2012 TTZ CHAMPIONSHIP CHOKE CANYON – Jun 15th / 16th, 2012
FISH WT: 741 LBS
AVG FISH WT: 3.09 LBS
TOTAL COLLECTED: $5,470 ($150 x 29 teams + $100 x 4 teams + $20 x 36 teams)
TOTAL PAID OUT: $13,520 (247%)
|PL||ANGLER 1||ANGLER 2||FISH||BIG BASS||WT||PRIZE|
|2||CHARLES WHITED||LEE BEUERSHAUSEN||10||49.22||$1,000|
|3||DEAN ALEXANDER||HAYLON HERNANDEZ||10||9.32||32.28||$800|
|4||RANDY GROUNDS||ALLEN GASS||7||8.05||31.98||$600|
|5||CHRIS WOEHL||BRIAN MATER||10||31.44||$400|
|6||LANDON GLASS||JAYSON KISSELBURG||10||30.33|
|7||DALE READ||JAKE READ||10||30.01|
|8||JON JACKSON||DON GORDON||10||12.13||29.91||$1000 - Big Bass|
|9||ROLAND LOERA||KENT HARRIS||10||9.11||28.73|
|10||JOHN WARD||CRAIG CORDOVA||6||9.56||27.91|
|11||CHRIS CONNER||JARED SMITH||10||8.00||27.66|
|14||JARED PARKER||PHILLIP DOUBEK||6||9.34||25.94|
|15||MICHAEL WALDROP||JACK WALDROP JR||9||25.46|
|16||JARED HAGAMAN||BRENT PARISH||6||7.89||23.49|
|17||GILBERT TORRES||KAENA FREITAS||10||22.45|
|17||BRIAN BURNS||JAMES ROBERTS||10||22.45|
|20||TOM LORDEN||ANDY ZAVALA||7||19.73|
|21||DAN SHARPHORN||WYATT SHARPHORN||7||17.14|
|22||JEFF PITRUCHA||RONNIE TROWER||5||17.06|
|23||JASON DUNBAR||JAMES SCOGIN||8||15.66|
|24||JOSEPH KENNEDY||GLYNN KENNEDY||8||14.50|
|24||ALAN TAYLOR||JAMES ABOUD||6||14.50|
|26||RANCE ROGERS||MIKE ROGERS||5||13.51|
|27||JOEY WILSON||MIKE HASTINGS||2||10.82|
|29||TRAVIS DEWALD||JASON DEWALD||5||9.98|
|30||DUKE KINLEY||TIM MCNEAL||2||8.02||9.69|
|31||JACOB BRYANT||DAVID SCHWERTNER||4||8.38|
|32||COLIN PACK||STEVE PACK||3||8.14|
|33||BARRY MOTT||LANCE HALE||3||6.16|
|34||CATHY RANDAZZO||JAMIE SLAYDEN|
|34||KENNETH CUMMINS||TIM DIXON|
After a great inaugural year that averaged 85 boats per tournament during the regular season, 36 boats braved the heat to fish a two day TTZ Championship marathon on a 13 foot low Choke Canyon Reservoir. With essentially no grass to speak of, and a lot of the regular haunts now covered in cow pies, we went to Choke with low expectations. But, as usual, Choke came through. With nine fish weighed in over 8 pounds, and a 12 plus pound bruiser to win Big Bass, there was no shortage of camera flashes at the weigh-in tanks. And in a field of some pretty hard core tournament anglers, several folks reported catching their personal best! But as always with TTZ, it isn’t just about the fishing. We have just as much fun off the water and our crew thoroughly enjoyed the pavilion at Choke Canyon Lodge. Everyone was treated to rib eyes and deer sausage on Thursday night at the angler meeting and Calcutta auction, which by the way raised an additional 100% side pot of $3,990. And on Friday night, Rooster’s world famous chicken fajitas were on the menu. And of course plenty of Lone Star donated by Capitol Beverage, Austin was on hand to wash it all down as washers were hitting the concrete floor and fish tales filled the windy south Texas skies. Winning it all and taking home $10,000 with a two day total of 53.93 lbs was Shawn Tamez. Shawn fished solo after partner and TTZ team member Dan Taylor severely broke his finger in a horrible wake surfing incident; serves you right for contributing to the wake pollution Dan. We've seen a lot of things in the last few years, but Shawn’s wire to wire victory might take the cake. Shawn finished out Day 1 with nearly a 7 pound lead and a 32.60 pound bag caught before lunch! Shawn brought in his biggest four fish early to weigh them in and get them back in the lake, and went back out to cull his "small" fish, a mere 4 pounder! He was unsuccessful there, but wasn't hanging his head too low as you might imagine. We got the skinny from Shawn after the weigh-in. "Started Day 1 fishing a big creek fed by drains in a huge cove on the south end of lake. That's where I was able to pick up my three biggest fish of the tournament. The first one, the 9.13, came from 5 foot of water very early on a shallow crankbait; I also caught a 7 pounder a couple of hours later on a deep diving crankbait on a point at the end of the creek. I caught a few fish from 2-4 pounds in between, but when the sun finally came out I moved to a deep water point with brush. It didn't take long cranking to get a couple of heavy 6s and get me to over 30 lbs!" As mentioned, Shawn decided to weigh in early and leave fish for Day 2, and didn't want to haul around a livewell full of big fish for three hours in that heat. On Day 2 though, doubt started to creep in and he began wishing he would have stayed out and culled that 4 pounder. "On Day 2 I ran to the creek only to find a boat already on it, so I moved to a point and hooked up with a couple of 5 pounders and a 3 in the first 20 minutes! The first 5 I caught came unbuttoned in the boat and flopped around the deck and at the console, and when I checked on her she wasn't looking great. I didn't think she would last 8 hours in the live well in that heat so I threw it back as I can usually catch numerous good fish on that point." Nauseatingly, that would be the last bass Shawn would see for four hours. "I had a lot of boats around me and I kept waiting for the fish to move back in so I stayed on that point throwing everything I had in the rod box with a bait tied to it. Finally at noon, I made a move and ran back to the creek. But I saw a boat on it, so I kept running to a couple of humps and was able to put together a limit pretty quickly for maybe 16 pounds on a StrikeWorks Wobble Head. I finally see the boat that was fishing the creek leave. Run over to it, pull out the big crank and two casts later I get the 7 and the only fish I would catch there. I finished the day cranking the point where I started and was finally able