Lakecaster Online

Dillard -Spivey declared Champions in the East Texas Division of Skeeter Bass Champs
By Patty Lenderman

Championships are inherently a battle to the finish, and this was no exception. There were 146 qualified teams that brought on their best efforts, and the weights brought to the scales were about as tight as they get. In the end, it was Steve Dillard and Tony Spivey who brought in the biggest sack of them all, just hundredths of ounces above the rest.

With an impending front looming across the lake, the low pressure scenario made for a better bite all around for these anglers. It was hot and muggy, but the consistent breeze made for good relief from the heat. Friends and families of the fishermen gathered early at the Umphrey Family Pavilion on Sam Rayburn to see what they would bring in and cheer them on. The hotdogs were roasted on the pit, drinks were iced and everyone enjoyed the show, competition, trivia games and drawings.

The Champions, Steve Dillard and Tony Spivey weighed in 21.98 lbs. They didn't catch a lot of fish, only six that would keep, but with their 7.06 lb kicker in the bag it was just enough to stay ahead of the rest of the Championship anglers. They caught their bass flipping 4" Zoom craw worms in the lily pads in about 5'-7'. It's been quite a ride this year for these guys, and in addition to their new Skeeter / Yamaha bass rig valued at $30,500 they also hold the prestigious title of being the 2005 Skeeter Bass Champs East Texas Division Champions and are headed to Lake Guerrero, Mexico in July to compete in the all expense paid International Challenge.

The father & son team of George and Marty Kelley weighed in 21.70 lbs for a 2nd place finish. "We went to the Black Forest, and threw a Carolina rig in some draws in the area. We threw a watermelon and a watermelon red fluke in 6'-8' and managed 8 keepers." They did well and won $4,000.

Randy Turner and Jerry McMullen Texas rigged a 10" power worm in the creeks for their 21.52 lb 3rd place limit. Through the day they caught a total of three limits of bass and turned up a check for $3,000.

The 2005 Anglers of the Year Daniel Cross and Eddy Gresham would like to thank a few people who have helped them get to this point. Glen at Tri Lakes Tackle, Cross Body Works, 2IG Rods, Lonnie Stanley, Bass Champs and Skeeter Boats. "This is the best tournament trail around. We'll be looking forward to next years season." They also qualified to fish in the International Challenge in July.

All of the anglers had the option to participate in the side pot for $200 per team. $17,600 was collected and $51,900 was paid back making for a 294% payback.

Top Standings:
1st 21.98 lbs $30,500 Steve Dillard & Tony Spivey
2nd 21.70 lbs $ 4,000 Marty Kelley & George Kelley
3rd 21.52 lbs $ 3,000 Randy Turner & Jerry McMullen
4th 21.42 lbs Larry Nassar & Lynn Thibodeaux
5th 20.34 lbs $ 2,000 James Silva & Brian Rawls
6th 19.74 lbs $ 1,000 (x 2) Greg Christian & Bill Wilcox (Skeeter Bonus)
7th 19.60 lbs $ 1,000 Randy Qualls & Mike Metcalf
8th 19.50 lbs $ 1,000 Boyd Sanders & Phillip Rushing
9th 18.54 lbs $ 850 Ben Vaughn & Clint Kirby
10th 18.06 lbs $ 750 John Settle & Archie Dore II
Big Bass 8.48 lbs Ben Vaughn & Clint Kirby

"It's been a great season. We've had over 600 participating teams in this division this year, and are excited about the next seasons events. The 2006 schedule will be posted on the website by the end of June, and we have a lot of exciting things planned. I'd like to thank everyone who has come out and fished with us this year and look forward to seeing everyone again next year." - Chad Potts, Tournament Director

International Challenge - The winners from each Team Division Championship, plus the team who holds the honors for the biggest stringer of the year from all divisions, and the team who caught the biggest bass, plus the anglers of the year from each division will then advance to the International Challenge. These 10 teams will fish against Mexico's finest July 15th on Lake Guerrero.

State Championship - Twenty teams from each division, the top 10 from each Tour championship plus the top 10 in Angler of the Year standings will advance to the State Championship October 7-8. Eighty teams will competing for four Skeeter SX 200's powered by Yamaha 200 motors while being Nationally televised. Each of the championships are Free Entry Fee events with an optional 100% side pot. The lake that this is to take place is yet to be announced, so stay tuned to for more details. For more information, call 817-439-3317.

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

Tony Spivey & Steve Dillard are declared 2005 Skeeter Bass Champs Champions East Tx Division, besting the pack with their 21.98 lb stringer

Father & Son Marty & George (n/p) Kelly take a close 2nd place with 21.70 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

3rd place was taken by Randy Turner and Jerry McMullen, weighing in a 21.52 lb limit

Gene Estep weighs in the Big Bass of the event at 8.26 lbs, fishing with partner Dale Smith (n/p)

Congratulations to the 2005 Anglers of the Year Daniel Cross and Eddy Gresham

(Front, L-R) 1st Place Steve Dillard & Tony Spives; Big Bass Gene Estep & Dale Smith; (Rear, L-R) 2nd Place Marty & George Kelley; 3rd Place Randy Turner & Jerry McMullen; 4th Place Larry Nassar & Lynn Thibodeaux; 5th Place James Silva & Brian Rawls

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