MOUNTAIN HOME, AR (November 7, 2017) – The father/son team of Roger and Corey Cook, fishing out of Corey’s 1999 Pantera III, came from behind to outlast 10 other teams at the 2017 Bass Cat Boats National Team Championship, earning their third victory in this prestigious event. The only thing that’s becoming more routine for them than the trip to Mountain Home is passing through international customs. Once again they are headed on an all-expenses paid trip to Mexico’s Lake Picachos courtesy of Ron Speed Adventures.
Their victory was by no means a slam dunk. They started slowly on Monday with a mere 6.58 pounds at Table Rock, and then added 8.35 at Taneycomo, which had them in fourth place, just over 5 pounds out of the lead. This time, slow and steady won the race, as they landed a solid 10.20 pound limit Tuesday morning on Crown to pull within nearly half a pound of Day One leaders Will Pappa and Austin Felix of Minnesota. Then they sealed the deal with an additional 10.82 pounds at Norfork to win by just .32 pounds. They fished a ¾ ounce jig almost exclusively, focusing on the 14 to 25 foot depth range.
For a team from a long distance away with scant experience on Ozarks-region lakes, Pappa and Felix acquitted themselves well, but ultimately their inability to land a limit fish at either Crown or Norfork doomed them and they reported that they regretted not spending more practice time on Norfork in particular. They spent the first hour and a half of the session throwing a regional staple – the Wiggle Wart – with little success, before reverting to their Minnesota roots and grinding out four keepers on a Keitech swimbait.
The Cooks’ come-from-behind win was made all that much more miraculous by the fact that they almost didn’t get to compete at all, but through the support of their family they made it. “I’m not sure how things find a way to work out the way they do, but I couldn’t be happier,” Roger said.
Chuck Campbell and Mike Szezechowski finished third, and Royce and Bradley Davis were fourth.
Bass Cat President Rick Pierce said he was thrilled with the twists and turns caused by the two-day, four-lake challenge: “The way things shook up between teams is exactly what we intended with the format. Each of the four stops had a different team shine through. They fished varying waters and conditions, and it tested them well.”
Since Pierce has yet to design a format that can consistently flummox the Cooks, he issued them a new challenge – “to beat their 425 fish best day on Picachos. They still have a mark to make.”
More details about all of the competitors’ patterns will be available on the Bass Cat website in the coming days.
About Bass Cat: Bass Cat, owned by Correct Craft, manufactures the industry’s premier bass fishing boats from its headquarters in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Family operated since it’s founding in 1971, Bass Cat is the longest continuously operating tournament bass boat company in the United States. For more information visit www.basscat.com.
About Correct Craft: Celebrating 92 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a Florida-based company with global operations. The Correct Craft family includes Nautique, Centurion, Supreme, Bass Cat, Yar-Craft, SeaArk, and Bryant boat companies, Pleasurecraft Engine Group, and Aktion Parks. For more information please visit www.correctcraft.com.