Lakecaster Online

Millender -Nichols Declared Bass N Bucks 2004 Champions
By Patty Lenderman

It was a hot, grueling hard fishing couple of days for the 85 teams who qualified to fish in the Bass N Bucks Championship September 18-19. A tough competition, filled with seasoned tournament anglers that brought in a lot of great sacks. Randy Millender and Kenneth Nichols won 1st place and a $42,900 Champion 206 Elite boat powered by a Mercury 225 EFI motor with Lowrance electronics and MinnKota trolling motors bringing in back to back limits, totaling 40.46 lbs.

Twenty teams qualified from the Summer Series and 65 teams qualified from the Spring Series events. For the 4th year in a row, the amount of cash and prizes awarded at the championship exceeded $100,000. This year, the total surpassed $112,000 and there was no entry fee for the 85 qualifying teams.

Day 1 of the Championship was held on Toledo Bend lake at Cypress Bend Park with plenty of heat and sunshine and very little wind as the competitors raced to their best fishing spots. When the scales opened, the first team to weigh in was Shane Gibson and Jimmy Johnson, who started the championship off with 17.67 lbs and a 6.96 lb kicker. That was just the beginning, as several teams that followed brought in heavy sacks. The excitement of both days was caught on film by Cajun Phil, the Tackle Toledo Bend Show and Lakecaster Publications.

Top 5 teams Day 1:
18.42 lbs Stan Burgay / Steven Burgay
18.02 lbs Glen Freeman / Harold Allen
17.67 lbs Shane Gibson / Jimmy Johnson
17.65 lbs Randy Millender / Kenneth Nichols
17.38 lbs John Schweitzer / Clyde McAfee

Millender & Nichols brought in the 7.36 lb bass that took the $500 Big Bass honors for the day. The weights were tight all the way down the line, and going into day 2 it was still anyone's game.

The final day of the championship was held on Lake Sam Rayburn at Twin Dikes Marina. Cooler temperatures, a fairly steady forgiving wind, but not a cloud in sight. Blue bird skies, typically the worst scenario to find biting bass, right? It didn't slow these guys down a notch. Randy Millender and Kenneth Nichols came in with the first flight of boats, hoisting their day two 22.81 lb catch on the scales. This brought their two day total weight to an awesome 40.46 lbs, and into 1st place. "We didn't catch anything to speak of during practice over here" Millender began. "We decided to stick with the same lures and patterns that have produced for us in the past, and it panned out for us. Today we caught three good limits. We started out fishing in 7'-8' with deep stumps throwing a Little 'N' in a shad pattern. We also threw a Texas rigged Mag 2 redbug worm with a 3/16 oz weight. The bite got better as the day went on, and later in the day we moved out to the ridges in 15'-18' and threw a DD-22. We lost an 8-10 pounder around 11:00 on a crank bait. We were using 10 lb P-line on our crank baits and 15 lb Berkley Big Game with the worms." They'd like to recognize their sponsors - Ranger boats, Falcon rods and Norman Lures.

Mike Metcalf and Glenn Kirk raised some eyebrows as they brought their sack to the weigh in line, so heavy it took both of them to carry it. All solid chunks that tipped the scales at 23.56 lbs. Their day 1 weight was 12.99 lbs, putting them in 12th place coming into day 2. Their two day total weight came to 36.55 lbs, squeezing them past the rest of the pack into 2nd place. Both days of the event they had to fish deep. Throwing Carolina rigged Zoom products and crank baits, they caught 7 fish on the first day in about 17'. "The bite was a lot better for us on Rayburn" Metcalf stated. On the final day, they boated 11 fish, and by days end culled their entire original limit. "We caught some deep, in about 25-30', but the better fish came from 12-14' depths around stumps and breaks." They won the second boat awarded, a Champion 187CX powered by a Mercury 150 XR6 motor, with Lowrance electronics and MinnKota trolling motors valued at $23,900.

