Wisconsin anglers Pat Schlapper and Wade Rickey of the Major League Series lead the first day of the 2018 Bassmaster Team Championship on Harris Chain of Lakes, out of Leesburg, Fla., with 22 pounds, 3 ounces.

Photo by Andy Crawford/B.A.S.S.

Dec. 5, 2018

Wisconsin Bass Team Grabs First-Round Lead In Bassmaster Team Championship In Florida

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LEESBURG, Fla. — If Wisconsin anglers Pat Schlapper and Wade Rickey had started today’s opening round of the Bassmaster Team Championship using sturdier fish hooks, they likely would have a considerably heavier weight than the 22-pound, 3-ounce limit they carried to the weigh-in.

Still, that limit of five bass was enough to put the Wisconsin tandem atop the leaderboard heading into the second and final day here on the Harris Chain of Lakes in central Florida.

Schlapper and Rickey had never fished in the Sunshine State, and they believed 3/0 hooks would be enough to boat the hefty Florida bass they hoped to catch. But when they did stick big bass early on Wednesday, the fish literally straightened those hooks and slipped away.

Frustrated, but undeterred, Schlapper and Rickey switched to beefier 4/0 hooks, and they started putting big bass in the boat. Rickey’s 6-pounder was the largest, and the duo rounded out their bag with a quartet of solid 4-pounders.

Schlapper and Rickey, who fish with the Major League Series back in Wisconsin, are 10 ounces ahead of the Anglers Choice team of Virginia’s William Samples and North Carolina’s Charles Purcell, who are second with 21-9. Brothers Travis and Shannon O’Quinn of Team Morristown Marine are in third place with 20-8; Eddie Levin and Ryan Mallory of the Ohio B.A.S.S. Nation Team Trail are fourth (20-6); and Dean Alexander and Tom Martens of the Texas Bass Nation Team Trail are fifth (19-15.)

“We’ve never been fishing down here, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Schlapper said. “We lost some nice fish, but we ground it out. We only fished that one spot, and we stopped fishing it hard about 10 a.m.”

Schlapper and Rickey said they found big bass on another half dozen spots they scouted in practice, but they’re not sure those places will be unoccupied when they arrive Thursday morning. The duo was, however, aboard the 151st of 197 boats to launch today. Since the takeoff order is inverted on Day 2, they’ll get an earlier start on Thursday.

“I’m confident we’re around some fish,” Schlapper said. “But not having fished here before, I don’t know which community holes we’re around. We didn’t see anyone else fishing like we were, but (a few boats saw us fishing) and got an education this morning. If one of them is ahead of us, we might come in with nothing.”

Duos from 35 different states and three foreign countries (Australia, Canada and South Africa) are competing in the Team Championship. Each team consists of two anglers trying to amass a shared five-bass limit in the team portion of the championship.

The tandem with the heaviest two-day combined weight will be crowned team champion after Thursday’s weigh-in, and also will win a Nitro Z20 boat and Mercury 225 Pro XS boat/motor combo valued at $42,000.

Brisk winds swept across central Florida on Wednesday which made moving around the Harris Chain rough on competitors. Still, anglers such as Alexander and Martens were among those who benefited from the weather, which featured temperatures in the upper 50s and clear skies to go with steady winds from 10 to 15 mph.

“(The wind) put us into a little funk, but we had a good morning,” Martens said.

Alexander caught an 8-2 largemouth that was one of three bass to qualify for the TrophyCatch Florida program on today. Adam Elliot caught a 9-4, and Tennessee’s Nobuyuki Terajima had the big bass of the day with a lunker that tipped the scales at 10-10. It was almost 3 pounds heavier than his previous best — a 7-12 he caught on Kentucky Lake.

Terajima didn’t offer details on how he caught the big bass, which earned him a $500 prize, but he did say he was worried at one point that he and his partner, Doug Castro, were in for a tough day.

“We were struggling,” Terajima said. “We had no fish at 11 (o’clock.) We moved to a new location and I got this one. I wish I could catch one more like this tomorrow. No one can tell.”

Anglers no doubt will be look for those types of bites again Thursday.

