Fishing & Boating News

Bass Champs teams pull out TWO sacks over 30 lbs on Toledo!

Elshout & Price win $20,000 AND Anglers of the Year

by: Patty Lenderman,

Toledo Bend Winners
Photo by Patty Lenderman
(May 9, 2016 - Toledo Bend Reservoir, TX/LA)

You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to be on the water for the wrap up of Bass Champs’ East Region event on Toledo Bend on May 7, 2016 out of Cypress Bend Marina.  244 teams fished for a portion of the nearly $69,000 purse to be paid out in this last push for Anglers of the Year title.  Toledo Bend was pumping out the big ones as two sacks over 30 pounds were brought in, and lots of big kickers – the biggest weighed over 11 pounds!  Martin Elshout and Mark Price pulled out the win with the biggest of the 30 pound sacks, taking home $20,000.

A picture perfect day for this massive field of teams with blue bird skies, temperatures in the low 80’s and gentle breezes that added up to a tremendous weigh in, seeing 13 sacks over 20 pounds and two sacks exceeding 30.  In this last push for the Anglers of the Year title, Chad Potts declared that Martin Elshout and Mark Price did exactly what they needed to do to wrap it up, winning 1st place and Anglers of the Year.

“It’s been a great season for us,” winners Elshout & Price agreed.  “Last year we didn’t win a single check.  This year we have won a check in every event.”  They were leading the points race for Anglers of the Year coming into this event, and executed their day perfectly to wrap it up.  “We had done some scouting before the tournament, and caught a big stringer in this one particular spot,” Elshout began.  “We decided to start out in that spot for the tournament, and we were able to catch them again.”  It was an area that was bare other than some scattered stumps, around 10’ deep dropping to 13’ plus.  Their day started out right, with Mark landing their first fish of the day using an 8HD crank bait weighing 9.75 pounds.  “The fish just didn’t bite after that.  We decided to move to some of our other spots.”  Using drop shot rigs and football head jigs, they fished two more hours before they boated their second fish.  “Once we got a limit in the boat, it weighed around 21 pounds.  The bite was definitely better in the afternoon.  We started culling two pounders for fives, then we culled a few of the five pounders!”  This duo has been fishing together for 40 years, and this 30.90 pound stringer is their best yet.  Bass Champs presented them with the guaranteed 1st place $20,000 check and they were also declared East Region’s Anglers of the Year.  For achieving this prestigious title, their entry fees will be waived for the East Region in the 2017 season.  They would like to thank Ranger, Mercury, and Ludwig Brothers Marine.

Coming in a close 2nd place with another huge stringer was the team of Stephen Mitchell and William Walker.  “Our day started by losing a good fish right off the bat,” Walker recalled.   Flipping in shallow, grassy areas, they began putting their limit together.  “The first fish we put in the livewell weighed around 4 ½ pounds.  At 8:30, I caught our second fish – it was my biggest fish ever!”  It wasn’t only his biggest fish, but the biggest weighed in at 11.19 pounds!  “Things got pretty exciting at that point, but we were only averaging around two bites per hour throughout the day.”  They fished multiple spots, all very similar to each other.  Walker got another big bite and wrangled the fish into the boat on his own.  “My day was made when I boat-flipped an eight pounder!”  When it was all said and done, the team had amassed a total weight of 30.41 pounds to win 2nd place and a check for $5,500.  They received an additional $1,000 for biggest bass of the tournament, then added even more to their winnings through sponsor bonuses including Delo, Abu Garcia, Under Armor and Biobor.  “We didn’t catch a lot of fish, but we got lucky and got the right ones!”  They would like to thank BassCat, Mercury, Abu Garcia, Town & Country Marine in Trout, LA “and our wives and family for letting us fish on Mothers Day weekend!”

3rd place winners Brent Broussard and Jason Bonds won $4,200 for their sack weighing 28.36 pounds.  “We got on a good bite early, fishing main lake points with structure,” Broussard explained.  “It was a shad spawn area, and we started out by catching two or three on a Strike King spinnerbait.  After that we moved to deeper water with Carolina rigged brush hogs and put a quick limit together weighing 15-16 pounds.”  Bonds tied on a Double Z Swayback Swimmer and between the two of them were able to cull to their final 28.36 lb weight.  “Our best cull of the day was exchanging a three pounder for a six.”  Bass Champs awarded the team a check for $4,200 and they would like to thank Power Tackle, Tri Lakes Tackle, Dirty Jigs, Sunline and Double Z Lures.

“Due to the number of teams we had in this event, we again offered a “Zero Bonus” $500 drawing for teams who did not have enough weight to garner a check to go ahead and release their fish instead of weighing them in,” Potts announced.  “It is a conservation effort, putting less fish through the stress of the weigh in process, and gives another team a chance to win $500 in a drawing.”

All total the top 32 teams earned checks, the last $600 check going to the team of Shaine Campbell and Weston Bryant having a weight of 16.39 lbs.
Remember, all Bass Champs regular season tournaments are open to anyone who would like to fish for a chance to win some big money. 

The remaining opportunities are:
May 14  (Central)  LBJ
May 21  (South)  Amistad
June 4  (North)  Tawakoni
Also mark your calendars and plan to fish these upcoming Bass Champs hosted events:
June 10  - Skeeter Owner’s Tournament, Lake Fork
June 26 – TX Shootout, Sam Rayburn
Oct 15-16 – 11th Annual Berkley Big Bass, Lake Fork

“The 2nd Annual TX Shootout is coming up next month on Sam Rayburn.  With a guaranteed 1st place purse of $50,000 it is the world’s richest one day team event, and you don’t want to miss it!” Chad Potts announced.  “I’d like to thank everyone for fishing with us – it’s been a great season.  Hope to see you at our other events, and look forward to seeing the qualifiers at the championship.  Good luck everyone!”

The 2016 Championship will be a two day event, October 8-9, 2016.  Over $200,000 in cash and prizes is guaranteed to be awarded, including a Skeeter FX 20 powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO for the 1st place winners, and a Skeeter ZX 225 powered by a Yamaha 225 SHO for the 2nd place team.  The top 40 teams will receive checks, and the location will be announced after all regular season events for all regions have completed.

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