On April 30th, Bass Champs hosted the fourth South Region tournament on Choke Canyon. All discussions the evening before were about what the wind would be doing throughout the next day. Everyone kept checking their smart phones to see if maybe the forecast for 20 to 30 mph winds had somehow changed. Even though it looked promising with an updated forecast of 15 to 20 mph winds, the next morning would suggest otherwise…..it was strong coming from the southeast.
For the ProStaff team of Cody Roberson, President and Founder of ArmyBassAnglers, and Don Bailey, the plan was to stay close to the launch, in familiar water, and throw crankbaits all day. They hooked their first keeper in less than five minutes but were unable to fight the wind and waves of passing boats for very long. They moved to a calmer area and continued to catch legal fish. Their largest of the day came pretty early on an F4 Fury Crankbait in a shad color. Once the wind laid down a little, they headed back to their favorite spot and stuck more good fish and started culling over an hour before weigh in. They bagged a respectable 13.54 pounds of fish, but on this day, it would be close to five pounds out of the money.
Several other ArmyBassAnglers ProStaff and Coalition teams were on hand, as well. Chuck Guthrie and Chad Nelson had equally as much fun in the wind as Cody and Don. They concentrated on the south side of the lake hoping to stay a little more shielded while fishing water that has been productive in the past. “Today was Chuck’s day to catch the fish,” commented Chad. While both caught fish, it was Chuck that put all five in the livewell. They ended up with over 11 pounds caught on a variety of techniques, but the most productive was a Lake Fork 10 inch worm on a Carolina Rig and also on a swim jig in 8 to 20 feet of water. Many fish were caught around small patches of submerged hydrilla.
The most productive of all the teams on Choke Canyon was lead by Coalition member Efrem Dicochea. He and his partner made a long run to the dam, much longer than normal given the three foot waves. Keeping the boat in 12 feet of water, Efrem tossed a Texas Rig 10 inch worm up onto the bank and drug it back through grass patches into the deep water. He caught several fish this way until the bite slowed and then moved to another point on the north side of the lake to flip trees. He was fishing a Lake Fork Flipper when that adrenaline pumping jolt came through his Dobyns Rod. With a long fight and a scoop of the net,
he landed the third largest fish of the tournament…..a 9.54 pound monster bucket mouth. Efrem would say later that, “If she still had all of her tail, she might have gone over 10. It was a great day and we had a lot of fun despite having to fight that wind all day.” With no more bites in that area, they went back to their original spot on the south shore and rounded out an almost 20 pound limit, good enough for 13th place out of 179 teams. All of his fish was caught using Green Pumpkin plastics.
So far in 2011 Bass Champs has paid over $700,000 to participating anglers in regular season events and there are still 7 tournaments before the championships. For more information on this or any Bass Champs tournament, go to www.BassChamps.com.