Fishing & Boating News

Father & Son Norris take the final win for 2016 at Bass Champs on Tawakoni

Sloan & Hawkins wrap up AOY honors.

by: Patty Lenderman,

Norris & Norris Win over $20,000 on a tough Tawakoni.
Photo by courtesy Bass Champs Tournament Trails
(Jun 6, 2016 - Lake Tawkoni, TX)
Water, water everywhere as Bass Champs North Region anglers hit Lake Tawakoni for the final open team event of the season June 4, 2016. It was the final push in the Anglers of the Year race as well as fishing for a portion of this 99% payback event, with over $56,000 in prize money to be won. Father and son Ronnie and Jeff Norris reeled in the only sack over 20 pounds to win over $20,000!

There were 192 teams in this final event, with trailering allowed due to the high lake levels. Other than some occasional sprinkles, the weather wasn’t the main challenge for these teams – it was finding the bass as they were on the move in the newly flooded areas. Fishing was tough, as teams bringing in just over six pounds were winning checks!

1st place winners Ronnie Norris of Mabank, TX and his son Jeff Norris of Decatur went into this event with no particular plan. “A few weeks before the tournament, we had caught a few fish in a shallow spot with flooded trees,” Jeff explained. “We started our day fishing frogs and caught a couple of keepers right off the bat. The bite just went dead on us for several hours, and we went to another spot using beaver baits. That’s when I caught our kicker (6.35 lbs). We just kept at it, and finally caught two more to make a limit. That’s all the keepers we put in the boat!” Everyone was allowed to fish until 3pm, and they weighed in by 3:20. “We watched as everyone else brought in their sacks – it was nerve racking until the scales closed!” When the scales did finally officially close, they had won the tournament by more than a six pound margin! “We’ve been fishing with Bass Champs for a really long time. We’ve won several checks, but this is our first 1st place win!” Bass Champs presented them the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check, then they also won the Power Pole Captains Cash. “Dad and I have been fishing together since I’ve been walking. Winning this with him is really great.”

Darryl Roach of Benbrook, TX and Vince Repola of Fort Worth reeled in a 2nd place win with their 15.34 lb limit. “We started in a spot we found in practice,” Darryl began. “The fish were biting right away and we had five in the livewell by 6:55am.” They were fishing a marina cove with frogs for their bite in a grassy area about 2’ deep. “Once that bite slowed down, we started flipping the grass. Between 11-2:30 we didn’t catch anything, and only caught one after that to cull up two ounces. All total we caught about 9 or 10 keepers throughout the day, and only caught 2 or 3 short fish.” Their catch was worth a 2nd place check for $4,500 plus they also received the Sportsman’s Auto Network bonus. “I’d like to thank my partner Vince. This is our second year fishing with Bass Champs. We were lucky enough to win Anglers of the Year our first year with them. Jeff, Chad and the whole Bass Champs crew are really great. I have my own bass tournament trail, and Jeff and Chad have been so helpful with advice to help me succeed. They have the BEST tournament trail and I love fishing with them!”

3rd place was won by Jerry Olds of Arlington, TX and Jason May of Grand Prairie with 13.38 lbs. Bass Champs presented the team a check for $3,500.

Rounding out the top five were 4th place Lee Livesay from Gladewater and Warren Sprague of Willis Point, TX with 12.18 lbs, winning $2,400 plus the Lowrance Gen3 Bonus. Steve Trimble of Dallas and Dakota Trimble took a 5th place win with 11.63 lbs for a $2,000 check.

It took 6.43 lbs to be in the money in 27 places paid. Zach Parker and Heath Moody caught the last $600 check in the line-up. Fun N Sun awarded the first out-of-the-money bonus to Craig and Steve Anderson for their 6.39 lb sack.

The Big Bass of the tournament weighed in at 6.38 lbs, brought in by Dale and Sean Gossett. It was their only keeper of the day, winning a $500 check plus the DELO, Abu Garcia, BioBor and UnderArmour bonuses.

Now that all four North Region events are in the books and the points tallied, the Angler of the Year award goes to the team of Drew Sloan and Terry Hawkins. It was a close finish, as they had a total of 975 points, staying just ahead of Trevor Romans and Matt McMillan with 972 points. Congratulations for achieving this prestigious title for the 2016 Bass Champs North Region!

The 2016 Championship will be a two day event, October 8-9, 2016. Over $200,000 in cash and prizes is guaranteed to be awarded, including a Skeeter FX 20 powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO for the 1st place winners, and a Skeeter ZX 225 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO for the 2nd place team. The top 40 teams will receive checks, and the event will take place on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas.

“All of us at Bass Champs would like to thank everyone for fishing with us this year. It has been a great season, and we really appreciate your part in making Bass Champs the biggest and the best in Texas! We’d like to wish all of the championship qualifiers good luck at the Team Championship in October!”

Also mark your calendars and plan to fish these upcoming Bass Champs hosted events:
June 10 - Skeeter Owner’s Tournament, Lake Fork
June 26 – TX Shootout, Sam Rayburn
Oct 15-16 – 11th Annual Berkley Big Bass, Lake Fork

“The 2nd Annual TX Shootout is coming up in just a few weeks on Sam Rayburn. With a guaranteed 1st place purse of $50,000 it is the worlds richest one day team event, and you don’t want to miss it!” - Chad Potts, Bass Champs President