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Ausmus -Thomas win again on Toledo Bend at Bass-N-Bucks
By Patty Lenderman

Nichols & Hilton take 1st place Big Bass honors
July 17, 2004 - Cypress Bend

It was a cooler than normal day on Saturday, July 17th at Cypress Bend. The overcast cloud cover and the breeze kept the overall temperature down to about 90 degrees for 264 anglers going out on Toledo Bend. Many of the contenders were hoping for a little more sun to help induce the bass to a good jig bite. Harry Thomas and James Ausmus took top honors for the 2nd Bass-N-Bucks Toledo Bend event in a row. It wasn't easy for them, for the field of contenders they were up against are known for bringing in good weights of bass.

Among the first to weigh in, Thomas and Ausmus brought their heavy sack to the scales for an official weight of 20.66 lbs. They only brought in four fish, but they were good ones with their kicker fish weighing in at 6.54 lbs. Harry shook his head as he began reflecting on the day. "First we were 30 minutes late getting in the water. After that, the battery on the big motor went out so we had to put the trolling motor battery on it and worked all day without the trolling motor." No running and gunning for this duo, they found their fish all in one spot, catching them on both Texas and Carolina rigged 10" red shad and tequila worms. Despite their rough start, they put it together and produced a nice stringer. "We had all our fish in the boat by 8:00. We just couldn't catch the fifth one to make our limit." They stayed out on a main lake point and fished depths from 19'-24' deep. It made for a great payday for them, receiving a 1st place check for $5,000.

Shane Hilton and C.J. Nichols brought in the 19.20 lb 2nd place limit to win $2,600. Their kicker, though, took 1st place big bass honors at 9.70 lbs for another $1,000 check from Kicker Fish Bait Company. They covered a lot of water to put together this limit throwing black & blue Pelican Lure 1 oz. jigs with pumpkin green Gene Larew craw trailers. They also throw Gene Larew Hog Craws in watermelon and green pumpkin. Their new Castaway grass rods and Daiwa reels with 50# Triple fish braided line had a work out in the 10'-17' hydrilla beds they were pulling their fish out of. Fishing off of main lake ridges on the south end of the lake the said "We had to travel a lot. We only caught one or two fish in each spot, but throughout the day we got to cull from about 12 keepers." While they were fishing, off in the distance a couple in a boat were waiving at them to get their attention. Their boat was broke down with a dead battery and they needed help. "We packed in our gear and went to see if we could help them. After we got their boat started and they got on their way, we just kind of laughed and said 'Maybe God will put a good word in for us with the fish god'. Right after that we boated that 9.70 lb'r. I guess nice guys do come out on top sometimes" - C.J. Nichols.

In 3rd place was the father & son team of Cary & James Talbot with 17.99 lbs. Also catching their fish on the classic summertime jig pattern, they threw a 1 oz camo Oldham jig with a Gene Larew magnum craw trailer. "We found our fish last weekend pre-fishing for the tournament. They were holding in 12'-15' grass ridges on the south end of the lake. The better bite was before 10:00, but we caught fish pretty much all day and were able to cull four times. Everything went good for us today. We got good bites and didn't miss any." - James Talbot

Top Overall Teams:
1st $5,000 20.66 lbs James Ausmus & Harry Thomas
2nd $2,600 19.20 lbs C.J. Nichols & Shane Hilton
3rd $2,050 17.99 lbs Cary Talbot & James Talbot
4th $2,000 17.12 lbs Alan Moore & Clint Teutsch
5th $1,800 16.72 lbs Allen Hilner & Rickey Smith
6th $1,600 15.86 lbs Glenn Kirk & Mike Metcalf
7th $1,400 15.76 lbs Russ Carter & Scott Bailey
8th $1,300 15.37 lbs Randy Millender & Kenneth Nichols
9th $1,200 14.58 lbs Martin Elshout & Mark Price
10th $1,100 14.39 lbs Mike Patterson & Roger Nash
11th $1,000 14.14 lbs Clark Reehm & Randy Reehm
12th $ 900 14.05 lbs Harold Allen & Glenn Freeman
13th $ 800 13.45 lbs Stan Burgay & Steven Burgay
14th $ 700 13.08 lbs Rick Hill & Scott Thornton
15th $650 + $1,000 12.53 lbs James Elliott & Ron Hendricks
(Champion Boat Bonus Winners)

Top 3 Big Bass:
1st $1,000 9.70 lbs C.J. Nichols & Shane Hilton
2nd $ 500 8.95 lbs Randy Millender & Kenneth Nichols
3rd $ 250 6.62 lbs Bryan Fox

James Elliott & Ron Hendricks received the $1,000 Champion Boat Bonus for being the highest finishing Champion Boat Bonus Qualifiers. They finished in 15th place overall with 12.53 lbs, and also received $650 for their overall finish.

Anyone can come fish and have fun at any of the Bass 'N Bucks events. The final event in the Bass-N-Bucks Summer Series will be August 7th at the Umphrey Family Pavilion on Sam Rayburn.

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 2004 Championship will be a two day event September 18-19, with Day 1 being held on Toledo Bend and the final day on Sam Rayburn.

For more information please call 409-727-8941, email fish@bassnbucks.com or click to their website www.bassnbucks.com.

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, FishingWorld.com, Bass Medics products and Aqua Innovations


Dave Concienne awards Harry Thomas and James Ausmus with their 1st place plaques, winning with a 20.66 lb four fish limit

Harry Thomas holds up two of their four winning chunks
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Nice guys C.J. Nichols and Shane Hilton win 2nd place overall with a 19.20 lb limit, and take 1st place Big Bass honors with their 9.70 lb lunker

Cary Talbot and his son James (n/p) won 3rd place with 17.99 lbs

(L-R) 1st - Harry Thomas & James Ausmus, 2nd & Big Bass - Shane Hilton & C.J. Nichols, 3rd - Cary & James Talbot, and Tournament Director Dave Concienne

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