Darrell West Edges Out Hojin Chang to Win
2009 Toyota Tundra BWS National Championship
By Brad Wiegmann
West will be heading south to Birmingham, Alabama, to fish in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic Championship on Lay Lake; he will be competing against 50 other anglers in the coveted Bassmaster Classic Championship. West edged second place finisher Chang by 0.22 pounds making it one of the closest finishes in the American Bass Anglers 2009 Toyota Tundra Weekend Series National Championship. For Chang, the loss was disheartening and if not for a one pound penalty, he could have won the tournament. West relied on a ¼-ounce chrome and blue Bill Lewis Rattle Trap when fishing shallow water, ½-ounce Bill Lewis Rattle Trap when targeting deeper structure, and a ½-ounce single Colorado blade Hildebrandt spinnerbait. Lake Dardanelle proved to be a challenge for anglers competing in the championship with recent rains causing dirty rising water earlier in the week and a dropping water level on Saturday.
It is every anglers dream to fish in the Bassmaster Classic; this dream is now a reality for West who reacted somewhat stunned when it was announced that he had won the championship. But quickly recovered when the crowd cheered as his wife and son joined him on stage while receiving the $100,000 check and trophy.
The 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series co-angler title and $50,000 was awarded to 19 year old Justin Atkins from Columbus, Mississippi, who weighed in 19.29 pounds. The East Mississippi Community College student majoring in business jumped for joy upon hearing his name announced as the Bassmaster Weekend Series co-angler champion.
Top 5 Boaters
1.) Darrell West Drasco, AR 38.67 lbs
2.) Hojin Chang Windermere, FL 38.45 lbs
3.) Brandon Gray Bullock, NC 36.60 lbs
4.) Andre Dickneite Freeburg, MO 33.46 lbs
5.) Sam Boss Paducah, KY 31.35 lbs
Top 5 Co-Anglers
1.) Justin Atkins Columbus, MS 20.29 lbs
2.) Merrill Showers New Columbia, PA 16.86 lbs
3.) Bradwell Sampey Savannah, GA 16.44 lbs
4.) Robert Richardson Glenn Heights, TX 15.33 lbs
5.) Jerry Hembree Jacksboro, TN 13.29 lbs