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Rose -Hawthorn win big on Sam Rayburn at Skeeter Bass Champs
By Patty Lenderman

Lake Sam Rayburn greeted Skeeter Bass Champs anglers back to her waters April 9th for the third East Texas Region event. 239 teams came to ask her to give up her prize bass to win a part of over $72,000 given away in cash and prizes. Rose & Hawthorn double dipped in the winnings, taking 1st place overall and also big bass honors.

Weather wise it was a classic Spring scenario. Cool, if not chilly first thing in the morning, mild winds, and then steadily warming to the upper 70's before days end. There were a lot of first of the year sunburns on this balmy day. Bigger weights were predicted, but didn't pan out as many of the teams reported a tough bite. Over half the field weighed in limits, and 812 fish went across the scales for a total tournament weight of 2,099.11 lbs - a 2.59 lb per fish average! There was $62,140 collected in entry fees and $72,949 paid out in thirty three places for a 117.39% payback.

Mack Rose and Max Hawthorn had to double fist their bag as they brought it to the scales. Their 22.78 lb five fish limit included an 8.84 lb kicker. They won 1st place honors and the 2005 Skeeter SX 200 bass boat rigged with a Yamaha 200 outboard motor, Motorguide trolling motor and Lowrance electronics valued at $34,000. Their kicker was worth an additional $1,000 check sponsored by Kicker Fish Bait Co. "We'd like to thank Bass Champs. We don't like to fish on Sundays because that's when we like to go to church. We'd also like to thank Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior." Mack gave Max all the credit for catching their fish. "He caught them on a green pumpkin Wave Worm. They weren't in our regular spot. We had to try another, then we started catching. After that we just went hopping. We know a lot of places, having fished this lake a long time. Max only boated five keepers. It just goes to show that you should never give up, just keep fishin' hard. I'd rather have 5 like that than a hundred 2 lb'rs. The Lord blessed us."

The 2nd place team of Roland Pesson and Larry Dugas brought in 21.12 lbs for a $4,000 check. Being the highest finishing qualified Skeeter Boat owner team, they doubled their winnings to $8,000. "We just flipped tubes and Senko's in the bushes" Larry said. "All total we caught 17 keepers, only about 6 ones were short. We did lose one that may have put us in 1st place." That's why they call it "fishing"!

Jerrel Pringle fished by himself and put 21.06 lbs in the livewell, winning 3rd place and $3,000. He flipped camo colored tube baits and brush hogs in the bushes for some of his catch, and also found luck with a spinnerbait.

Top Teams:
1st 22.78 lbs $34,000 Mack Rose & Max Hawthorne (Skeeter / Yamaha)
2nd 21.12 lbs $ 8,000 Roland Pesson & Larry Dugas (Skeeter Bonus)
3rd 21.06 lbs $ 3,000 Jerrel Pringle & Jeff Wooldridge
4th 20.06 lbs $ 2,000 Butch Covington & Frank LeBaron
5th 19.48 lbs $ 1,200 Tommy Bankhead & Mike Dorcz
....and last in the money....
33rd 15.46 lbs $ 500 Michael & Lance Duff (Kicker Fish Bait Co.)

Big Bass 8.84 lbs Mack Rose & Max Hawthorne

All teams who enter all 5 qualifying events automatically qualify for that regions Tour Championship. The top 10 in Angler of the Year points and the top 10 in Tour Championship qualify for the State Championship. The Tour Championship will be held June 5th on Sam Rayburn at the Umphrey Family Pavilion. The State Championship will be October 7-8, the lake is yet to be announced.

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 charity 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 Toledo Bend May 7th at Cypress Bend. For more information, complete standings and Angler of the Year information please contact Skeeter Bass Champs at 817-439-3274 or visit their website www.basschamps.com.


Mack Rose & Max Hawthorne dominated the event with their first place 22.78 lb sack, including the Big Bass of the tournament weighing 8.84 lbs

1st place winners Rose & Hawthorne won the $34,000 Skeeter Boat, and 2nd place winners Pesson & Dugas took home the Skeeter bonus doubling their winnings to $8,000
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Jerrel Pringle fished by himself and still managed a 21.06 lb limit winning 3rd place

At the end of each weigh in, those who qualified the night before compete in the flipping contest

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