World Record Set In Bass Champs Tournament
Ken Addington (right) with Bass Champs host John McCalmont.Bass Champs
World records were broken in the Skeeter Bass Champs 2nd Annual Dodge Ram Big Bass tournament on Lake Fork on April 1 as an amazing 1,748 anglers participated in the event.
The big draw? A total of Seven Dodge Ram 1500?s were awarded to anglers who catch the biggest bass each hour of the tournament. In addition, a Skeeter ZX190 powered by Yamaha and equipped with MinnKota and Humminbird electronics was added to the truck winner with the biggest bass of the day.
Four bass in the nine-pound range were registered, and one truck was even won with a 2.32 lb bass. In total, there was over $200,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.
Michael Hotelling of Fort Worth, TX won the first Dodge Truck of the day weighing in a 2.32-pound bass. He was in the lead alone until Jason Steindorf weighed in another exactly the same weight. The two ended the hour tied for the truck.
Rules state that if two or more anglers tie for a truck, the tie-breaker will be determined by the contestant?s second largest bass weighed-in during the tournament hours. Neither could catch a lunker, but Hotelling's 1.89-pounder in the second hour proved to be the truck winning catch as Steindorf failed to reel in anything bigger.
The remainder of the day, it took mega bass over the 24-inch slot to win the new Dodge pickup trucks. Fork is a slot lake, meaning that only fish under 16 inches or over 24inches is legal. All others within those measurements must be releasedimmediately as they are illegal to keep.
Cory Elling of Arlington, TX took the lead for overall big bass during the 9:00 hour with a 7-pounder. His lead was short lived as Ken Addington of Colleyville, TX took over with a 9.68 lb sow.
Thomas Kressley of Irving, TX closely challenged the overall leader during the 11:00 hour weighing a 9.34-pound bass, and Eric Ammerman of Lavon, TX nearly had it when he won the 12:00 hour with a 9.5-pounder.
Jason Robertson of Lindale, TX won the 1:00 hour with his 9.02 lb fish, still leaving Ken Addington in the overall lead with one hour to go. Brent Sigler of Robinson, TX won the last truck given away weighing in an 8.20 lb bass.
When the scales officially closed, Ken Addington?s bass had held to win the grand package of a Dodge Ram Truck and a Skeeter ZX190 powered by Yamaha and equipped with MinnKota and Humminbird electronics. The total worth of the prize package comes out to a staggering $55,000.
?It was a great day with my buds. I had my 24-year-old Godson, Dustin, and the 18-year-old young man, Khristian that has been mentoring with me," said Addington. "Dustin is quite the stick and has been catching 30 fish per day at Fork on a dropshot finesse worm every trip here lately. Our plan was that Dustin & Khristian would go for the fat under the slot fish to try to cash a check to cover expenses. I would fish deeper with a bigger bait to try to catch a whale.
"We skipped between secondary small points trying to maximize our fishing time," Addington added. "There are a few spots during the spring that I have supreme confidence in for big fish and we moved to one of them about 9:30. Dustin and Khristian were still drop shotting in shallow water for the males and I threw out to about 8 feet with the big watermelon candy Yum Dinger. I picked up on the line and it was heavy. I set the hook and immediately my rod loads with a heavy fish.
"We were in heavy timber and I say a quick prayer that my 20-pound Seaguar Invisx holds. The fish jumped once about 30 feet from the boat and I tell Khristian to get the net. I knew she was at least 9 pounds when I saw her and my old heart started really thumping."
After weighing in and winning the 9:00 hour, Addington still had to wait for several hours to see if any of the other 1,700 other contenders would catch something bigger. At the close of each hour, he felt increments of relief as he waited for the tournament to end.
?With less than 30 minutes to go they announced over the radio that my fish was still leading for the overall weight," Addington said."I couldn?t believe it, I thought for sure it would take at least a 10 or better to win this thing. We loaded the boat and drove to weigh-in to see the chaos. They had a record number of entrants for this event with 1,748 fishermen. Bass Champs hosted the event and did their usual great job of running the event.
"At 2:30 they announced that my fish had held up to win the overall tournament and had taken the new Skeeter ZX 190 boat with Yamaha 150 HPDI grand prize as well.?
Ken and the other young men he fished with agreed when they entered the tournament that they would evenly split whatever winnings they received.
?The boat was valued retail at $35K and the truck had an MSRP of about $22K so it was it was a great day for sure."