Following the Team Championship round, members of the Top 3 teams will move on to the Team Championship Classic Fish-Off, also on the Harris Chain, where they will compete individually for the final berth in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods. That tournament, the most prestigious and storied in all of competitive bass fishing, is scheduled for March 15-17 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Anglers will launch Thursday at 6:45 a.m. ET from Ski Beach Park in Leesburg. The final weigh-in for the team portion of this tournament will begin at the same location at 2:45 p.m. ET.

The Greater Orlando Sports Commission is hosting the tournament with the assistance of Florida’s Lake County.

 Bassmaster Team Championship
12/5/2018 – 12/6/2018
Harris Chain Of Lakes – Venetian Gardens – Leesburg, FL
STANDINGS  BOATER DAY   1
Name                                  Fish/Weight

Pat Schlapper – Wade Rickey             5/22-3
Major League Series
William Samples – Charles Purcell       5/21-9
Anglers Choice
Travis O’Quinn – Shannon O’Quinn        5/20-8
Morristown Marine
Eddie Levin – Ryan Mallory              5/20-6
OH BN Team Trail
Dean Alexander – Tom Martens            5/19-15
TX BN Team Trail
Mark O’Brien – Ryne Sanders             5/19-12
US Anglers Choice
Steven Morris – Matt Vanzant            5/19-8
Pride of the South
Steven Nieto – Lupe Nieto Jr            5/19-3
TX BN Team Trail
Adam Dysart – Jayme Copenhaver III      5/19-2
Chattanooga Bass Association
Blake Smitherman – Daniel               5/18-5
MAirport Marine Team Trail
Ruben Chavez III – Wilson Couch         5/18-0
IMedia Bass
Adam Elliott – Jason Hamaker            5/17-14
Alabama Bass Trail
Chris Glover – Jeff Hampton             5/17-12
US Anglers Choice
Steven Caudill – Rodney Roe             5/17- 5
NTBA
Taylor Smith – DAN JENSEN               5/16-15
Northwest Bass
Joe Ellis – Ronald Ellis                5/16-9
Tennessee Team Trail
Mark Averill – Gary Tepastte            5/16-3
West Michigan Bass
Aaron Leon – Timothy Klinger            5/15-15
UBTT
Cody Pike – Scott Banton                5/15-8
VA Elite 70
Doug Iorio – James Lipo                 5/15-5
Western PA Bass Series
Jack Ebach – Robert Moss                5/14-15
West Michigan Bass
Greg Pugh – Charlie Cummings            5/14-13
Alabama Bass Trail
Nobuyuki Terajima – Doug Castro         3/14-13
TN BN Team Trail
Michael Robinson – Bryan Heaberlin      5/14-10
Fishers of Men
Roger Etheridge – Chad Schroeder        5/14-8
Pride of the South
Chad Ray – Clint Miller                 5/14-8
Alabama Bass Trail
Larry Franks Jr. – Larry Franks Sr      5/14-7
.Alabama Bass Nation
Chip Servant – Josh Cotier              5/14-6
MA BN Team Trail
Jack Rinkers – Eric Galasso             5/14-5
New Jersey BN Team Trail
Seth Davis – Brent Butler               5/14-4
Chattanooga Bass Association
Greg Barwick – Donald Adcock            5/14-3
Media Bass
Josh Busby – Timothy Taylor             5/14-1
Ozark Mountain
Joshua Hubbard – Tom Catlin             5/14-0
Illinois Bass Nation
David Mccormick – Gary Shartzer         5/13-14
Ozark Mountain
Ty Faber – Mark Faber                   5/13-13
UBTT
Michael Morse – Kris Lockard            5/13-10
Lakeland Bassmasters
Lyle Armstrong – Mitchell               5/13-9
AJoerBass Team Trail
Jason Hopper – Chris Rounsavall         5/13-8
Pride of the South
John Pollard – Dallas Weldon            5/13-4
Alabama Bass Trail
