Lakecaster Online

Big T Gives Up 22.87 Lbs For Bass-N-Bucks Win
By Patty Lenderman

The Tournament of Champions held their 4th customer appreciation tournament of the season on Lake Sam Rayburn October 18-19th. 142 teams brought their fish to the new pavilion site that is quickly taking form near the Twin Dikes public boat ramp. Ultimately, it was the father/son team of Larry and Matt Matthews who launched into first place with an overwhelming day two stringer of 23.56 lbs, putting their final weight at over 8 lbs more than second place.

Day one brought 46 limits to the scales. This kept the leader board hopping despite the cold front that had moved in the night before. The day started out very chilly for the anglers, and at 10:00 it wasn't even quite 60 degrees. Eighty five percent of the field weighed in on the first day, putting pressure on all the front runners to keep up the pace for day two. Each day of the tournament big bass of the day earned a check for $1,410.

Day 1 leaders:
1st - 18.37 lbs was brought in by Jeff Musgrove and Roy Pharis which included their 6.92 kicker earning day 1 big bass honors.
2nd - 16.08 lbs - Chris Lewis and Brian Bailey
3rd - 15.87 lbs - Keith Jones and Bill Hudspeth
4th - 15.61 lbs - Don Taylor and Donald Randall
5th - 15.59 lbs - Larry Matthews and Matt Matthews

On day two the cold front had moved on through and blue bird skies prevailed at the tail end of it. A beautiful day overall with cool 70 degree temps and hardly a breeze, the contenders enjoyed a prolonged topwater bite and saw a lot more hawgs then on day one. Early on in the final weigh in Larry and Matt Matthews, a father/son team brought in their 23.56 lb stringer that launched them into the lead and ultimately secured their win and a check for $5,000. They have been fishing tournaments together since Matt was 8 yrs old. Now at 33 yrs old he is still learning and taking instructions from dad who told him to "throw over there - that's where she'll be". Proving again that father knows best, Matt threw just where his dad told him to and pulled out their 5th and final keeper of the day weighing in at 9.86 lbs, truly defining the term "kicker fish". This catch caught big bass honors of the day for another check of $1,410. Fishing a Carolina rigged Zoom watermelon centipede, their bass came out of 14-16' depths. They also pulled a few in on Rinky Dinks, and the areas that they hunted out to throw in were areas with breaks and drop offs.

2nd place - 31.1 lbs - Jeffrey Musgrove and Roy Pharis had caught their fish on a shallow water pattern on day one with spinner baits and crank baits. By day two the pattern had changed for them, their bass had backed off to deeper water. By noon they only had two small keepers so they regrouped, backed off to fish in 12-15' depths with a carolina rig. This produced a day two limit weighing 12.73 lbs earning them a check for $2500.

3rd place - 30.65 lbs - Stan Reeves and Klifford Walker went way north, about 25 miles for their catch. They fished drains with worms, any color of green worms and produced back to back limits which brought them a winning check of $1,000.
4th place - 30.08 lbs - Don Taylor and Donald Randall teamed up bringing in two days of back to back limits using spinner baits, crank baits and lizards. "We weren't really on any fish, and when we got out there we didn't know where we were. Didn't even get to practice. We just kept our baits in the water". Their efforts brought them a check for $650 and over $400 worth of Lowrance electronics.

5th place - 29.88 lbs - Leonard McGriff and Tracy Knight stated that they had a great tournament and appreciated Champion Boats for having this customer appreciation event. They fished drains in the Buck Bay area with worms to secure their limit.

An invitational only tournament, all Champion boat owners qualify to participate in Tournament of Champions events. This was the fourth of five in the series, and the top 13 teams from this event are automatically entered into the Champion Boats Ultimate Challenge event. It is an all expense paid tournament with a guaranteed first place prize of two fully rigged Champion 188's with a 3 litre EFI Mercury 200 engines, Minnkota Max 65 Trolling motors, Lowrance electronics, Dual Pro Charger, 10" jack plate and a single axle trailer with brakes valued at $70,000.

The whole new line of Champion Boats were on display with the dealers and their representatives ready to show them off or give demo rides. Plenty of Champion clothing products were also made available. Dave and Tricia Concienne of Bass 'N Bucks were on hand with their live release barge and helping with the weigh in, with Champion Boats sponsoring their 2004 tournament trail which has its kick off tournament December 7th on Sam Rayburn.

For more information on Champion boats, products or events please click to or call 615-494-2090.

Sponsors include: Lake Area Marine, Nichols-Longview Marine Center; Red Wing Boat Co.; Dawson Marine; Boat City U.S.A.; Jasper Chamber of Commerce
Co-sponsors include: Mercury; Lowrance; Minn Kota; Pradco
Other sponsors include: Loc-R-Bar; Gamakatsu; GEE GEE Baits; Saint Peter's Fly & Bass Shop; Teleflex Marine; Shimano/G-Loomis; Uniforce; Seats-n-Stuff; Dual Pro Charging Systems; American Fishing Products; Bass Stalker Jigs; Berkley Trilene & Pure Fishing; Solar Bat; Daiwa; War Eagle Spinner Baits

1st place was taken by an overwhelming lead by the father/son team of Larry and Matt Matthews. Matt is pictured holding their 9.86 lb day 2 big bass kicker

2nd place honors went to Jeff Musgrove and Roy Pharis. Pictured is their day 1 big bass of 6.92 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Stan Reeves and Kliff Walker took 3rd place overall, coming up from 12th on day 1

4th place - Don Taylor and Donald Randall

Leonard McGriff and Tracy Knight had a great time fishing Big Sam, taking home 5th place honors

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