Fishing & Boating News

Lasseter & King top 208 teams on Lake LBJ to win over $20,000

by: Patty Lenderman,

Lake LBJ Winners
Photo by Courtesy Bass Champs
(Feb 8, 2016 - LAKR LBJ-Granite Shoals, TX) Big winds, big waves and big payouts for the Bass Champs Central Region as they kicked off their 2016 season at Lake LBJ with over 200 participating teams. A 105% payback was being awarded to the top twenty seven teams, with the winners receiving the guaranteed 1st place purse of $20,000.

As 208 boats lined up for take-off February 6, boat skills were already being challenged. High winds, up to 30 mph that felt like it was right off of an ice burg had LBJ looking like the ocean with rollers near 4’ high. Many teams had to scramble, as fishing the areas they had originally planned were near impossible with the wind and waves. Josh Lasseter and his grandfather Don King overcame the challenges to win the event.

“It was extremely windy and cold,” Josh recalled. “We had a specific spot we wanted to fish, with a backup plan in mind.” The duo had done a lot of pre-fishing trying to locate fish for the tournament. “We got blown off of our first spot, so we went to find some cover from the wind.” They chose a point with brush on it in 8’-12’ of water. The third fish they put in their livewell was their kicker, weighing in at 7.95 pounds. “We caught all of the fish we weighed within the first hour of the tournament.” They were using a jig. “We were slow fishing with them, just trying to wear them out.” The bite quit, but the wind didn’t. “We moved around and hit several different spots, just trying to pick up another, but felt pretty good about the limit we had.” They were not due in to the weigh in until 3pm, but decided to come in an hour early to weigh their catch and hope for the best. “We didn’t think we had as much as we did. We just got lucky, and got on an early bite. It’s really awesome to be fishing Bass Champs with my Granddad, and a great way to start the season with him!” Their total weight was 25.37 pounds, winning the 1st place purse of $20,000. They also won the Sure Life bonus for using the product in their livewell.

Kyle Tatum and David Simono won 2nd place with a total of 22.43 pounds. “It was so windy. When I woke up at 5am, the wind was already blowing around 20 mph,” Kyle stated. “We went to our first spot, and there was another boat nearby but not on that spot. We put our first fish in the boat, about four pounds, and didn’t catch anything else until about 1pm.” Kyle had boated the first fish, but David wrapped up the rest of their initial limit. “We were fishing wind-blown flats about 10’ deep with swimbaits, and just kept going back and forth between two spots all day.”

They had two 2-pounders in their livewell they wanted to be able to cull. Suddenly, Kyle got a big bite. “It just loaded up heavy. I told David ‘big fish’, and he quickly put his rod down and grabbed the net. At first I thought it might be a carp! I got it to the boat, and David scooped it up first try. It was a great team effort.” That catch weighed in at 9.15 pounds, and held for a short while as Big Bass of the tournament. “It’s my biggest bass so far, and was a great time to catch it!”
They won $5,000 for their day on the water. “David deserves a lot of credit for his skills handling the boat in those weather conditions!”

Third place was won by a father and son team. Rick and Adam Clark brought in 20.99 pounds and the biggest bass of the day for a big payday. “We went to our first spot, a main lake flat 4’-6’ deep and started casting our jigs,” Adam said. “Dad caught the first fish, and it was the big one, at 8:10 am. That was our first and last bite until 1:30.” They had to give up their semi-protected spot to go in search of biting bass. “We headed south, hitting spots crashed with waves just trying to scrape up a bite.” The wind had picked up, and they were fighting 4’ rollers from 11:00 on, rotating between four spots. “All of a sudden, we had a big flurry and caught five more fish, culling one time.” Their big fish that Rick landed weighed in at 9.82 pounds, winning Big Bass of the tournament and $1,000. Their 3rd place win netted a check for $4,000. Being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat, their winnings were doubled to a $10,000 day. But that wasn’t all – they also won the Costa Del Mar, Abu Garcia and Under Armor sponsor incentive bonuses as well! “I have a lot of people to thank. First my wife for enabling me to pursue my passion. Then my kids, 8 & 4 years old, for their help getting me ready to fish tournaments.” Adam has been fishing tournaments with his dad Rick since he was 3 years old, but had gotten away from it for a time. “I really appreciate my step mother Mary. About four years ago she encouraged us to start fishing tournaments together again.”

All total $63,750 was paid to the top 27 teams. The last $600 check was issued to Ross & Jennifer Wright, weighing in 13.39 pounds.

The next event for the Central Region will be on Lake Belton on March 5. In the meantime, Bass Champs staff and crew will be headed to Toledo Bend for the second East Region tournament on February 13. All Bass Champs tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish for some of the biggest paybacks anywhere. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274.

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