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Father -Son team up to top field of 301 teams in Season Opener on Sam Rayburn
By Patty Lenderman

Skeeter Bass Champs held their East Texas division season kick-off January 29th on Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. Exactly 301 teams came to fish for more than $86,000 in cash and prizes given away. With over 100 limits brought to the scales, four of them weighed in over 20 lbs! Father and son teams came on strong, several of them in the top standings - including the winning team of George Jeane Sr & George Jeane Jr who brought in 24.56 lbs and won the Skeeter SX200 powered by a Yamaha Vmax 200 valued at $34,000.

Mother nature granted a reprieve for these anglers, giving them a dry but cold day to compete in. It had been raining for several days prior to the event with more rain in the forecast for the next several days afterward. Forty three places were paid, giving way to a 117% overall payback in cash and prizes.
Coming in 1st place with 24.56 lbs was the father & son team of George Jeane Jr & George Jeane Sr. They pitched and flipped black & blue jigs all day with a Zoom pork trailer in the Ayish Bayou area. They make these jigs themselves, and is part of the arsenal of Jeane's Tackle. They concentrated their efforts in 5'-10' depths outside the brush in small grass patches around buck points. "We'd catch about 2 or 3 bass in each grass pocket. All together we caught about 12 keepers" George Jr. stated. They had their initial limit in the boat by 8:10 a.m., but their best bite was between 8:00-9:00.

Another father and son team, Pete and Allan Shivers, came in a close 2nd place with 24.20 lbs. Their 7.88 lb kicker that Pete brought in sure helped bump that weight up. Their catch came off of ½ oz red rattle traps around secondary points in 3'-7' grass pockets. Their best bite came at noon, and they culled four times before the end of the day.

In 3rd place was the team of Brian Schott and Marty Sowell. Their five fish limit totaled 20.64 lbs, and they were also the highest Skeeter Bonus qualifiers, doubling their $3,000 winnings to $6,000. Choosing the Veech and 147 bridge areas to attack, they dragged a Carolina rig with a tentacled french fry. They only boated these five keepers all day that gave them a great payday.

The Big Bass of the tournament was brought in by Gordon McBride and Jerry Ketcham. She tipped the scales at 8.96 lbs.

1st $34,000 24.56 lbs George Jeane Jr & George Jeane Sr
2nd $ 4,000 24.20 lbs Pete Shivers & Allan Shivers
3rd $ 6,000 20.64 lbs Brian Schott & Marty Sowell (Skeeter Bonus Winners)
4th $ 2,300 20.18 lbs Mark Rouse & Charles McClorkin
5th $ 2,100 19.62 lbs Stan Burgay & Stephen Burgay
6th $ 1,700 19.22 lbs Clayton Boulware & Roger Boulware
7th $ 1,500 19.18 lbs Jerry Ketcham & Gordon McBride
8th $ 1,300 19.02 lbs Ted Wyatt & Bill Guillory
9th $ 1,200 18.86 lbs Steven Ingraham & Patrick Ingraham
10th $ 1,100 18.80 lbs Darrel Olbrych & Ronald Wallace
......and last in the money
43rd $ 500 13.76 lbs Sammy Atchison & Kris Wilson

Over the past two years, over $100,000 has been paid back in Skeeter bonuses. To win this bonus, all you have to do is be the highest finishing team owning and fishing from a qualified Skeeter boat. Skeeter then matches the bonus winners earnings up to $5,000. There are several ways to win at Bass Champs. There are trivia questions, a flipping contest, smallest fish award, and several open drawings. The crowd is encouraged to participate with the trivia questions and the open drawing that you can qualify for by purchasing a ticket. At each event, a different organization brings workers and volunteers to help with the weigh in. Bass Champs and their sponsors provide the prizes to be drawn for. At this event, over $1,300 worth of prizes were up for grabs benefitting the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Bass Champs matched the funds up to $500.

Dawson Marine, located in Jasper and Beaumont Texas provided the 1st place Skeeter Boat as well as other Skeeter feature boats for display.

This was the first event for Skeeter Bass Champs in any of their four divisions - Central, East, North and South. All total there will be 31 Bass Champs events in the 2005 season, with 37 Skeeter Boats and two Dodge Trucks to be given away. Tournament director Chad Potts and staff were excited for the turn out and for this exciting season to begin. "We have a great year planned. More excitement, more payback, more sponsors - it just keeps getting better and better. We have a lot of great teams fishing with us that really show us what these lakes can produce. The sportsmanship is top notch and makes it a lot of fun for everyone"

For more information please contact Skeeter Bass Champs at 817-439-3274 or visit their website www.basschamps.com. Don't forget to check out their new tournament format beginning in March, I-Match!

2005 Sponsors include: Skeeter - Yamaha - The Outdoor Channel - HD Net - KeelShield - Maui Jim - Motor Guide - Lowrance - Allen Samuels Dodge - Academy - Daiwa - St. Croix - Line X - X Tools - Dual Pro - Tony Chachere's - YoZuri - Kicker Fish Bait Co. - Hooters - Continental Batteries - CAST Wireless Lanyard


Several father & son teams made the top 5 (R-L) 1st - George Jeane Jr & Sr; 2nd - Pete & Allan Shivers; 3rd - Brian Schott & Marty Sowell; 4th - Mark Rouse & Charles McClorkin; 5th - Stan and Stephen Burgay

Marty Sowell fishing with Brian Schott (n/p) took 3rd place with 20.64 lbs
< photos by Ray Lenderman - >

George Jeane Jr & Sr won this Skeeter / Yamaha bass rig for 1st place valued at $34,000

Pete and Allan Shivers, another father & son team took a close 2nd place with 24.20 lbs

George Jeane Jr & George Jeane Sr. won 1st place using their very own Jean's Tackle jigs with 24.56 lbs
 

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