Team Can Do No Wrong In Tournament Win

#Steve Schmidt and Rick Newton take first place.

Things could not have gone better for Bass Champs North Region winners Steve Schmidt & Rick Newton on April 16, 2011. Everything just seemed to be on our side. No matter what we did, it seemed like we couldn't go wrong! They won the guaranteed 1st place purse of $20,000 in this incredible 109% payback event. Twenty seven teams received prize money in the top standings totaling more than $56,000 and the average weight per fish was over 3 pounds!

"We were truly blessed," agreed both Schmidt & Newton. Starting out with chatter baits, quickly changing tactics to trick worms rigged wacky style, they started out with just a swimmer. "Our first fish was just a keeper, 14. We had started out in Johnson Branch at a secondary point that stretched to a flat. We put a 6 pounder in the boat, then the bite got slow." They decided to make a run to a creek with a beaver dam. "There is a little hole near the dam and we caught a five pounder with a watermelon gold wacky worm there." Moving again further up the lake to windy secondary points, their wacky worm got hung on a stump on one of their casts. "When we got it unstuck, we caught another five pounder!" They wrapped up their limit catching one that weighed around 4 pounds. "We were so excited. It called for a group hug." The rest of the day they tried to cull their 14 fish but never could. Their total weight was 21.56 lbs, but there were still many teams yet to weigh. "The main team we were nervous about was Bill Wilcox and Hugo Velasco. This is Bills home turf and he usually does really good on this lake. Once they weighed in we could breath a little easier." Several other good limits came in, but their weight held to take the win. This duo of fishing guide and helicopter factory worker said, "we really needed this. My partner was going to have to sell his boat. Now he wont have to!" Bass Champs presented them with a $20,000 1st place check. "We've been fishing with Bass Champs for 3 years now and really enjoy it. The staff and trail is a real class act. We appreciate Bass Champs for giving guys like us the opportunity to compete on this level."

Bill Wilcox and Hugo Velasco won 2nd place with their 20.10 lb limit. We caught a lot of fish, at least two limits worth, Wilcox explained. Using mostly swim baits and senkos their fish were found in shallow water. "We put our efforts near cedar trees in areas with grass. Most of our fish were in 3-7 feet of water." Their creel consisted of cookie cutters, with no particular kicker in the bag. "It was a real light bite. When there was a fish on, it just felt mushy. We had to work our baits really slow." The duo won $5,000 plus an additional $500 from Fun N Sun. They would like to thank Legend Boats, Fun N Sun, Mike Carlson Motor Co., Humminbird, Kicker Fish, Dobbins Rod, Chevron, Taylor Oil, Bass N Blades, Pro Rule and Honey Hole Outdoors for their support.

Chad Davis & Ryan Dusek won 3rd place overall with 19.84 lbs, and caught the biggest bass of the tournament weighing 9.47 lbs. "All we were thinking was that we needed five big bass by the end of the day." They were able to do a little bit of pre-fishing about a week before, and quickly found some quality fish. "We were targeting post spawn bass on windy main lake points in water up to 50 feet deep." Using Carolina rigs, Hags Tornado jogs and EZ crank baits, they fished a drop off that went from 25-50. "We started our day with the big bass on our 5th cast. She bit on a shallow square billed crank bait." By days end, they boated only three more and ended up one shy of a limit. "We each had the 5th one on, but just couldn't get them in!" Bass Champs presented them with a $3,000 check for 3rd place, a $1,000 check for Big Bass, plus they received two Abu Garcia REVO reels. "We really needed this! Thank you Bass Champs!"

It took 13.14 lbs to win a check. Keith Ivy Jr and Arthur Tucker won $600 in 27th place.

With two events for the North Region now in the books, the Angler of the Year race is underway. At the conclusion of all five regular season events, the winners will be determined. Here are the top 5 teams by points, a full listing can be found on the Bass Champs website.

439 pts Bill Wilcox & Hugo Velasco

431 pts Dee Trammell & Seth Kelm

427 pts Lee Yowell & Brian Schott

422 pts Tim Wilcoxson & Eric Elder

403 pts Scott Barnett & Brandon Baker

The next North Region tournament will be held May 14th at Lake Tawakoni. In the mean time, Bass Champs staff and crew will head to Choke Canyon April 30th for South Regions #4 event.

For more information call (817) 439-3274 or click to

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