Pikes Peak Bass Masters: CCC Championship Rnd

2014 Challenge Cup, Top Three.jpg
Sunday, October 12
2014 Colorado Challenge Cup--presented by TY-REX Construction

Derek Phillips


Colorado "Challenge Cup"



This years "Challenge Cup" was full of anglers with the ability to win it all from the beginning.  Although the Top 12, from the Pikes Peak Bass Masters final standings, is always a field of good anglers, this group was exceptionally scary this year.  With some new members in the club this year, pushing their way into the top spots, it was not sure who would come out on top.

Another new addition to this years "Challenge Cup" event was the Scoretracker Live scoring ability. Seeing the fish catches, as they happened on the lake, was so exciting for many family and friends that were watching via that site.  If you didn't watch this year, you missed the most exciting "Challenge Cup" to date!  Here is how it all went down this year...... 

After determining who the final 3 were from the Sudden Death Round, (Steve Cubbage, Todd Gentzel, and Derek Phillips), the three met at the chosen lake for the finals, Chatfield Reservoir.  The lake was higher than we as a club have seen it for some time, and it was October 11th in Colorado, so crowding was not going to be an issue.

Period 1----7:00-9:00am

The guys launched off just before 7:00am.  The weather was to be cooler, windy, and cloud covered for most the day.  The rain was to come in by 2:00pm, so we were all hoping to be off the water by the time the storms came in.  The air temp was in the mid 40s at take off.  The water temp was barely 60 all day. 

Steve Cubbage, the only contestant that had never been on Chatfield before, decided he would go with his gut, and with what he had learned from the maps, and fish some rip-rappy areas hoping to get a Crank-bait bite going.  He was instantly rewarded with a fish weighing in at 1-lb and another of 14-oz.  I wish there was more to write here, but that was it for the first period!  Todd Gentzel and Derek Phillips did not have a fish to weigh, and perhaps, not even a fish that bit them, in those two hours!  Everyone at home was wondering if the signal was lost and that we were unable to enter the fish weights....Nope!  No other fish to report!  Oh, boy!  Here we go!  A great finish in the making!

Period 2----9:30-11:30am

The second period found Gentzel getting his bearings and doing what comes natural for him......putting pressure on anyone else fishing in any bass tournament.  He went out and started of the second period with a fish weighing in at 1-14.  That folks, is a tie!  The tie breaker for this event is the biggest fish weighed between two anglers that are tied, so you see where this story is going... 

More to come!  

Saturday, October 19
2013 Challenge Cup-Championship Round!


Todd Gentzel 

holds on to repeat as 

"Challenge Cup" Champion!

This years championship round of the "Challenge Cup" presented by Ferguson Buick-GMC, was more than most expected earlier in the year.  Most of the members in the Pikes Peak Bass Masters club are becoming better than average bass fishermen and are being taught to do so by the experienced members in this club, as well as the newer guys that are just learning techniques.

Todd Gentzel has been in the running's and at the top of his game in most of the club's events over the past few years.  This 2013 season, Todd was forced to work much harder than usual to attain any of the top finishes he accomplished.  The tides that are changing was evident with the fact that this year there were "no repeat winners" in 10 events held by this club.  Domination is no longer as easy a possibility as in the past years.  With the competition in this club as high as it has ever been, Todd knew he had to be back at the top of his game to accomplish a repeat performance this year of winning the "Challenge Cup" Championship.

Standing in Todd's way of "the Cup" win this year were Mike Rathe and Steve Cubbage, two finalists that were more than happy to assist Todd in "not getting that repeat title" notch in his belt.  Both were considered underdogs, yet both were amped up and mentally ready to prove guys wrong at this event taking place on this fine, fine morning in mid October!  Mother Nature was helping to set things up for an upset and these guys were ready to oblige!

The weather started off at a chilly 23 degrees at take off.  The cool air hitting the much warmer 56 degree water created a very heavy and thick fog across the entire lake.  Visibility was at about 5o yards, if that.  The 3 competitors decided to launch and ban together to head west slowly to the unit they were to compete in.  With the GPS mapping, it was easy to avoid the bank, but what about other boats?  Oh yea...there are no other boats at this time in the morning as nobody is as crazy to be out on the water in these temperatures as this group.  It was decided that none of the anglers were to put their boats on plane for safety reasons and they all eased down the lake as one entity into the spooky, thick fog.