to cull a 2 pounder I had with a 5 at about 2:45." Shawn went on to give us the finer points of his winning pattern. "The key for me was getting the crank bait down to 20 feet. All the big fish, except one, were not on the piles but way out on the end of points in 20 plus feet leading to 35 plus feet of water. Today I downsized to 10 pound test and made long casts and then moved the boat back to the top of the ledge giving out line, then I would start cranking to get it down. If I didn't get bit on the crank bait, I'd switch it up and slow roll huge spinnerbaits." Shawn went on to thank a few folks while he held that big check. "Being able to commit to a trail with a family was and remains tough for me. With that said, I cannot thank my wife Susan and my two little girls enough for supporting me and trying to understand my addiction to the TTZ tournaments! You guys run a fun, relaxed trail and there is so much more than just showing up and fishing a tournament. It took me over a year to realize that. Thank you to all the guys at TTZ, and thanks to all the guys who come out and make these tourneys so enjoyable." Thank you Shawn for giving us the opportunity to see one of the coolest patterns and biggest two day sacks we've seen in a long, long time. Congratulations again to a class act! 2nd place honors went to Charles Whited and Lee Beuershausen with a very impressive two day total of 49.22 pounds. They were as consistent as any team in the field, bringing in 26.09 lbs on Day 1 and 23.13 lbs on Day 2. Charles shared their tournament details with us after the checks were issued. "On both days we started off with Bomber Fat Free Shad cranks in sexy shad, firetiger and root beer. We were fishing a little four foot ledge where the drop went from about 11 to about 15 foot. Each morning we were able to grab a couple 4 to 5 pounders off that spot, which is a good thing." We asked him where they went after this morning spot each day. "We spent mid-day and the afternoons mainly on a couple of deeper ledges with some brush on ‘em. We caught ‘em on a Carolina rigged and a 3/4 ounce Xcite shaky head rigged Mag Fluke. But later on things got really tough and we had to start Carolina rigging a trick worm to get bit and try to cull a little." Everybody knows Charles and Lee know this lake as well as anybody, but at 13 feet low it is really a different animal. "We hit three spots on Day 1 and 15 to 18 the second day! It started getting pretty tough for us, and we were having to share some fish. Spent probably 70% of our tournament on the lower end, and the rest of the time we worked up around mid-lake. We were pretty fortunate in that we didn’t lose any big fish and fished pretty clean both days." Congratulations Lee and Charles, hell of a job. And we really appreciate your contributions to the Thursday night meal! Charles would like to thank his sponsors: TTZ, Cliff Brown and Texas Boat World, Jacky Roberts and Pro’s Choice/Fish Finder’s Marine, Triton Boats, Power Tackle, Xcite Baits and Texas Bass Tackle. Rounding out the top 3 was the Adult/Youth team of TTZ team member Dean Alexander and nephew Haylon Hernandez. We caught up with Dean for a few minutes, and he told us about their practice. "We fished some community water on the first practice day and caught an 8 on a topwater, we left that and hit a rock point up toward the river and caught a 7 plus on a shallow crank. So in an hour we had those two good fish and a few 2 pounders. Then I started to flip some trees and caught some 2s in timber around 4 to 8 foot. After that we hit some real good water down by the dam and Four Fingers. With the water down like it is, it was a tough bite, so we looked close by for good areas and caught small fish on rigs and cranks out to about 25 foot. We found some water that set up perfect for big fish, but nothing on it but little guys. Guess it needed some brush on it." Dean went on to tell us how their actual tourney days played out. "Yesterday we left our starting water with five keepers good for about 10 pounds. Then we hit that rock area and I caught a 4 on a shallow crank. Then we went back to that standing timber up the lake, and hooked a few but no size to speak of. After that we went on up the river and culled twice off that shallow wood flipping. On the way back we hit another rock point and Haylon broke off a nice 3.5 to 4 pounder on a shallow crank so we ended the day with almost 15 pounds and 12th place." And Day 2? "Today we started on some community water where I caught the 8 in practice, and I caught a 9.32 right off the bat on a crank. Hit more main lake timber flipping and caught no keepers so we headed up the river to flip and get a limit. Then I started losing fish like crazy; it was making me mad, but I can’t say why I was losing them...just one of those days I guess. Some of ‘em looked good, and some of ‘em felt good. Who knows. But we did get a limit and culled twice for over 17 pounds today. We were surprised to take 3rd and thought we needed well over 20 pounds on the final day to have a chance for a good check; we really had to fish hard to catch what we did. We really appreciate the TTZ trail, me and Haylon had a great time fishing together this year." The remaining checks went to:
Alan Gass and Randy Grounds - 4th place
Brian Mater and Chris Woehl - 5th place
The team of Don Gordon and Jon Jackson continued their big fish ways and won Big Bass for the tournament. If you are keeping count, and I know we are, this duo accounted for three of the five Big Bass paid this year! Impressive to say the least. Don told us how he duped the 12.13 pound behemoth on Day 1.
