Brandon Gray and Todd Massey of the Anglers Choice team trail take the Day 1 lead in the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship on DeGray Lake out of Bismarck, Ark., with 14 pounds, 2 ounces. Photo by Seigo Saito/Bassmaster
BISMARCK, Ark. — North Carolina anglers Brandon Gray and Todd Massey had never seen DeGray Lake before this week, but this team found a few clues in practice to have a solid start on the first day of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship.
Massey said their practice went “not real well,” and he was surprised they caught five fish weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces to move into first place today. “We found some spots (in practice) that had some fish, but we never really beat them to see what was there,” Massey said. “Today, we just started picking those spots and tried to dissect them from there. We bounced around a couple of times but kind of stayed in the same general area.”
The North Carolina anglers caught fish in both deep and shallow water. “I think the fish are scattered,” Massey said. “There are some fish shallow, and there are some fish deep. So you can fish whatever style you prefer to fish.”
Massey and Gray qualified for the first Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship through the Anglers Choice circuit and have fished as a team for four years. “We traveled together and fished the (Bassmaster) Weekend Series for some years,” Massey said.
Fishers of Men teammates Flannagan Fife and Royce Davis fish DeGray Lake about once a year and usually do well in tournaments on the lake, according to Fife.
The Arkansas anglers took over second place with four bass weighing 13-1. Because they had what Fife described as an “inconsistent practice,” they decided to use their confidence bait today. “Everything we caught was on crankbaits shallow — about 4 feet of water or less,” Fife said. “We were doing a lot of hopping around and fishing isolated stuff.”
Another Fishers of Men team from Arkansas moved into third place. Wayne Dixon and Jared Allen had only five bites all day, but they boated five keepers weighing 12-9 to take over third. “We didn’t fish for Kentuckies. We stayed out and fished for largemouth all day long. We just junk fished all day,” Dixon said, referring to a term used to describe fishing a variety of techniques and locations.
This unique four-day tournament is two events rolled into one. Today was the first round of a two-day competition pitting two-man teams from various B.A.S.S.-sanctioned team trails across the country against each other to determine a national champion.
The winning team will be awarded the first-place prize of a Nitro Z7 bass boat/Mercury Optimax 150 Pro XS outboard rig and the Livingston Leader Award of $500. A traveling trophy is also presented to the team champions to take back to the team trail they represent.
The six anglers from the Top 3 finishers of the team competition advance to the final two days of the tournament and will fish individually. The individual winner of the tournament will qualify for the final 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic berth and receive a Skeeter FX20/Yamaha 250 outboard rig to run in the Classic.
The DeGray Lake Resort State Park is hosting the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship. Launches and weigh-ins for the next three competition days will be held at Caddo Bend in DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Bismarck, Ark.
2014 Bassmaster Team Championship Title Sponsor: Toyota Bonus Bucks
2014 Bassmaster Team Championship Official Sponsors: Mercury, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2014 Bassmaster Team Championship Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series presented by Carhartt, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.
Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship
12/10/2014 Degray Lake – Degray Lake Resort – Bismarck, AR
STANDINGS BOATER DAY 1
Name # Fish Lbs-Oz
1 Brandon Gray – Todd Massey Anglers Choice 5 14- 2
2 Flannagan Fife – Royce Davis Fishers of Men 4 13- 1
3 Wayne Dixon – Jared Allen Fishers of Men 5 12- 9
4 Brandon Gladish – Aaric Correll Fishers of Men 5 11- 5
5 John Carnes – Kelly Dorman NTBA 5 11- 1
6 Justin Kerr – John Weisfuss Ultimate Team Tour 5 11- 0
7 Josh Busby – David Mccormick Joe Bass Team Trail 5 10-12
8 Martin Elshout – Mark Price Fishers of Men 5 10-10
9 Steve Czerniski – Dean Kreuzer Total Bass Addicts 5 10- 8
10 William Davis – Tim Cummings Alabama Bass Trail 5 10- 4
11 Phillip VanDerVeer – Damien McMahon Anglers Choice 5 9-15
12 Josh Wray – Kavan Maybee Joe Bass Team Trail 5 9-14
13 Jon Griffith – John Stewart Jr Total Bass Addicts 5 9-12
14 Jake Boomer – Jason Bryan Northwest Bass 5 9- 9
15 Rogne Brown – Cary Dotson Chattanooga Bass Association 5 9- 8
16 Kevin Brumfield – Rick Pullen Fishers of Men 5 9- 6
17 Jeremy Lawyer – Joe Waggoner Ozark Mtn Team Trail 4 9- 6
17 Dean Yamagata – Ryan Yamagata Ultimate Team Tour 4 9- 6
19 Josh Moore – Keith Butler TN Valley Team Champ Series 5 9- 2
20 Thomas Brewer – Michael Brewer Alabama Bass Trail 4 9- 2
21 Randall Hutson – Matthew Beckler Ozark Mountain Team Trail 5 8-14
22 Daniel Morgan – Greg Shaver Chattanooga Bass Association 5 8-13
23 Mike Crowther – Ray Arbesu Ultimate Team Tour 5 8-11
23 Travis Lilly – Buster Lilly Jr Morristown Marine 5 8-11
25 Charles Phillips – Mike Norwood McNider Marine Iron Man 4 8-10
26 David Caylor – Allen Hayes Alabama Bass Trail 5 8- 9
27 James Wall III – Jimmy Wall Jr Carolina Bass Challenge 4 8- 9
28 Kenneth Vicchio – Greg McDavid Tom’s Marine 4 8- 3
29 Tom Goins Sr – TJ Goins Jr Fishers of Men 5 7-12
30 Eric Grigg – Marc Grigg Carolina Bass Challenge 4 7-12
31 Doug Schilling – Darin Lankford Joe Bass Team Trail 4 7- 9
32 Kerry Betz – James Hammersley AC Tournament Trail 3 7- 7
33 Cledas Manuel – Dave Austin Fishers of Men 5 7- 6
34 Eran Mccormick – Mark Randolph AC Tournament Trail 3 7- 5
35 Alan Fluharty – Chad Brinegar WV BN Team Trail 2 7- 5
36 Don Ingram – Ronnie Grant NTBA 5 7- 4
37 Steve Ortiz – Dominic Ortiz Joe Bass Team Trail 5 7- 2
38 Wayne Vaughan Jr – Mitch Blankenship James River Priority 5 7- 0
39 Nathan Hipps – Heath Barker Toms Marine Team Trail 4 6-15
40 Todd Walters – Jason Threadgill Carolina Bass Challenge 5 6-14
41 Forrest Webb – Chad Harvey Allstar Bass Fishing Tournaments 5 6-13
42 Shane Williams – Matt Gorum H&W Marine Trail 4 6-13
43 Aaron Hochstedler – Rodney Ellis IN BN Team Trail 3 6- 7
44 Matt McCoy – Dennis Davis IN BN Team Trail 3 6- 6
45 Soon Chul Lee – Robin Chul Oh Top Stick 5 6- 5
46 Wesley Cashwell – Shane Doughtie Carolina Bass Challenge 3 6- 5
47 Shane Lineberger – Jerry Lineberger Carolina Bass Challenge 5 6- 4
48 Rusty Darnell – Tim Newberry Joe Bass Team Trail 5