3X9 Series Championship Sept. 26

Tim Rake, left, and Fred Nazario landed 23.16 pounds of largemouth bass, including the second largest fish of the tournament, which weighed 8.06 pounds, to win the 3X9 Series’ 2021 championship and the $5,000 first prize.

On Sunday, 42 two-angler teams launched and began fishing on Stillhouse Hollow Lake at safe light through 3 p.m. in search of the heaviest five-fish limit each could muster in the 3X9 Series’ championship event.

Each of these teams had qualified to compete based on points accumulated for both participation and performance in the previous 25 weekly Tuesday evening tournaments held from March through September.

Based on those point totals, the top teams headed into the championship were Adrian and Daniel Barnes in first place, Justin Rogers and David Kipp in second place, and Garrett Hennig and Brandon McQueen in third place.

The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was rescheduled so as not to conflict with the celebration of life services for Josh Bingham, an avid local bass tournament angler and owner of Bingham Marine in Belton.

This tournament differed slightly from the 25 weekly tournaments the participants had fished in to qualify, in that this tournament took place much earlier in the day, it was significantly longer than the weekday tournaments, and the limit was raised to five fish versus the three-fish limit in place for the weekday events.

When the scales closed for the final time on the 2021 season, it took 23.16 pounds to win first place and the $5,000 prize which accompanied it.

That catch was landed by Fred Nazario and his teammate, Tim Rake. That five-fish limit was bolstered by the contest’s second heaviest fish which weighed 8.06 pounds and earned the partners an additional $250.

When asked about the win, Nazario said, “We caught our fish first thing in the morning in the grass in 29 feet of water on a Santone jig and a Power Tackle rod.”

Second place and the big bass prize went to the team of Craig Gilbert and Dexter Thompson. The men landed 22.61 pounds of bass, and the event’s single largest fish, which weighed 8.47 pounds. This earned Gilbert and Thompson $2,500.

Third place went to Justin Rogers and David Kipp. Their 22.39 pound, five-fish limit earned them $1,500.

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