That decision produced a couple of keeper bass that helped Chapman earn $100,000 as the winner of the second annual ‘Busch Shootout’ on Table Rock Lake.
“I kept running by this spot that looked good," Chapman said. "I had 10 minutes left before I had to make the long run back, so I stopped to fish and caught two good fish real quick.”
That gave Chapman four fish weighing about 12 pounds for the four-hour morning session. Needing only one more keeper in the afternoon championship round for a limit, Chapman decided to make the run again.
“I lost a keeper right off the bat, but I stuck with it and I managed to catch one,” he said.
Those five fish gave the Lake Quivera, Kansas, pro a total weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and his first major BASS title.
Ed Cowan of Greeley, Pa., who made Saturday's championship round as the wildcard, was second with four fish weighing 11-11. Gerald Swindle of Hayden, Ala., who caught a limit weighing 12-2 Friday, was third with four bass weighing 10-13. Zell Rowland of Montgomery, Texas, was fourth at 3-13, followed by Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo. Mich., at 3-8 and Jimmy Mize of Ben Lomond, Ark., at 1-10. All of the anglers except Chapman won $5,000.
The unique tournament featured the fishermen who caught the 10 heaviest single-day stringers during the CITGO Bassmaster Tour and the Elite 50 Series, as well as the anglers who caught the heaviest single-day weights at the 2004 CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship, the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic and the 2005 Federation Championship. The anglers didn't find out where they were fishing until Thursday afternoon, after they went from the Springfield airport to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield. They were given 30 minutes and $300 for a shopping spree at the store to stock up on any needed lures and line.
The top five anglers Friday qualified for the Saturday afternoon round. All the weights were zeroed for all 13 anglers Saturday. The top fisherman Saturday morning among the bottom eight earned a spot in the championship round. That was Cowan, who caught three fish weighing 9-7. Meanwhile, the top five kept their weights a secret.
Chapman had caught a limit Friday that weighed 12-13 fishing a Lucky Craft 2.5 crankbait - he brought one from home and bought some at Bass Pro Shops - along rocky banks. He went to the same spot Saturday morning and caught a fish on his third cast, then picked up another keeper before finishing his morning session with the two last-minute keepers.
“The afternoon fishing was a lot tougher,” Chapman said. “I got my fifth fish in the middle of the afternoon throwing the crankbait in standing timber in five feet of water.
“It's amazing to have a $100,000 payday for a two-day event,” Chapman added. “It really takes a lot of the stress off next year's season. We've got a lot of exciting changes coming and this is going to help secure my chances of fishing everything I want to fish.”
Cowan, who qualified for the Shootout at the 2005 Federation Championship, did not catch a keeper Friday, but his amateur partner caught a 3-pound largemouth in the very back of a creek at the end of the day. He left the spot alone and caught three nice keepers there Saturday morning, but came up one good fish short in the afternoon.
“This one's for the Federation,” said Cowan, who threw an Oregon crankbait in three feet of water along a flat. “I had a pretty small area and I think I wore it out pretty good.”
Swindle also came up one fish short fishing for bass that were suspended in timber down 50 feet in 70-100 feet of water.
“I did exactly what I did yesterday,” he said. “It seemed the fish shrunk up on me.”
Mize, who had the heaviest stringer Friday at 14-3 throwing a topwater lure under overcast skies, had just one fish weighing 1-10 using the lure under Saturday's clear, blue skies.
BUSCH beer is the “Official Beer of BASS,” and committed to supporting BASS anglers across the country through its continued association with BASS, and its sponsorship of Denny Brauer, 14-time winner of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail and 1987 BASS Angler of the Year.
BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation 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 CITGO 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 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com.