The PAYCHECK Bass Team Tournament Series made its debut on the Nanticoke River out of Phillips Landing on Sunday, December 1st. This was a 90% payback Open tournament designed to introduce the PAYCHECK Series to some of the top notch angler’s on the DelMarVa Penninsula. Beginning in March, 2014 PAYCHECK will launch the Eastern Shore Division with 7 qualifying tournaments leading up to the Grand Championship in October on Oneida Lake in New York.
There will be 2 tournaments on the North East River, 2 on the Sassafras River, 2 on the Nanticoke River, and 1 on the Choptank in 2014. All of these tournaments feature a 90% payback at the ramp.
For this Nanticoke tournament the weather couldn’t have been more picture perfect, especially for December. Nine of the finest teams on the shore were on hand looking to become the first PAYCHECK Champions on the Eastern Shore.
PAYCHECK Team Tournaments feature a voluntary $20 Option Pot which is paid back 100% to the first 2 teams out of the money. With a 1-in-45 payback 10 boats are necessary to pay back 2 places. With just 9 teams in this event the Option Pot allowed a total of 3 places to be paid.
All but one team returned to the shores of Broad Creek by the 3:00 deadline with the exception of one who broke down. All that talk about the Nanticoke only holding small bass proved to be a myth on this day. Sure, there were some 12-13” bass weighed in but remember, this is December and just catching fish is a bonus.
Tournament Director JT Lang and Assistant Director Steve Myers had the scales fired up and ready to go as 6 of the 9 teams weighed fish. Finishing just out of the money in 4th place were Bobby Smith and Ron Littleton with one of only 4 five fish limits that weighed 5.68 pounds. That’s a great job on a December day. Special thanks to Bobby for going to the rescue of Kurt Mitchell and Josh Muncy who had the unfortunate breakdown.
Finishing in 3rd place, also with a fine 5-bass limit were Mark Hogan and Jason Muir. Their overall weight of 8.14 earned them $60 thanks to the Option Pot. Way to go!
Having a great Fall/Winter season are Dave Seemans and son Davey Seemans. They cashed a check a few weeks ago at the PAYCHECK Lunkers for Loot tournament and claimed 2nd place today. They placed 5 bass in the basket that weighed 9.69 pounds. They were awarded $110 in prize money.
The champions of the very first PAYCHECK Open tournament on the Eastern Shore’s Nanticoke River were Mike Morris and Brian LaClair. They had a little trouble selecting a bass to weigh for lunker because they had 5 beautiful bass that anyone would be proud to weigh-in anywhere! They reportedly covered a lot of ground in their beautiful Z-series Nitro and wound up with a monster weight of 15.24 pounds. Not satisfied just to claim 1st place, Mike and Brian also hoisted the big bass of the tournament into the air for all to see which weighed 3.88 pounds. In all they received $790 in prize money. Congratulations!
The PAYCHECK Fall/Winter Opens are just $100 each including lunker. The regular PAYCHECK Team Bass Series feature a $160 entry fee (plus Option Pot) but with 20, 30, or more boats you can imagine what the payout at the ramp would be with a 90% Payback. Just check out the Premier Marine Division the past 2 years! Plaques are awarded to the top 3 teams and lunker.
Keep checking the official PAYCHECK website, www.getpaidfishing.com for special announcements, tournament updates, and more! We may try to sneak in another winter open on the Nanticoke this season!