Fishing & Boating News

Bass Champs Central Region winners take home over $28,000 – Anglers of the Year are crowned at LBJ

by: Patty Lenderman,

Winners
Photo by courtesy Bass Champs
(May 23, 2017 - Lake LBJ, Texas) The Central Region Bass Champs teams pulled out all the stops at their final tournament on Lake LBJ May 20, 2017. Three quarters of the field brought in limits, and there were only seven pounds separating 1st through 23rd! A record setting 118% was paid back with the winners Shuster and Gerhart loading up on over $28,000 in winnings.

Mother nature provided the fireworks for this final Central Region event, with rain, lightening and wind adding to the challenges these teams faced. By noon the rain was gone and eventually parted the skies for a sunny finish. It must have sparked up the bite, as the weights were tight all the way down the line.

Michael and his son Zachary Wilson were among the first to weigh in, setting the mark to beat at 25.11 pounds. “My son and I decided to partner up to fish Bass Champs this year,” Michael began. “He is 15 and fishes the high school tournaments as well as a few others. The weather was forecast to be bad in this tournament, so I asked him if he wanted to fish it or not. He said with the weather the week prior being blue bird skies and high pressure, and the forecast for this day to be rainy and cloudy, we were going to do good and we were going to fish!” They headed out and found grassy flats in 6’ to 12’ depths to start their hunt. “The bait we started with wasn’t working, so we started throwing spinnerbaits that my dad makes. I used white, Zachary used chartreuse & white.” It didn’t take long to put a small limit together, about 12 pounds. “We just kept catching fish. All day. We did move to a couple of other spots, but ended up back where we started. That’s where we caught all of our fish. By the end of the day we culled all of our initial limit. I was guessing we had about 18 pounds. Zachary said 22. We were both in shock when the scales locked in at 25.11 pounds!” Their weight established the leaderboard, but they had a long wait to go before the scales were closed. “I didn’t want to watch anyone else weigh in.” Eventually, they fell to 2nd then ultimately 3rd place before it was all said and done. “We were topped by ounces!” Their 3rd place win earned a check for $2,500.

It was the team of David Shuster and Charles Gerhart who came out on top winning over $28,000 by mere ounces. “Our day started out really well,” Shuster began. “We enjoyed the trailering aspect, and were able to launch closer to our starting point.” They had launched early to secure their spot, then patiently waited for their first cast at 6:30am. “The fish were really biting, and we had a limit in the boat by 7:00. As the day went on, the fish we caught just kept getting bigger!” They were fishing isolated grass patches in up to 9’ of water. “We caught a lot of fish on jigs, but our bigger ones came off of swim baits and weightless soft jerkbaits. We probably caught about fifteen in the 3-4 pound range, and had about twenty pounds in the boat by around 1:00.” They tried seven different areas, all of them produced well and they upgraded their creel in every spot. Then David got their big bite. “It was between 1-2:00 when I caught our big one. We culled a three pounder with it, so we added another five pounds to our limit.” First they put their biggest on the scales, weighing in at 8.63 lbs. Adding the rest of their creel, their total weight was 25.94 lbs, winning the tournament and a whopping payday! They received $20,000 for their 1st place win, then they were the highest finishing team in a qualified Skeeter boat for another $5,000. Qualifying for even more bonus money from Texas Boat World in Harker Heights, Lowrance GEN3, Power Pole and Sure Life, their total winnings were $28,850! “Our day went better than planned, for sure!” They would like to thank God for blessing their day, their families for their support with all the time away they spend chasing their passion, a special thanks to Cliff Brown and the staff at Texas Boat world. “I bought a boat from them last year, and they made the whole buying experience great.” David would like to thank his wife Jeanette and Charles his wife Vicki for their endearing support. “We would also like to thank Bass Champs – they put on the best tournaments for all of us and their staff is absolutely outstanding!”

Squeezing into a 2nd place position was the team of Landon and Mandi Glass. This husband and wife team started their morning great. “We were fishing a deep rock pile, about 20’, and the end of a point by a channel swing,” Landan explained. Using jigs and magnum flukes, they each started out by catching bass over eight pounds! What a way to start the day. “We wrapped up a limit pretty fast, and culled once before we headed to shallow water using a swim bait.” There, they culled once more, then lost one. “We went back to our first spot but was never able to cull our smallest fish.” They put the biggest of their eight pounders on the scales, and it weighed in at 8.23 lbs, anchoring their 25.56 lb. limit. They earned a $3,500 check for their 2nd place win.

Of all the big bass brought to the scales, the biggest was reeled in by the team of Gary and Greg Wafford. “We started out fishing the grass with Carolina rigs.” They put a limit together, then later in the day headed to the docks and pitched ½ ounce jigs. It didn’t take long, and Gary lost one about four pounds. “That kind of woke me up, and a few docks later I caught our big one!” Their big brute weighed 8.91 lbs, earning a $500 Big Bass check. “We didn’t get a lot of bites, but we had a great day.” They finished in 10th place overall with 21.57 pounds adding another $1,030 to their day.

Rounding out the top 10:
4th $2,000 24.90 lbs Garrett Koslan & Eric Crumley
5th $1,700 23.65 lbs Daniel & Adrian Barnes
6th $1,300 23.60 lbs Allen Shelton & Brad Drake
7th $1,100 21.93 lbs Charles Whited & Bill Polkinghorn
8th $1,050 21.77 lbs David Underwood & Charles Simmons
9th $1,040 21.67 lbs Matt Hill & Barry Mott
And last in the money
23rd $600 18.26 lbs Scott Olson & Ross Wright

As this was the fourth and final Central Region tournament of the year, the Anglers of the Year were determined by the most points earned throughout the year. Charles Whited & Bill Polkinghorn took over the lead in the points race at the second tournament, and held onto it to the end. For their accomplishment, their 2018 entry fees for the Central Region tournaments will be waived, plus they will be featured in the Bass Champs TV show. “All of the Anglers of the Year from each region will be invited to fish a head to head tournament on a private lake,” Chad Potts explained. “They will each be provided with a Skeeter boat and identical gear to fish with. It will be an exciting show to watch, and a once in a lifetime experience for these teams who have worked hard throughout the season to earn their titles.” Be sure to catch all the action on the WFN channel, and you can also see all of the shows on the Bass Champs website!

The season is winding to a close, but it’s not over yet! Be sure and sign up for these upcoming events:
June 3 – North Region – Tawakoni
June 9-11 – Skeeter Owner’s Tournament – Fork
June 25 – Techron TX Shootout – Sam Rayburn
Oct 14-15 – 2017 Team Championship – TBA
Oct 21-22 – 12th Annual Berkley Big Bass - Fork

“We will be announcing the location for the 2017 championship very soon,” Potts declared. “Be sure and sign up for the free E-Newsletter and stay tuned to our website for more details!”

For more information, click to www.BassChamps.com or call 817-439-3274