Fishing & Boating News

William Blaine and Ross Jewell take home $20,000 on a tough Amistad with 19.60 lbs

North Region teams starts this weekend on Lake Fork - $20,000 Guaranteed for 1st place

by: Patty Lenderman,

William Blaine and Ross Jewell take home $20,000 on a tough Amistad with 19.60 lbs
Photo by courtesy Bass Champs Tournament Trails
(Feb 22, 2016 - Lake Amistad, TX) Bass Champs South Region anglers competed in their 2nd tournament of the season February 20, 2016 at Lake Amistad with 142 teams fishing for a portion of $41,500 being paid back in cash and prizes. A picture perfect day to be out on the water, made even better with the lure of this 101% payback! The top weights were tight, with only a half a pound difference in the top three places.

William Blaine of San Angelo, TX and Ross Jewell of Del Rio, TX took top honors with their five fish winning sack weighing in at 19.60 pounds. “We pulled up to our first area, and made about five casts that got ‘em fired up,” William explained. They fished rocks on a point in about 15’-20’ of water with Carolina rigs, and by 9am had a good limit in the boat. “Ross went to net one of our fish and accidentally knocked one of our rods in the lake. We lost the rod but got the fish!” When the bite slowed down, they left that area and hunted for more. “We caught several more fish, but only caught one we could cull with about 1:00.” They have been fishing Bass Champs for the past four years, but this is their first 1st place $20,000 win. “It was a wonderful day! We’d like to thank all of our friends and family for their encouragement and support.”

Just ounces behind were the 2nd place winners Mike Harman of Bastrop, TX and Rick Scheen of Austin. “We drew a good number, 48, and were able to get to our first spot,” Rick recalled. “It was a creek swing, and another boat beat us to the area, but missed ‘the spot’. We got to it and caught a quick limit on crank baits and spinnerbaits.” On his fourth cast, Mikes rod loaded up heavy. “We thought we had a monster bass!” Reeling in the catch, it was a huge soft shell turtle about 15 pounds! The fish continued to bite, and they wrapped up an initial limit weighing about 15 pounds. “After we caught those, we fished there a little longer then hit a deep creek that was about 15’-20’ deep.” They were able to boat two bass to cull with, bumping up their weight. “Mike lost one on a Carolina rig that may have won the tournament. That’s just fishing I guess!” Their best five weighed in at 19.18 pounds, anchored by a six pound kicker, securing a 2nd place finish and a check for $2,500. “I’ve been fishing Bass Champs for seven years, and Mike and I have been partners for the last four. We really compliment each other as partners. He is really good with the Carolina rig and I get them with the crank baits. The Good Lord blessed us today.” They would also like to thank Austin Boats & Motors, especially the Service Manager Brian Ludwig for keeping them on the water, as well as Mark Samniego Custom Rods “and our wives for letting us come out and fish!”

Derick Kuyrkendall of Bergheim, TX and Forest Wilson from Bulverde reeled in a 3rd place finish with 19.07 pounds. “We started fishing around marker #17, but the bite was kind of slow. We moved out to deeper water and tried to find them using crank baits,” Forest stated. They kept moving, looking for the bass they needed, and estimate trying around ten spots. “We were fishing deep brush, around 12’ deep. It took until noon to put a limit together, and the majority of them came from one spot. Other than that it was pretty tough.” Their initial limit weighed around 14 pounds, but they were able to cull up three times before heading in for their final weight. Bass Champs presented them a check for $1,750 for their 3rd place win plus they won the Lowrance Bonus Cash. They would like to thank Boerne Marine and Jo Baby Spinnerbaits.

Several nice kickers were registered at the scales throughout the weigh-in, but the biggest of them all was caught by Buford Estep Sr of Three Rivers, TX, fishing with his son Buford Jr. “Our day started out bad,” Buford Jr reported. “First thing in the morning, we lost one that probably weighed around six pounds. I told dad right then that was going to bite us. It’s like watching $20,000 swim away from you.” Keeping to the task at hand, using a jig and a Texas rigged 4” pumpkin finesse worm, first they boated a small keeper. “Dad was using the finesse worm, and he got the big bite!” They were fishing a shelf in about 20’-25’ of water. They put the fish in the boat, and it tipped the scales at 9.41 pounds – the biggest fish of the tournament! “We fished hard all day, and it took until 2:30 to finally have five in the livewell. We just kept going over the same spots all day, fishing our milk run.” They were presented a Big Bass check for $500, plus they landed a 6th place finish for another $1,040. Sponsor bonuses kicked in for them including UnderArmour, Costa Del Mar and BioBor for a big winning day! They would like to thank Kistler Rods, Boerne Marine “and Bass Champs for putting on great tournaments!”

The Skeeter Bonus Cash was awarded to John Adami and Jim Robertson, doubling their 8th place winnings for being the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat.

All total 19 teams were awarded, and it took 14.03 lbs to be in the money. John Casparis and Weldon McGuire won the last $600 check of the day.

Each region has four qualifying events toward the season championship and to determine Anglers of the Year. After two South Region events, the top teams in the Angler of the Year race are:
292 pts Derick Kuyrkendall & Forest Wilson
274 pts Chans Martin & Max Martin
270 pgs Ramiro Cadena & Juann Cadena
269 pts Kevinn Unger & Tim Goetz
268 pts Lee Leonard & Scott Bronder

The remaining events for the South Region will be April 23 on Falcon Lake and May 21 on Lake Amistad. In the meantime, Bass Champs staff and crew will head to Lake Fork to kick off the first event for the North Region on February 27. All Bass Champs events are open to anyone who would like to fish for a chance to win some big money, so don’t miss out! For more information visit or call 817-439-3274.