"I caught her about 10 minutes before weigh-in, in about 2 feet of water right at the base of a tree. She bit a Trophy Hunter GrandeBass Baby RattleSnake on a light Texas rig. We had been whacking 'em pretty good all day but they had all been around the same size, you know just keepers."
But this bite was different. The fish bit at Calliham, just inside the boat launch after Don and Jon had made a considerably long run. Don has a good memory for classic rock lyrics, and also big fish. You see, he caught another double-digit bass in a Bass Champs event here a few years ago; not 50 feet from where this one bit!
"It was windy as hell and we were about out of batteries. It was a rough ride back, but I told Jon I wanted to give the area near the ramp a little time. I told him a person can catch some good fish there, and thankfully went on to prove it. But when I set the hook on the fish Jon asked if it was any good. I kept steady pressure but couldn't tell because she was coming at the boat, she saw the boat and got past us, and loaded up. I told Jon to get the freakin' net at that point! That big fish was crazy and she tried to jump three times. Jon named her after the first jump..he named her Holy $#1+, which I thought was pretty fitting. The fish filled up a huge net and 6 inches of her tail was still hanging out, Jon had to get a second grip on the net to lift her in! Hell, I was shaking so bad Jon had to get hook out!"
Dale and Jake Read were close by and witnessed the show. Dale saw her in the live well and said she would go 8 or so, but then when Don bagged her up he quickly changed his mind and decided it would bust 10 easy. It did.
With a regular season victory on LBJ and three Big Bass checks to their name it has been a hell of a year for this team; congratulations gentlemen!
As previously mentioned, there were a lot of big fish and heavy bags brought to the scales. Looking at the weights we hope y'all can understand why we picked this destination lake for the 2012 TTZ Championship. Here are the remaining bags that broke the 20 pound mark and a few new personal bests that were set over the two day event.
John Ward and Craig Cordova - 26.24 lbs
John Ward - 9.56 lbs
Jared Parker and Phillip Doubek - 23.44 lbs
Phillip Doubek - 9.34 lbs
Jarad Hagaman and Brent Parish - 21.94 lbs
Don Gordon and Jon Jackson - 20.64 lbs
Tim McNeal - 8.02 lbs
Jared Smith - 8.00 lbs
Congrats again to all in the money and to the anglers that landed a new personal best!
If you haven't fished a TTZ tournament we're looking forward to meeting you soon. TTZ is a labor of love and we hope to reinvent the way bass tournaments are run. We plan to let sponsors pay our way, while we return the entire entry fee to the anglers and then some. As tournament anglers we are creating a competitive angling experience that we ourselves would like to fish.
Here's what anglers are saying about the TTZ tournament experience:
"I really have nothing else to compare this year with, but from what I heard from all the other more experienced tournament anglers, we got spoiled this year. Not everybody does what these guys do when it comes to relating to the anglers, high % payouts, and all the extras like food, drinks, and parties. When you can put all of these components together with a very well run fishing tournament you get a highly enjoyable experience." - John Ward
"TTZ is the best tournament trail in Central Texas. Booker, Ando, Crabman, and Rooster run a totally professional tournament that is fierce on competition but is laid back and informative. I have fished alot of trails, this is the best. - Don Gordon
"I have nothing to compare TTZ to because it is all I know, but I know for a fact, that I will fish all of these next year with my son Colton. The one that I fished this year really left a lasting impression on both my son and me. We didn't do very well in the fishing aspect, but for me there are more important things than winning. Not to say I didn't try my best, but it is nice when you come in for weigh-in and people are just cool all the way around." - Tim Lee
"I've fished a bunch of other trails and I enjoy fishing TTZ more than all the rest. Not to mention the good people, good food and good beverages. Andy, Robby, Brian and crew go out of their way to provide a good experience for the anglers." - Chris Conner