The father & son team of Stan and Steven Burgay also brought in back to back limits, leading the pack on day 1 with 18.15 lbs. Adding their day two 17.56 lb weight for a total of 35.98 lbs, they won 3rd place overall. "The first day (Toledo) we fished in the river north of Huxley Bay and threw a Carolina rigged Zoom worm. We threw two colors, watermelon and green pumpkin, both with chartreuse tails and boated a total of 8 fish. On Rayburn we fished humps at the 147 bridge in the brush. We caught three limits of fish using DT16 crank baits. Stan said "Mostly I just enjoyed fishing with my son. That makes a really big difference." They'd like to thank their sponsors, Castaway rods and Ranger boats.

The $1,000 Champion boat bonus went to the 4th place team of James Elliott & RonHendricks. This bonus was in addition to their 4th place winnings.

The Day 2 Big Bass was caught by Paul Eason, fishing with Bobby Lebert. Their big bass tipped the scales at 7.24 lbs, winning an additional $500. Paul reeled her in on an All Star rod, Shimano Curado reel spooled with 50 lb Power Pro line. It was their 3rd catch of the day, throwing a watermelon red Scum Frog in lily pads with scattered hydrilla in 3' depths. They are sponsored by Skeeter boats.

Top 10 teams:
1st 40.46 lbs Randy Millender & Kenneth Nichols ($42,900 Fully rigged Champion Boat)
2nd 36.55 lbs Glenn Kirk & Mike Metcalf ($23,900 Fully rigged Champion Boat)
3rd 35.98 lbs Stan Burgay & Steven Burgay ($2,500 + 2 MinnKota Troll motors @ $1,700)
4th 30.88 lbs James Elliott & Ron Hendricks ($2,000 + 2 Lowrance M68 GPS @ $800, 2 All Star rods @ $190)
5th 28.90 lbs Shane Gibson & Jimmy Johnson ($1,800 + 2 Lowrance X125 Electronics @ $600, 2 All Star rods @ $190)
6th 28.82 lbs Allen Hilner & Rickey Smith ($1,600 + 2 Lowrance GPS I Finders @ $400, 2 All Star rods @ $190)
7th 27.70 lbs Glen Freeman & Harold Allen ($1,450 + 2 Lowrance GPS I Finders @ $400, 2 All Star rods @ $190)
8th 27.09 lbs Greg Christian & Bill Wilcox ($500 + Sponsor Products)
9th 27.04 lbs Bobby Lebert & Paul Eason ($1,100 + Sponsor Products)
10th 26.93 lbs Dicky Newberry & John Gunnels ($1,000 + 2 Lowrance GPS I Finders @ $400, 2 All Star rods @ $190)

Dave Concienne poured out his appreciation for the sponsors and anglers who make it possible to have such great paybacks and prizes. For the championship, two Champion boats powered by Mercury motors were awarded. 24 places were paid in cash and a total of 45 places received product. Products included MinnKota trolling motors, All Star rods, GPS, Lowrance depth finders, Dual Pro battery chargers, Continental batteries, Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Bill Lewis Rattle Traps, Kicker Fish Bait Co. products, and so much more.

With only hints of the bigger, better, more exciting changes to come in the next Bass 'N Bucks season, to find out more please contact Bass N Bucks at 409-727-8941, email or click to their website

The 2005 season Kick-Off event will be December 5, 2004 on Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. See Y'all there.

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

"Randy Millender & Kenneth Nichols earned the title of Bass N Bucks 2004 Champions, bringing in a two day total weight of 40.46 lbs

Glenn Kirk & Mike Metcalf heaved their final limit to the scales, launching them to finish in 2nd place with a 36.55 lb two day total
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

The father & son team of Stan & Steven Burgay came on strong for two days, finishing in 3rd place with 35.98 lbs

The excitement of the Bass N Bucks Championship was captured on film by Cajun Phil's Outdoor show, the Tackle Toledo Bend Show and Lakecaster Publications

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