127 of the best teams in the region converged on Stockton Lake October 17 & 18 with their sights set on the minimum $5000 first place prize, a chance at the Skeeter draw boat, and a coveted invitation to participate in the Joe Bass Team Trail BASSMASTERS CLASSIC TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP at Lake Guntersville in December. With the exception of a squall on Thursday, fantastic weather greeted the teams, and for the most part, the winds were kind enough to allow access to the entire lake, allowing the big field to spread out a bit. Orleans Trail Resort hosted the event which was supported by all of Joe Bass’ fantastic sponsors. Be sure and check the website for a complete listing of the circuits’ supporters and spend your hard-earned dollars with those companies that care so much for the Joe Bass anglers.
Taking the lion’s share of the prize money on what proved to be a tough weekend for bigger fish was the team of Tom and Dillon Statler who qualified from the Table Rock Division. Their ten fish tournament limit, weighing 30.19 pounds, was boosted by 5.42 kicker. Consistency over the two day event proved to be the SPORT BOATS USA KEY FOR SUCCESS has they hurled black buzzbaits on windy rock banks. Tom and Dillon shared the importance of “chasing the wind”, looking for just the right ripple on the water to draw strikes.
Robert Shackleford and Greg Blair dropped 26.39 pounds of Stockton bass on the scales to secure second place. The duo shared they also relied on buzzbaits, a mix of black along with a chartreuse and white combo, to catch all of their fish. They concentrated on windy bluff wind points and big rock banks to target their keepers.
Rounding out the top three with 25.02 pounds was Terry Weaver and Doug Drysdale. Terry and Doug were also blessed to have a kicker fish, a 6.07 toad that added weight to their sack. They tossed buzzbaits for a few of their bites but concentrated on jigs thrown to brushpiles in 20’ of Little Sac water. Terry and Doug also took home the Joe Bass Highest Finishing Skeeter Award money as they fished from Terry’s Skeeter bass boat.
Day 1 big bass winners, Rick and Brock Reinkemeyer, wrestled a 6.64 hawg to the boat, adding to their overall check-cashing weight of 19.94 pounds. Their big bite fell to a jig fished in the Big Sac arm of the lake.
Also throwing a jig on long-tapering Big Sac arm points was Barb and Marc Cooper. Barb caught the Day 2 big bass, a beautiful 6.27 largemouth, while Marc performed what he called an “oh !@#$” net job after getting a glance at the lunker! The big fish helped them secure a 4th place finish in addition to big fish honors.
Taking home the big prize of a white and sparkling red ZX190 Skeeter was Brad Tyer. Brad fished with Pomme de Terre stick Rodney Edwards, and although the pair had a rough weekend of fishing, Brad was still beaming and taking pictures of his new Skeeter at the gas station after heading home from the event!
Congratulations to all the anglers that qualified for the Joe Bass Team Trail Championship, more so to the teams finishing in the money, and especially the top ten teams that qualified to participate in the Joe Bass Team Trail BASSMASTERS CLASSIC TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP at Lake Guntersville. Hats off to the top team of Dillion and Tom Statler for a great tournament victory, and of course, to Brad Tyer, the proud owner of a new Skeeter boat!
Check out the Joe Bass website for 2016 division schedules as we are accepting deposits for the upcoming season. $20 and a completed entry form will secure your boat numbers for the coming season, while you can wait to pay your membership at the first event! The 2016 season kicks off in a few weeks with a Bull Shoals/Lake of the Ozark double header 11/21-22.
Save A Receipt $1000.00 Winner
Skeeter Demo Ride $500.00 Winner
Joe Bass Staff would like to thank everyone for making this Invitational a huge success. The professional and courteous manner at which all the anglers went about their business was noticed and commented on by both the staff of Joe Bass and Orleans Trail Marina & Resort. John, Bob, Lynn, Rusty, & Timmy look forward to seeing each of you in 2016.