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Bebber & Caka claim 1st place at Bass 'N Bucks Summer Series Kick-off
By Patty Lenderman

The second series of tournaments for Bass 'N Bucks began on Lake Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion June 12. Anglers were excited with the all cash payback format and 146 teams came to claim their chance at the money to be won. $32,704 was paid out in 23 overall places plus 3 big bass places. Charles Bebber and Keith Caka won by a nose in this race for top weights.

It was a hot day with some occasional redeeming breezes and semi-overcast skies. With limit after limit brought to the scales, it was obvious that the bite was on for these competitive anglers.

1st place winners Keith Caka and Charles Bebber brought in a strong sack that include triplets in the 5 pound range. They caught them in 10-15' over grass beds on shad color crank baits. The targeted areas were secondary points and flats. While they had their initial limit in the boat by 11:00, they culled two full limits before heading in. Their final weight was 21.61 lbs, just less than 1/10th of an ounce ahead of 2nd place. "We wouldn't have been able to get them out of the grass without our Castaway Rods." They were running in a Champion boat, but it was borrowed and they missed out on the Champion bonus.

2nd place and $3,000 went to the father & son team of Doug and Mason McCain. Their day started with a cable coming off of their hotfoot at take-off, delaying their start by 30 minutes. Once getting to their spot, they started their day with their kicker fish at 6.08 lbs, and had 15 lbs in their livewell by 9:30 a.m. Throwing 3/4 ounce "greenish" jigs with Riverside trailers, they concentrated on the creek edges and points, catching a total of 9 keeper fish. "The bite was real good early, and then there was a lull in the middle of the day. It picked back up in the afternoon and we boated our last fish at 2:30" explained Doug.

John Gunnels and Dicky Newberry landed a 3rd place win with their 18.83 lb limit, winning a check for $2,050. They were also the highest finishing Champion Boat qualifiers, winning an additional $1,000. They were flipping 1 oz. camo colored Oldham jigs with Lake Fork Baby Creatures for trailers and covered a lot of water for their catch. On their 2nd flip they pulled out their 6 lb kicker, and culled about 20 times before the end of the day. They were pulling their fish out of 12' depths out of the grass in drains and around secondary points. "We were using the new Castaway Grass Master 7' 3" rod. We needed it to pull them out of that grass" Dicky stated.

Matt Reed and Rick Friedrich reeled in the big bass of the tournament at 6.92 lbs. The $1,000 big bass check is sponsored by Kicker Fish Bait Co. at every event. They caught her at 1:30 fishing 10' drains with scattered grass. "She just loaded up on it" Matt said.

All of the anglers were excited about the all cash pay out and the summertime format. Summer is the season for topwaters and jigs, favorites for many bass anglers. Normally, Bass 'N Bucks events are held on Sundays but for this series has been changed to Saturday which was also welcomed by the contenders. The fishing was great and Sam Rayburn just keeps pumping out the bass.
Top Standings:
1st $6,000 21.61 lbs Keith Caka & Charles Bebber
2nd $3,000 21.55 lbs Doug McCain & Mason McCain
3rd $2,050 18.83 lbs John Gunnels & Dicky Newberry
4th $2,040 18.64 lbs Mike Patterson & Roger Nash
5th $2,030 17.72 lbs Alan Moore & Clint Teutsch
......and last in the money...
23rd $400 14.85 lbs Heath Parker & Brandon Baker

Top 3 Big Bass:
1st $1,000 6.92 lbs Matt Reed & Rick Friedrich
2nd $ 500 6.57 lbs Robert Perry & John Cure
3rd $ 250 6.51 lbs Jayne Nichols & Tommy Durham

Championship qualifying - (2nd series, 3 tournaments) Summer events - Top 20 by points will go to the championship. They must have fished all three (3) events with the same partner to qualify. If some teams or individuals have already qualified from the 1st Series, we will go down the list to reach the top 20 from the summer events by points. Qualifying will be based on points and pounds. 1st place will receive 250 points, 249 to 2nd, 248 to 3rd and so on. Example: If 1st place weighs in 18.50 lbs, his total points will be 268.50.

The next event will be July 17th at Cypress Bend Marina on Toledo Bend. The final event in the Summer Series will be August 7th at the Umphrey Family Pavilion on Sam Rayburn.

Anyone can come fish and have fun at any of the Bass 'N Bucks events. For more information please call 409-727-8941, email or click to their website

Bass 'N Bucks 2004 sponsors include: Champion Boats, Mercury Motors, Kicker Fish Bait Co., All Star Graphite Rods, Minn Kota, Lowrance, Rat-L-Trap, Continental Batteries, Dual Pro Charger, Check-it-Stik, McFerrin Insurance,, Bass Medics products and Aqua Innovations

(L-R) Dave Concienne, Tournament Director congratulates: 1st - Keith Caka & Charles Bebber, 2nd - Doug & Mason McCain, 3rd - John Gunnels & Dicky Newberry, and Big Bass - Rick Friedrich & Matt Reed

Keith Caka & Charles Bebber had all chunks in their bag, just enough to take 1st place with their 21.61 lb limit
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

The father & son team of Doug and Mason McCain put it together to take a close 2nd place with 21.55 lbs

John Gunnels & Dicky Newberry are no strangers to the winners circle and took 3rd place with 18.83 lbs

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