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10, 10, 10 Pounds AGAIN ! Toledo Bend pumped out the lunkers for Bass Champs Anglers
By Patty Lenderman

With the spawn ready to begin at any time, 267 teams of Bass Champs anglers headed out of Cypress Bend Park on Toledo Bend on February 26th to hunt for big bass. Once on the water, it didn't take long for several of these anglers to begin pulling them in. It was an exciting weigh in, with 114 limits brought to the scales. It started off slow with the first couple of flights weighing 14 lb limits, the crowd were wondering how the bite went for them throughout the day. Everyone was expecting some big catches. It wasn't until the 3rd flight when the scales started showing some better weights. Then, all of a sudden the heavy stringers started pouring in and the big bass started showing up. Michael Brewton and Sid Abernathy weighed in the first 10 lb'r for the day at 10.34. Shortly after that Randy Turner and Jerry McMullen brought in the next at 10.18 lbs. Finally, Phillip Rushing and Boyd Sanders brought in the biggest of them all, weighing her in at 10.78 lbs!

Jerrel Pringle and Jeff Wooldridge bested the pack with their 26.40 lb five fish limit. They headed north to fish main lake flats in the stumps and hydrilla, throwing white Stanley spinnerbaits in a tandem gold design. "We didn't get to have any practice, and there was a 5 day off-limit before the tournament. We just headed to some old holes and hoped for the best. You could tell that the fish really wanted to be in shallow water, but this recent cold front pushed them out a little. We caught them in 3-5' and caught about 12 keepers. All the bites we got were good quality fish" stated Jeff. They also caught some on a June bug lizard. They won the 1st place package of a Skeeter SX200 powered by a Yamaha Vmax 200 valued at $34,000. In addition, they also won the Skeeter Bonus of $5,000 for a total win valued at $39,000!

Sid Abernathy and Michael Brewton brought in the 2nd place limit of 23.60 lbs, which included their 10.34 lb kicker fish. They also found their bite with a spinnerbait, throwing 3/8 & 3/4 oz chartreuse / white combination. Heading south for their fish, they also caught some on ½ & 3/4 oz red rattle traps. Targeting creeks, from the mouths to the backs of them, their fish came from 6'-12' depths over the grass beds. Their lunker bit at 8:00 at the end of Michael's line. "She came in pretty good until I got her to the boat, and then she made one good surge that just about broke my line! I got this lucky spinnerbait from Tri-Lakes Tackle in Lufkin, so I'd like to tell Glen Arnold (owner of Tri-Lakes) 'thank you'". Mike is on a good winning streak, he also won the TTT event last week. They would also like to thank their sponsor Terry's Marine.

In 3rd place is the father / son team of Tracy & Taylor Griffin. Continuing the same successful pattern as the other winners, they also threw chartreuse & white spinnerbaits and red rattle traps. They pulled their lures over the top of grass in 5'-8' depths, and managed eight keepers, landing their $3,000 payday. Most of their fish were caught before 9:00. They have been fishing tournaments together for the past four years, and would like to thank Coastal Reporting of Houston, as well as their sponsor Witt Marine of Baytown, TX.

Weighing in just shy of 11 lbs, Phillip Rushing pulled in the 10.78 lb big bass of the event, catching the $1,000 check sponsored by Kicker Fish Bait Co. She was caught on a ½ oz white spinnerbait in 2' of water at 9:00. "We were fishing right next to deep water in a pocket with hydrilla" Phillip explained. His partner, Boyd Sanders, who netted this monster added "when I went to scoop her up in the net, she was too big for it! I had to shake her down into it to get her in!" After obtaining permission from the tournament directors, they brought her to Toledo Town & Tackle to enter her into the Lunker Program. For their participation in the program, Toledo Town & Tackle will present them with an exact replica of their fish later this year. They would like to thank Foy Motors of Many, LA as well as Toledo Town & Tackle for their sponsorship and support.

Top Standings:
1st 26.40 lbs $34,000 Jerrel Pringle & Jeff Wooldridge
2nd 23.60 lbs $ 4,000 Sid Abernathy & Michael Brewton
3rd 19.62 lbs $ 3,000 Tracy Griffin & Taylor Griffin
4th 19.48 lbs $ 2,000 Daniel Cross & Eddy Gresham
5th 18.90 lbs $ 1,600 Todd Driscoll & Larry Byrd
6th 18.66 lbs $ 1,300 Randy Turner & Jerry McMullen
7th 18.16 lbs $ 1,080 Glenn Wilkerson & James Matney
8th 18.06 lbs $ 1,070 Jeff Holder & Billy O'Neal
9th 17.94 lbs $ 1,060 Butch Covington & Frank LeBaron
10th 17.86 lbs $ 1,050 Steve Dillard & Tony Spives
....and last in the money...
37th 14.54 lbs $ 500 Mike Taylor & Lindey Hadley

As we progress into Spring, and the weather and water keeps warming, the weights are just going to keep getting better. The spawn is on the verge of beginning, and those spawning sows are yet to be caught.

Tournament statistics:
Total Entries: 267 Total Collected: $69,420.00 Payback: $74,649.00
Payback = 107.53% Total Fish: 826 Total Weight: 2,150.34 lbs
Avg Weight: 2.60 lbs # of Limits: 114 # of Zero's: 61

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.
The next East Texas division event will be held on Sam Rayburn April 9th at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. 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


1st place winners Jerrel Pringle & Jeff Wooldridge bested the pack with their 26.40 lb limit

Sid Abernathy & Michael Brewton took 2nd place with 23.60 lbs which included their 10.34 lb kicker fish
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

The father / son team of Tracy & Taylor Griffin pulled in the 3rd place limit, weighing in at 19.62 lbs

Phillip Rushing and Boyd Sanders brought in the biggest bass of the event, weighing her in at 10.78 lbs

Jerrel Pringle & Jeff Wooldridge won the Skeeter / Yamaha for their 1st place win valued at $34,000
 

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