Keith Tuma – Andy Walls                 5/13-3
MN BN Team Trail
Wesley Sams – Jordan Wiggins            5/13-1
Alabama Bass Trail
David Chong – Doug Brownridge           5/13-0
Renegade Bass Tour
Jason Ammerman – Eric Kiliszewski       5/12-13
West Michigan Bass
Dustin Huggins – Cody Kemp              5/12-12
Arkansas Bass Team Trail
Brian Robbins – Jeremy Talbert          5/12-12
Carolina Bass Challenge
Justin Durden – Jacob Walker            5/12-11
Airport Marine Team Trail
Truett Hill Jr – Chris Coleman          5/12-10
Fishers of Men
Dylan Dew – Larry Dew                   5/12-8
Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit
brandon robbins – russ franklin         5/12-4
Ozark Mountain
Allan Glasgow – George Crain            5/12-1
Fishers of Men
Larry Baldock – Donovan Smith           5/11-14
Fishers of Men
Shawn Larance – Scott Smiley            5/11-14
Media Bass
Travis Salo – Garret Seppala            5/11-14
NH Bass Nation
Ken Thompson – Brad Weese               5/11-12
Anglers Choice
Bryan Ray – Brian Wilson                5/11-6
West Michigan Bass
Todd Buckingham – Chris Beaudrie        5/11-4
KY BN Team Trail
Peyton McCord – Aaron Cherry            5/11-2
Alabama Bass Nation
Ronald Risenhoover – Larry Green        5/11-2
Media Bass
Chris Lewis – Jason Adams               5/11-0
Anglers Choice
Jason Munch – Scott Berg                5/11-0
BBT
Matthew Robertson – Wendell             5/11-0
AKYrBNnTeam Trail
Mark Hensiek – Don Douglas IV           5/10-15
Arkansas Team Bass
Mike Altizer – Shannon Breeding         5/10-13
Anglers Choice
Dean Silvester – Mark Ferguson          5/10-12
Australia BN
Bradley Jones – Charles Kilgore         5/10-8
Alabama Bass Trail
Cory Ownby – Dewayne Wilson             5/10-8
Tennessee Team Trail
Brandon Rose – Jeff Yorks               5/10-8
MI BN Team Trail
Terry Blackwood – Jerry Hoesli          4/10-7
KS BASS Nation
Matt Gorham – Jack Sage                 5/10-3
West Michigan Bass
Mike Williams – Duane Jacobs            5/10-3
Bassmania
Josh Collier – Anthony Ardizzone        5 /10-2
IN BN Team Trail
Craig Gong – Ryan Reynolds              5/10-1
Cen Cal Elite
Eric Panzironi – Robert Holcomb         5/10-1
FL BN Team Trail
Wesley Ward – Grant Hopson              5/10-1
Alabama Bass Trail
Kyle Metzger – Jeff Currie              5/9-15
Upstate Anglers
Timothy Boothe – Timothy Bragg          5/9-14
Anglers Choice
Chris Pitts – John Knapp                5/9-13
Pride of the South
Blake† Bushong – Matthew Vavroch        5/9-12
Iowa BASS Nation Team Trail
Lanny Guthrie – Lee Hurley              5/9-11
Alabama Bass Trail
Casey Majni – Taylor Watkins            5/9-11
Tennessee Team Trail
Paul Sherman – Jed Persson              5/9-11
MN BN Team Trail
Howard McCallister – Tim Robinson       5/9-10
Ozark Mountain
Robert Cowan – Dallas Beasley           5/9-9
Joe Bass Team Trail
Dave Schneider Jr – Dave Hedge          5/9-9
IN BN Team Trail
Nicholas Turner – Joe Lay               5/9-8
Alabama Bass Trail
Luke Gritter – Jesse Weener             5/9-7
D&R Sportscenter
Mike Crowther – Josh Kimmel             5/9-4
UBTT
Jeff Brauneck – Fred Brauneck           5/9-3
West Michigan Bass
Andrew Eutsler – Jared Essary           5/9-3
Joe Bass Team Trail
Delmar Silva – Tanya Silva              5/9-3
NM BN Team Trail
Shane Rawlings – David Osterhout        5/9-2
West Michigan Bass
Tom Statler – Dillon Statler            5/9-2
Joe Bass Team Trail
Greg Alexander – Craig Morris           5/9-0
