skeeter SX190 boat powered by a Yamaha 150.

Temperature wise it was a great day to be out on the lake, but when you factor in the gusty wind that kept these anglers rockin' and rollin' it made fishing any main lake areas very challenging at best. "Astro World doesn't have a ride that would equal what we went through today" commented some of the contestants. With that aside, a lot of big fish were caught during practice the day before, but would not cooperate during competition. Rayburn's strength is shown with the 697 fish brought to the scales for a total tournament weight of 1562.94 lbs. That gives over a 9 pound average per team.

1st place - 22.17 lbs - Skeeter/Yamaha - Shannon Price & Willie Fabre, both of Port Arthur, TX bested the pack with their five fish limit. White spinnerbaits with a double willow blade pattern along with chartreuse speed traps were their secret weapons in the north lake area. By 7:00am they had a limit in their live wells fishing main lake points in 5'-8' depths. The wind made it rough for them, but they managed to cull four fish to their final weight.

2nd place - 20.73 lbs - $2,600 - Legendary pro's Randy Dearman & Tommy Martin landed their bass on soft plastics, specifically Texas rigged green pumpkin Zoom lizards as well as Gary Yamamoto Senko's. "We used real little sinkers and fished shallow water. It was very windy and hard fishing. We couldn't see the fish on the beds so just fan cast and worked the water slow along a stretch about 200 yards" Tommy reported. They didn't have a single bite for the first 2 ½ hours then caught their two big bass, one weighing in at 6.26 lbs, back to back. Tommy is sponsored by Tracker Marine, Zoom, G-Loomis Rods, Shimano Reels, Mustad Hoods, Bill Lewis Lures, Mercury, Big Foot Products and Solar Bat. Randy is sponsored by Triton Boats, Strike King, Mercury, Flow Master, Castaway Rods and Unified Staffing.

3rd place - 19.80 lbs - $1,600 - Lance Hughes & Stan Burgay, both of Center, TX brought in 3rd place overall and 2nd place big bass with their 7.13 lb kicker, earning them another check for $500. They enjoyed an all day bite, catching 35-40 fish during the day flipping tubes in the bushes in about 4'-5' depths. They caught their big bass early in the day. This team is sponsored by Ranger Boats, Shimano Reels, Castaway Rods and Travis Boating.

4th place - 17.53 lbs - $1,400 - Butch Covington of Lake Charles, LA & Dennis Sonnier of Sulphur also flipped the bushes with tube baits for their catch. Green pumpkin was a working color in main lake areas fishing in 5' depths until the wind blew them off of their fishing hole throwing 2-3' swells at them. Their best bite was around 9:00 am and only culled once to their final limit.

5th place - 16.27 lbs - $1,200 - Jimmy Johnson of Ganado, TX & Shane Gibson threw bubble gum craw worms at bedding bass in the backs of coves in the brush for their catch. Best bite for them came between 1:00-2:30 and they were able to cull one bass to their final weight. This team is sponsored by Joe Baby spinnerbaits and Triton Boats.

Big Bass -
1st - 7.33 lbs - $1,000 - Mark Stevenson & Frank Johnson
2nd - 7.13 lbs - $500 - Stan Burgay & Lance Hughes
3rd - 6.63 lbs - $125 - Pete Ellis & Jimmy Sorter
3rd - 6.63 lbs - $125 - Archie Hayley & John Salamone

First place big bass money is sponsored by Kicker Fish Bait Company. Richard Burton of Bass Medics made sure every participating angler received live well solution for the care of the fish. The Bass n Bucks live release barge, equipped with oxygenated water treated with Bass Medics stood by to receive the weighed fish to take them back out in Big Sam for live release.

The next Bass N Bucks event is scheduled for June 1st at Cypress Bend Park, Toledo Bend. For more information please contact Dave or Tricia Concienne at (409) 727-6608, <> or email at

Sponsors Include: Skeeter / Yamaha - Kicker Fish Bait Co. - YUM - Rat L Trap - Minn Kota - Shimano - Silver Thread - Lowrance - Costa Del Mar - Dual Pro Charger - - Super 8 Motel - Check It Stik - McFerrin Insurance - BassMedics Rejuvenade - Catch N Cool Ice Blocks - Bait Fresh Bait Tank Treatment - Ann's Tackle Shop - Need More Tackle - Rayburn Tackle - Piney Point Plaza - Holiday Inn Express - Toledo Town & Tackle - Bomber - Rebel - Heddon - Smithwick

1st place Big Bass honors go to Mark Stevenson & Frank Johnson for their 7.33 lb bass, presented by Kicker Fish Bait Company

Willie Fabre & Shannon Price take home a brand new fully rigged Skeeter/Yamaha for their 1st place weight of 22.17 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

2nd place went to legendary pro's Randy Dearman & Tommy Martin who teamed up to bring in their 20.73 lb limit

Stan Burgay & Lance Hughes snagged 3rd place honors as well as 2nd place big bass with their 7.13 lb kicker

(L-R) 1st - Willie Fabre & Shannon Price, 2nd - Randy Dearman & Tommy Martin, Dave Concienne, 3rd - Stan Burgay & Lance Hughes

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