|Steve Schmidt of Schmidt’s Big Bass Guide Service in Mansfield, TX has been fishing Okuma since 2007. You won’t meet a more straight-up guy. He buys his gear like everyone else and is never the guy looking for freebies at every corner. That’s what made it so exciting when his email came through and we saw his post on our Facebook page. He posted simply, “The products that Okuma puts out are the BEST. I used the Citrx and Serrano reels and AL-20 helped me win Bass Champs North Div.”
In looking at the Bass Champs website, http://www.basschamps.com/basschamps/index.cfm, not only Steve and his partner win the tournament at Ray Roberts on April 16th, they took home $20,000 to boot! Knocking down that kind of money on a Saturday has got to be one of life’s great moments, so we took the opportunity to catch up with Steve for an overview.
“The weather down here has been windy and crazy,” he began, “we missed our pre-fishing the week before because it was too windy.” So they just had to go fishing.
The team stared the day fishing 4″ Senko-type baits rigged wacky style. Schmidt fished braid on an Alumina 20 spinning reel to a fluorocarbon leader. “Right off the bat, Rick caught a 14-incher on the outside of some grass, so it was like okay, the fish are here.” They worked the bank for a bit with no more bites. Moving to the next ditch, Schmidt switched to a chatterbait fished on a Citrix 7.3:1 baitcast reel. An immediate 5-pounder raised the team’s spirits substantially.
Working other spots to no avail and always coming back to the same general area, the duo picked up a 6-pounder next, then another 5-pounder. Slowly, they picked off a quality limit with the exception of the 14-incher they never were able to cull. “The fish were on windy secondary points, ambushing bait in dirty water,” said Schmidt.
The team felt good, feeling a check of some sort, as they headed to the weigh-in. With 199 teams out there though, anything could happen. They were in the first wave, weighing their sack in the first group of 15 or so teams. Up goes their solid weight of 21.56-pounds, with some Ray Roberts experts still to come.
“We had to wait for more than an hour,” Schmidt said. We can only imagine the nerves involved as team after team carries sacks of fish to the scales. When it was all said and done, Schmidt and Newton had come out on top.
“Everything lined up,” he began. “I lost my hat running across the lake and had to turn around to pick it up. If that didn’t happen, maybe the day would have been different.”
Congratulations on the victory Steve and thanks a million for a great story! Interested in fishing with a tournament-winning bass guide? Catch up with Steve at: http://www.schmidtsbigbass.com/