It's Championship season and Bass Champs South and East Regions battled it out on O.H. Ivie October 2-3, 2010 with camera crews catching a lot of the action. Dustin Day and Mark Williams bested over 280 participating teamed anglers to win over $35,000 by less than a pound.
Bass Champs is the most lucrative team tournament trail in Texas, and this weekend featured a cash payback of over $80,000 cash. The two day event, also featured a 276% payback percentage. Participants worked hard for the money, as conditions were tough on Ivie.
The Championship was won by Dustin Day and Mark Williams with a two day total of 32.72 pounds. "We had a pretty good weekend! During practice, I went deep and Mark went shallow, and between the two of us we were able to eliminate a lot of water. We found some fish punching the grass, but there was no real pattern. Then Mark started catching them on blades." Just before the tournament, they discovered a tree line that didn't look especially great, but checked it out anyway. They found that there was a rocky ditch running the edge of the tree line and right away they caught three big ones, then left the area alone. "We started out there both days. They were knocking the fire out of our spinnerbaits." Using a chartreuse & white ½ oz spinnerbaits, the team managed four solid fish each day. On Sunday the bigger fish bit for them, anchoring their win with nearly an 8 pound kicker. The team won $30,000 for their 1st place win and another $5,000 from Skeeter Boats! Mark would like to thank Humminbird, Fun N Sun, MinnKota and Yamaha while Dustin would like to acknowledge Waterloo Rods, Xcite Baits, Oldham Lures and Anglers Lodge in Del Rio.
2nd place team Terry Oldham and Jaime Buitron had a slow start on day 1. "There was very little wind on Saturday, and the camera boat was with us. The fish just weren't biting - we only had one by 1:00." After 2:00 the bite busted loose. Using Oldham jigs, the team put together a limit weighing over 19 pounds. "It was a lot cooler (Sunday). We had a high of about 78 degrees, but still had a tough day." Hitting grassy drain areas in 12'- 16', they went "matt blasting" with jigs and swim baits. They managed three solid chunks, the heaviest around 6 pounds. "We lost one that would have put us over the top!" Their two day total went to 31.99 pounds, giving them a $15,000 win. "It's been a great year of fishing for us. We would like to thank our families for their support as well as Oldham Jigs, Power Tackle, Lowrance and Vexlar." Congratulations also to this team for achieving Anglers of the Year for the South Region. This is their third time for holding this prestigious status!
Tim and Judy Reneau made a huge comeback on day two for a 3rd place finish. "Our plan was to flip as much grass as possible," Tim explained. Just prior to the tournament, they ran into problems. "Our lower unit went out. We had to borrow a boat to fish the tournament!" They had a slow start on day 1 with only 6 bites all day, catching three of them. "We caught all of our fish the first day in our first spot. One was caught on a swim bait, another on an Oldham jig with a Strike King Rodent trailer, and the last on a Blue Streak Lateral Perch. We tried other areas, but didn't catch anything else." There was a lot less traffic on the water on Sunday, and the couple hit a lot more spots, staying outside the grass line in 10' - 15' depths. They had a five fish limit by noon, giving them a two day total of 31.64 pounds to win $5,000. "We were using a special rod from Power Tackle made just for the Lateral Perch." The team would like to thank Chris James with Power Tackle as well as Bass Champs Tournament Trail.
There were several huge bass weighed in and registered over the course of the weekend, but Bruce Toeppich caught the biggest weighing 10.80 lbs. It was Saturday, day 1 around 10am when he got the bite. "We were flipping flooded trees around 10' deep with 10" Berkley Power worms," partner Ronnie Charanza explained. "When he set the hook, she got tangled in the trees. He tried to get her out, but I finally had to swing the boat around and try from another direction. We got lucky and she came out of it." After netting her, they discovered just how lucky they were. "Once we got her in the boat and was going to unhook her, it was just barely in her. One more pull and we would have lost her." The team won $1,000 for catching the biggest bass of the tournament. "We would like to thank the women in our lives for all of the help and support they give us all of the time. Bruce would like to thank Janetta Smith, and I would like to thank my wife Liz Charanza. They launch us and load us at every event and support us all year."
Highlights from the championship will be aired on the World Fishing Network. Bass Champs staff and crew will head to Toledo Bend for the North and Central Region Championship October 9th & 10th. For more information please call 817-439-3274 or click to www.BassChamps.com
Team up with a Junior Angler! Junior Anglers 15 & under fish for free at each event.