Fishing & Boating News

Lifelong friends Wylie & Parker take the win on Tawakoni at Bass Champs

by: Patty Lenderman,

Tawkoni Winners
Photo by courtesy Bass Champs
(May 22, 2018 - Lake Tawakoni, TX)

The North Region of Bass Champs set their sites on Lake Tawakoni May 19, 2018 for the third season event. 191 teams vied for a portion of the 102% payback, and pushing for points in the Angler of the Year race. Mark Wylie and Mark Parker bested them all, winning over $20,000.

“We have been hunting and fishing together since we were 13 years old,” Parker began. “Now we are 58. We just like to make time to go.” Wylie said “The day started off good since it was a “trailering event”. This allowed us to launch right in the middle of our primary key fishing area and beat the forecasted 20 mph winds for the day. We started shallow fishing with Buzz Baits, Yellow Magic Poppers, and Spro Frogs. It did not take us long to figure out the fish wanted white Buzz Baits the best, as we picked up 4 nice keepers by 8:30 am. that put us with around 12 pounds of fish. As the sun got higher in the sky the top water bite fizzled out, so we moved on to spinner baits on wind blown banks, but only were picking up dinks here and there, with no keepers. After the spinner baits, we switched to plastics, which really is our strength. We both new that this time of year is “Post Spawn” so we moved out to the main lake point at the mouth of the cove we were fishing that had a bunch of scattered old dead ragweed stalks all over it. One side of the point was shallow, 2 to 3 feet deep, and the cove side of the point started dropping off into deeper water, 5 to 8 feet deep. While fishing we could see bigger bass feeding, chasing, and pushing shad up into the dead ragweed stalks. That was all we needed to see to key in on a great opportunity. My partner put on a Baby Brush Hog and went to work. Within an hour Parker upgraded our sack with the big bass of 7.70, plus a 4.5, and another that was pushing 6 pounds. Unknowingly to us, we had our 22.17 pounds of fish by 1 pm.

With two hours left to fish we decided just to stay on that ragweed point looking for any kind of upgrade, which we did have one final fish that culled out a 3 pounder with a 3-1/2 pounder. All the time we were estimating we had around 18 pounds in the live well.

My fishing partner, Mark Parker and I, have been fishing together 45 years now, since we were 13 years old, and we have been fishing in Bass Champs North Region for 6 years. This win on Tawakoni is the pinnacle of our tournament fishing. To win a Bass Champs event in the North Region field against some very good “Sticks” is a true blessing. The Good Lord was with us today, and we praised Him for it!

We also need to thank our lovely supportive wives. They put up with us working on everything from tackle, to gear, map studying, and pre-fishing for many weeks ahead of time, so it will be nice to share this win with them and the rest of our family, especially our fathers, that know how much we enjoy fishing Bass Champs, and got us both hooked on fishing at a very young ages.

Lastly, we want to express gratitude to Chad, Tony, Jeff, and the entire Bass Champs Crew. They run well organized first-class tournaments in every detail. The proof of this is simply in the numbers of boats that show up to each event. Can’t wait until our last event on Cedar Creek!” As winners they received the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check. They also had the biggest bass of the tournament for an additional $500, and Sure Life added $200 for using the product in their live well. “When it was all said and done I texted my wife Sandy to tell her we had won,” Parker recalled. “She asked how much? I texted her $20000. She said ‘so $200?’ I said no, $20,000! She didn’t believe me!” Both Marks are going to do some upgrading to their boats. “We are going to give some to the church and of course to our wives. We really appreciate their encouragement and support, and letting us fish!”

In 2nd place with 20.42 lbs were Joe Rome and Joel McBride. “We started out in a grassy area,” Joe recalled. “I had ten rods rigged with various things on the deck at the beginning of the day.” Choosing to start with frogs, the bite was on. “Our third fish weighed around seven pounds. We a limit in the boat within an hour that probably weighed around 14 pounds.” By 9am, with the bass biting their frogs so well, all other rods were stowed away. “The fish were swallowing that frog. We moved to other areas, but only caught one in another spot. We ended up back at our starting area, and caught around twenty fish all day. There was just one last 2-1/2 pounder we never could cull.” They finished well, earning 2nd place and a check for $4,500. “We’re looking forward to Cedar Creek!”

Tommy Murray fished it alone and came in with 20.41 pounds to take a very close 3rd place. He was awarded $3,500 for his day.

Bass Champs paid the top 25 teams. It took 15.34 lbs to garner a check, with the last one issued to Hunter Smith and Gregory Allen. Fun N Sun awarded a bonus to the first team out of the money, Steve and Ronnie Sims.

The final North Region tournament will be on Cedar Creek on June 16. The final points will be tallied for Anglers of the Year at the conclusion of the tournament.

The top five points leaders now are:
660 pts. Brandon Hollingshead & Jeremy Lambert
656 pts. Joe Rome & Joel McBride
630 pts. Tim Wilcoxson & Eric Elder
624 pts. Steven Stroman and Aaron Walker
622 pts. Kent Sikes & Darrell Campbell

Bass Champs will be hosting a couple of special tournaments in June as well. The Skeeter Owners tournament will be held June 8 on Lake Fork, then on June 23rd the Techron TX Shootout will be on Sam Rayburn. $50,000 is guaranteed to the winners of this open team event!

The team Championship for the North, South, Central and East Regions will be held October 13-14. The location for the event will be announced in July, so be sure and sign up for the free E-Newsletter to keep up on all of the latest from Bass Champs.

For more information, please visit or call 817-439-3274