Louisiana Six Win First BASS Club World Championship Title

Shreveport, La. -- The Baton Rouge Bassmasters club earned the ultimate bragging rights of the BASS Federation Nation Saturday.

The Louisiana No. 2 team, consisting of six Baton Rouge Bassmasters club members, won the inaugural Triton Boats BASS Club World Championship (BCWC) on the Red River by weighing in a combined three-day total of 150 pounds, 12 ounces. The top three teams remained in the same slots from Friday to Saturday as Alabama No. 2 finished in the runner-up spot with 143-6 and Louisiana No. 1 took third place with 115-12.

Gonzalez, La., angler Matt Michel caught the biggest bag for his team Saturday with a five-fish limit weighing 12-3 and was his team’s top angler for three days with a total catch of 31-5. The three-day totals for the rest of the six-man squad include Ryan Lavigne with 30-8; Nathan Borque, 28-14; Jamie Laiche, 25-1; Tim Carmouche, 21-3; and Eugene Hoover, 13-13.

“We had a great practice,” said Michel of his team’s performance throughout the week. “I wish we could stick together forever. It is a great team that I happen to be on. They are some of the best fishermen I know.”

The winning team targeted wood cover with crankbaits and finesse worms. Michel keyed on laydowns and some rocks mixed with grass where he threw a shad-colored medium-diving crankbait and a Zoom finesse worm.

“My teammates and I found a good pile of fish in a few areas so we pounded them really hard,” said Michel. Even though he competed as a non-boater, Michel still got control of the boat for half a day each round and caught most of his keepers from the spots he found in practice.

Louisiana No. 2 topped a field of 51 teams that had reached the BCWC by competing in 10 regional events held throughout 2007. By winning the championship, each member of the Louisiana team received a fully rigged Triton bass boat/Mercury Outboard package with a total value to the team of $250,000. A cash payout of $40,100 was awarded to the rest of the Top 12 teams with the overall big bass winner, David Winnie, Ottawa, Ill., receiving $500 for a 6-pound, 5-ounce largemouth he caught Friday.

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BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.