Columbia, S.C. October 19, 2011 – The 6th Annual Berkley Big Bass Challenge on Lake Fork hosted by BassChamps took place on October 15th – 16th, 2011 at Lake Fork Marina. The event was wildly successful with over 700 anglers competing for over $120,000 in cash, boats and prizes being awarded.
With blue-bird skies and the lowest lake levels in recorded history, the Berkley/Sebile BBC made fishing a challenge. Lake Fork is a “slot” lake, so all fish brought in must be under 16” or over 24”. Many anglers cashed checks with fish weighing less than 2 pounds. Michael Davis from Bossier City, La., was the overall winner, bringing in a 9.35-pounder during the last hour to the scales that won the angler $500 and a new Skeeter bass boat.
Davis caught the fish just 20 minutes before bringing it to the scales during the last weigh in hour to take the lead from Kenneth Goodwein of Port St. Lucie, Fla., who weighed in his 8.42-pound bass just 5 minutes earlier. Davis used a Berkley Frenzy Popper on a windswept point to bring in the winning fish.
Tommy Climer from Mesquite, Texas won the under 16-inch fish award with his 2.76-pound bass that was caught using the new Berkley Havoc® Craw Fatty. The Craw Fatty was designed by Berkley Pro Bobby Lane. Climer and his partner caught over 25 fish using that bait, but most were in the slot. The most prolific baits for fish brought to the scales included 7” and 10” PowerBait PowerWorms and the new Havoc 6.25” Bottom Hopper designed by Berkley Pro Larry Nixon.
“This tournament was a great event for Berkley and the angling public,” said Andrew Marks, Marketing Director for Berkley Fishing. “This tournament was designed for amateur anglers of all skill levels to have the opportunity to fish without the pressure of the typical tournament angling experience. It is fun and exciting for the entire family.
In previous years only Berkley baits were allowed, but Sebile baits are now included in the list of approved baits to be used in the tournament and this broadened the bait assortment for many anglers.
“The basis for these tournaments is much like playing poker,” said Marks. “The format is fun and strategy plays a vital role in determining each winner. If they caught a fish in the morning they could choose to weigh in the fish during the afternoon when fishing seemed to slow. It is all about strategy and not all reliant on skill.”
The Berkley Experience trailer, a 60-foot event center, was on site Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Experience trailer staff along with several key Lake Fork guides helped the anglers select some of the baits that helped them catch some of their fish.
The planning has already started for the 7th Annual Berkley/Sebile Big Bass on Lake Fork in October 2012.