Delaware Bass Nation
Rodney Cromer – Roger Farr              5/8-12
Carolina Bass Challenge
Bob Garman – Harry Heins                5/8-12
Iowa BASS Nation Team Trail
Rick Imler – Robert Newlon              5/8-11
Great Lakes Largemouth Series
Alan Bull – Shawn Gordon                5/8-10
Arkansas Bass Team Trail
Tony Morton – Josh Cupp                 5/8-9
Tennessee Team Trail
Beau Govreau – Brett Govreau            5/8-8
Anglers Choice
Allen Williford – Austin Moore          5/8-8
Illinois Bass Nation
Ray Trudeau – Fred George               5/8-4
FL BN Team Trail
Bryan Welch – Hal Blackwelder           5/8-4
Anglers Choice
Chris Dover – Robert Fowler             4/8-0
Carolina Bass Challenge
Craig Hodges – Shaun Campbell           5/7-15
NTBA
Mike Merz – Duane Poole                 3/7-15
Upstate Anglers
Dustin Neat – Mark Wethington           5/7-14
NTBA
Trevor Kettles – Greg Vance             3/7-14
Iowa BASS Nation Team Trail
Cody Nichols – Koby Newman              5/7-13
Alabama Bass Trail
Brad Webb – Jay Ferk                    5/7-13
Fishers of Men
Ralph Laster – Michael Fiedler          5/7-12
Joe Bass Team Trail
Steve Clark – David Norgrove            5/7-11
Bassmania
William Solomon – Daniel Taylor         4/7-11
Morristown Marine
Douglas Schrader – Charles              2/7-10
SBBTder
Arthur Fortin – Brian Sherrill          5/7-9
Winter Bass O Thon
Fred Ingalls II – Mark Allen            5/7-8
Upstate Anglers
Cole Bailey – Sam Rankin                5/7-7
TBBA
Gary Henries – Toby Cooper              5/7-7
Dockside Marine Team Trail
Mike Hicks – Ken Presley                5/7-6
VA Elite 70
Ray Covington Jr. – Phillip             4/7-6
WAlabama Bass Nation
Darrell Brown – Gale Brown              5/7-5
Sunflower Team Series
Tony Hogan – Johnny Clark               5/7-5
Alabama Bass Nation
Rick Osterholt – Ronald Rokisky         5/7-5
FL BN Team Trail
Bryce Kalen – Bryan Kalen               4/7-5
IN BN Team Trail
Josh Ray – Tracy Holder                 5/7-3
Arkansas Bass Team Trail
Jake Lee – Dalton Price                 5/7-2
Tennessee Team Trail
Kenneth Sessions – greg sessions        5/7-2
Pride of the South
Jason Porter – Steven Caldwell          5/7-1
Media Bass
Burton Bryan – Willie Bryan             5/7-0
Morristown Marine
Ryan Kelly – Joshua Schumaker           5/7-0
West Michigan Bass
Joe Durnal – Zack Coffee                3 /6-15
Angler Nation
Brian Harvey – Mark Mauldin             5/6-12
Tennessee Team Trail
James Love – Colt Love                  5/6-12
Anglers in Action
Michael Matthee – Glen Naude            3 /6-12
So Africa BN Team Trail
David Craft – Stoney Johnson            5/6-10
Chattanooga Bass Association
Charles Reed – Kirk Wall                4/6-10
Fishers of Men
Jason Forsgren – Samuel Collins         5/6-9
Tennessee Team Trail
Larry Gawith – John Hughey              5/6-8
Sunflower Team Series
Tim Shafer – Gregory Lewis              5/6-8
NTBA
Brad Hickinbottom – Brian McCay         4/6-4
Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit
Jacob Slade – Cody Sisson               4/6-3
Media Bass
Vernon Silver – Gerald Butler           4/6-1
Fishers of Men
Mitch Miles Jr – Scott Sawyers          5/5-15
Anglers Choice
Don Ammerman – Wes Woodard              5/5-13
West Michigan Bass
Thomas Whitmore – Leonard Law           5/5-11
Anglers Choice
Josh Wray – Donald Wray                 3/5-8
Ozark Mountain
Joey Davidson – Tullis Lanier           1/5-8
