The ninth Annual Berkley Big Bass Challenge on Lake Fork, Texas, hosted by BassChamps, took place on October 18th – 19th, at Lake Fork Marina. More than 900 anglers competed for over $125,000 in cash, boats and prizes being awarded.
With bluebird skies and low lake levels, anglers competing in the Berkley BBC found the fishing a challenge. Lake Fork is a slot lake. All fish brought to the scales must measure under 16 inches or over 24 inches in length. Many anglers were able to cash checks for fish that weighed in the low two-pound range and all fish were released back into the lake.
Jeremy Parker from Independence, Missouri, was the overall winner, bringing in a 9.69 pounder during the 9:00 hour on the second day. He pocketed $500 and a new Skeeter ZX 200 with a Yamaha SHO and a full Minn Kota/Humminbird package.
“I didn’t fish the first day since I was competing at a BFL event on Lake Sam Rayburn,” said Parker. “I heard about the event late and how much fun it was. The plan was to drive in late Saturday and fish on Sunday. I ended up sleeping in my truck and registered early on Sunday.”
Using a Berkley 10” June Bug PowerBait PowerWorm, he caught the winning fish in the second hour. He also cashed a $160 check after bringing in a 2.27-pound bass during the last hour.
Joshua Derden from Denton, Texas, won the under 16-inch fish award with his 2.57-pound bass that was also caught using a 10 inch Berkley Plum PowerBait PowerWorm. He won $500 and a Skeeter TZX190 with a Yamaha 150 and full Minn Kota/Humminbird package.
The unique tournament format requires every angler to only use Berkley, Sebile and Johnson baits. During the event, the most prolific baits for fish brought to the scales included 7” and 10” PowerBait PowerWorms, Havoc 6.25” Bottom Hopper, Hawk Hawg and the new Havoc Money Maker designed by BASS Elite Pro Brandon Palaniuk. The Sebile Action First Bull Crank was also responsible for several anglers cashing checks.
“This tournament is about exposing anglers to the broad spectrum of our baits in a fun and rewarding format,” 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. We had many father and son teams including a six-year old that weighed in and cashed two checks!
“As an added bonus Berkley gave away 1000 new E-Motion rods to the anglers. They have a retail of $79.95 and are designed with a blend of 30- and 24-ton graphite, a hybrid design guide system and an ergonomically shaped high density EVA split grip handles. They are great rods at an incredible price. 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 tenth Annual Berkley Big Bass Challenge on Lake Fork is slated for October 2015.
Blue Heron Communications
Image courtesy Berkley