Sounds like a furniture store advertisement, but if you were to ask Charles Latham from Orange, Texas or Tim Palculict of Beaumont, Texas, they would both tell you it was true, Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Motors makes you money! This Texas duo teamed up to win the first Bass-N-Bucks 2000 East Texas Team Tournament with a 5 bass limit weighing 23.61 pounds, including 2 kicker bass weighing over 7# each. The tournament was held at Lake Sam Rayburn on Sunday, December 5th. with 290 teams entered in the first of seven tournaments. They competed in some of the worst conditions Texas has to offer, double cold fronts and winds in excess of 25-35 mph. The tournament payout was guaranteed at $40,000, but, because of the high turnout, over $52,000 in cash and prizes were actually paid out to the top 40 places. The new Bass-N- Bucks format with help from Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Motors, Houstonâ€™s Boots Follmar Marine and Dawson Marine from Beaumont, kicked in additional bonus money of up to $3,500 for each event. The lucky team of Latham and Palculict won a Skeeter/Yamaha SX 186 valued at $20,000 and an additional $250 for the 3rd biggest bass of the event, which was a beautiful 7.78 pounder. On top of that, they won additional bonus money because they a) fished in a Skeeter Boat powered by a Yamaha engine and it was purchased within the last three years, b) the boat was purchased from either Boots Follmar Marine in Houston, or Dawson Marine; and, c) they met all requirements for the Skeeter Tour bonus money which entitled them to an additional cash award of $3,500! And, to top that off, their win entitles them to fish as a competitor in the “Skeeter Tour Championship” next fall which will be offering over $85,000 in cash and prizes and includes two fully rigged Skeeter ZX202s with Yamaha 225 horsepower engines. The winning patterns were reported to be Carolina rigs off main and secondary brushy points with grass nearby. The first place team had an 18 pound limit within the first 15 minutes of fishing. The second place pattern was fishing willows on the north end of the lake with spinnerbiats and small crankbaits and the third place winning pattern was working Rat-L-Traps and medium diving crankbaits on the grass edges. The winning teams earned there prizes and competed against some of the best anglers in the State. Those newcomers to the tournament got to witness some of the best bass fishing that Big Sam has to offer and you can bet with the payback system set up as it is, they will be back for the second tournament. Skeeter Boats was officially announced as the major sponsor of the Bass-N-Bucks Tournament Trail on November 30, 1999, and since then, David Concienne’s phone has not quit ringing. He puts on a classy event and is a well respected promoter. Much thought, planning and effort went into the new format and the objective was certainly fulfilled when 290 teams entered the first tournament. This was a major undertaking on Skeeterâ€™s and Bass-N-Bucks part to blend the old and new tournament competitors into a united effort making David Concienneâ€™s Bass-N-Bucks tournament trail the richest payout team tournament trail in Texas. What was really neat, was the blending of the old and new. There were anglers competing that haven’t been to a bass tournament in years, some of them haven’t been seen since the days of the old U.S. Bass or Lonestar Bass trails. Then, lots of new folks were also there that had never fished a tournament before. They were welcomed and had just as much of a chance as any one else did to take home the bounty! People are coming out of the woodwork to be a part of this tournament organization and the rewards to the fishermen/women have never been this high on the state level. Every tournament on the circuit is a guaranteed purse of over $40,000 in cash and prizes. Even though the fishing conditions were less than ideal, the event was first class all the way. There were lots of fish caught and released after the weigh-in. The crowd was estimated to be near 2,000 spectators and competitors which banded together in spite of the cold and wind to witness the first and largest payback in the history of Bass-N-Bucks tournaments! Generally, the only tournaments that draw that kind of a crowd are the B.A.S.S. tournaments held on Sam Rayburn during the spring. A total of 540 bass were weighed in at whopping 1,163 pounds, which were all live released by the Bass-N-Bucks recovery crew. The fact these kinds of weights came to the scales was spectacular in itself. There were two 20-pound+ limits weighed, 24 teams weighed in over 15+ pound limits; and, amazingly 95 teams with catches of over 10-pounds. As for the big bass, there were 16 bass weighed in over 5# with the biggest being weighed in by the team of Mike Wheatley of Keachie, Louisiana, and James Hewitt of Devers, Texas, weighing in at 8.26 pounds and earning them an addition $1,000 in big bass money, plus they took second place honors overall with total weight of 21.31 pounds earning them another $4,800, for total winnings of $5,800. The second place big bass was caught by the team of David Boudreaux and David Lacy and earned them an extra $500. Third place went to the team of Brandon Breaux and Jesse Johnson who weighed in a limit of 19.83 pounds including a 6.11-pound kicker fish for a take home check in the amount of $2,000. Fourth place team honors went to Tommy and Connie Ward who weighed in their limit at 19.53, with a 5.87 pound kicker and they made $1,600. Fifth place was taken by the team of Russ Carter and Mike Cannon with 18.33 pounds for a purse of $1,400. Prize money was paid all the way down to 40 places. The fishermen/women are definitely getting their monies worth out of the new Bass-N-Bucks East Texas Team Circuit and the fun is just beginning. There are six more events left before the championship, and as the saying goes, “On any given day, anyone can win!” Date Lake Ramp 2-06-00 Toledo Bend Cypress Bend Park 3-19-00 Richland Chambers Oak Cove Marina 4-02-00 Sam Rayburn Twin Dikes Marina 5-07-99 Toledo Bend Cypress Bend Park 6-04-99 Lake Livingston Waterwood Marina 7-16-99 Toledo Bend Cypress Bend Park The team entry fee is $250 per tournament and membership is an annual fee of $10.00 per angler. There is a two day optional practice of Friday and Saturday and the tournaments are set for Sunday. Also, the next time the opportunity arises, would you please give a word of praise to the sponsors of David Concienne’s Bass-N-Bucks E. Texas Team Circuit, and they are: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Boots Follmar Marine, Dawson Marine, Latch Oil, Inc., Shimano, Exide/Nautilus, MotorGuide, Zercom Marine, Dual Pro Charger, Bumper Stumper Lures, Triple Fish line, Philpott Ford, Pro-Fishin’ Report, Check-It-Stik, McFerrin Insurance, Piney Point Plaza, Holiday Inn Express and the Ramada Inn of Jasper. These sponsors have made it possible for this circuit to be the best Texas has to offer the fishermen/women and the payback is certainly worth the effort. If you would like more information on this circuit or would like to fish one or all of the upcoming events, please give David Concienne a call at (409) 727-8941, or look up his website at: www.fishingworld.com/bassnbucks. You can also e-mail him at BassNBucks@fishingworld.com. Since Norman and I are both proud owners of Skeeter/Yamaha rigs, and are sponsored by Boots Follmar Marine in Houston, we will not only be fishing all of the upcoming tournaments, but if you have any questions regarding these rigs or their performance, or would like to make arrangements for a demo ride in one of these fine boats after one of the tournaments is over, please call us at (281) 441-7266, or e-mail us at Bbass98@aol.com. We would like to see you get in a Skeeter boat powered by a Yamaha outboard and take advantage of some of this extra bonus money that will be circulated at the next six tournaments. We know that the folks at Boots Follmar Marine in Houston are dedicated to you the fishermen and women; and, are willing to help you get your new boat financed, ordered and delivered in the shortest amount of time. If you want to talk direct to the dealership, please call (713) 910-1081 in Houston, “you will be glad you did!” Both Boots Follmar and Dawson dealerships are both committed to this tournament trail and are wanting to get you into a new Skeeter Boat. Norman and I will personally make you a promise that we will do everything we can to prove to you the performance features of these boats. Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards can make you money, won’t you give us a try!