Alabama Bass Trail
Greg Marshall – Karl Schreiber          5/5-6
Anglers Outpost
Russell Wagy – Charles Wagy             3/5-6
VA Elite 70
Dion Bright – Brian Closson             5/5-5
WV BN Team Trail
Kevin Jackson – Bryan Jackson           4/5-4
Joe Bass Team Trail
Scott Tyrell – Jacob Saunders           3/5-4
NTBA
Craig Ninaber – Neels Botha             5/5-3
So Africa BN Team Trail
Hunter Denmark – Carson Denmark         4/5-3
Pride of the South
Steve Stier – Marc Snyder               5/5-2
D&R Sportscenter
Russell Pasket – Chris DiBeradino       4/5-2
TX BN Team Trail
Kevin Dickey – Kevin McClellan          4/4-10
Ozark Mountain
Rob Messenger Jr – John Levesque        3/4-10
NH Bass Nation
Matt Looney – Larry Smith               2/4-10
Angler Nation
Kevin Riney – Tobin Baker               2/4-10
Arkansas Bass Team Trail
Danny Morris – Joe Minor                3/4-8
Pride of the South
Jason Schade – David Doty               3/4-8
Major League Series
Josh Ingram – Ian Mcroy                 1/4-5
Anglers Choice
Seth Brogan – Roger Castillo            4/4-3
Anglers Choice
Chip Crews IV – Josh† Stafford          2/4-3
Carolina Bass Challenge
Luke Estel – Josh Jackson               4/4-1
US Anglers Choice
Jeff Delk – Allan Farris                3/4-0
NTBA
Robbie Pelt II – David Caylor           3/4-0
Alabama Bass Trail
Gentry Gordy – Chad Smith               3/3-15
Alabama Bass Trail
David LeBlanc – Doug Hume               2/3-13
NH Bass Nation
Johan Van Veelan – Nikki van            2/3-13
VSoeAfrica BN Team Trail
Timothy Hatcher – Brandon               2/3-11
UAlabama Bass Trail
Rick† Jones – Jeremy Gilbert            3/3-10
Ozark Mountain
Barry Isabell – Robert Freeman          3/3-8
Alabama Bass Trail
Ryan Grey – Michael Coomes              3/3-7
Media Bass
Nick Deering – Conner Petropoulos       2/3-7
Maine Man vs Bass
Bob Grosso – Warren Gensel              3/3-5
FL BN Team Trail
Adam Christen – Brett Coggins           2/3-5
Alabama Bass Trail
Travis Perret – Chris Maggio            2/3-3
KC Team Tour
Lester Hawkins  Jr – Matthew            1/3-2
ANMsBN Team Trail
Justin Orr – Brannon Holley             2/2-15
NM BN Team Trail
Hunter Penny – Chris Hopper             3/2-14
Alabama Bass Trail
Michael Byrd – Andrew Miller            2/2-8
Pride of the South
Jesse Draime – Carl Duvernay            2/2-2
Media Bass
Tom Ives – Steven Ives                  2/2-2
US Anglers Choice
Micheal Henderson – Tim Cook            2/1-15
D&R Sportscenter
Colten Fink – Travis Hitchins           2/1-14
Cheat Lake Bass Anglers
Lowell Everett – Lawrence Curd          2/1-12
Airport Marine Team Trail
Ryan Hovatter – Bryson Grimes           3/1-10
Cheat Lake Bass Anglers
Perry Dewees –                          1/1-5
Morristown Marine
Chris Payne – Jonathan White            1/1-5
Pride of the South
Brian Rodriguez – Ryan Fleck            1/1-1
FL BN Team Trail
Bo† Spence – Trey Coker                 1/1-1
Pride of the South
James Bullard – Jonathan Bullard        1/1-0
Tennessee Team Trail
James Holencik – George Holencik        1/1-0
Western PA Team Bass Series
Colton Bryan – Henry Bryan Jr           0/0-0
Morristown Marine
Chris Risner – Tim Eaton                0/0-0
West Michigan Bass
Jeffery Walker – Larry Griffith         0/0-0
Tennessee Team Trail

BIG BASS
1Nobuyuki Te Hermitage,  10-10

TOTALS
Day  Fish   Lbs-Oz  Limits
1     828    771-14    33

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