Reaching the start of the unit they were assigned, the competitors realized the normal start time would be unrealistic with the fog delay and they agreed to start 30 minutes later than usual, giving all of them time to ease to their starting points within the unit.  At 7:30 the reels were "clicking," the rods were "swooshing" and the lures were in the air!  The 2013 "Challenge Cup" was under way!

Period 1

Very early into the first period, Mike Rathe was well on his way to making some guys very sad.  He placed two fish on the scales at only 20 minutes into this game.  Both the other anglers were struggling to get out of the short fish almost an hour into the competition.  Finally, Steve Cubbage found one of the pesky critters he was searching for and sent Todd Gentzel into a place that he had never been before....Last Place for the first time ever in six times being in one of these events!  The feeling didn't last long as Todd made a move and began his trek to the top of the leader board.  By the end of the 1st period, Todd had moved far away from that scary place he started, and was in the lead by over a pound.

Period 2

The second period had Gentzel heading back to the area he had finished in prior.  Cubbage went to the same basic area and Rathe went to a new area out of sight of the others.  This period is usually where guys solidify their pattern, or find out the pattern they thought they had is a bust.  Gentzel solidified his pattern, catching 8 lbs+, while the other two struggled getting only one of their bites into the boat in the period.  The end of the second period found Gentzel (8+lbs) ahead of the other two guys as it appeared to be another runaway win for Gentzel......appeared to be!

Period 3

The third period found Gentzel going all the way back to the area he started in again.  Rathe, trailing behind the others by at least 2 decent fish, decided to go back to places he caught fish in and keep his bait in the water.  Unfortunately for Rathe, those areas had already been pounded by Gentzel just earlier.  Cubbage, disgusted with his second period performance, pulled himself off the mat and made a drastic move to start fresh someplace and shake off the "blahs."   His choice produced a fish almost immediately, but Gentzel returned the favor just seconds later.  Not at all detoured by Gentzel's return punch that was slightly smaller than his own, Cubbage produced another, and another, and another to make a giant charge in only 40 minutes at what seemed like Gentzel's "comfortable lead!"  Gentzel had to watch his lead crumble down to only a mere 3 lbs ahead of Cubbage with 1 hr and 20 minutes to go!  Oh no!

To Gentzel's excitement, he was able to counter the onslaught with only one fish, but to Gentzel, that fish was worth tons of weight........off his back that is!  The giant mental advantage it gave to him was well beyond the advantage the actual weight the fish gave to him.  Cubbage, knowing he was 2 good fish or 3 average fish away from a surprise victory, had to control his nerves and regain control of the pressure by putting another fish in the boat.  Just a few cast into the final hour, Cubbage hooked a 2+ lb fish and got him to the boat......but not in the boat!  With one final tug, the fish made his escape and took his chances for the win along with him.  Deflated, but not flat, Cubbage gave it all in the final minutes, only to be disappointed again, as another 2+lb fish waved his fin at Cubbage as he tossed the crankbait on his way out of town.

In the end, Gentzel never got another fish to cooperate and survived one of the best come back performances he has ever had to face in a "Challenge Cup" event!  Was Gentzel nervous at the end......like you had never seen him before!

 Congrats to Todd Gentzel, Steve Cubbage, and Mike Rathe for making this 2013 event one for the record books all the way around!




Nov. 17, 2012


PPBM "Challenge Cup"

gets a Champion!


The final day of the "Challenge Cup" was a day in November we will not soon forget!  The sun was out, the temperature rose into the upper 60's, the water temperature was in the low 50's and rising, and the fish were biting as if it were Spring time!  Colorado bass fishing in November can be this good?....Yes!  It is every year!

Three "Pikes Peak Bass Master" anglers, Troy Limmer, Todd Gentzel, and Derek Phillips, were attempting to become the first "Challenge Cup Champion," in this format, and stop the other two anglers from getting their name on "the Cup."  The draw for their unit happened the prior evening at 6:00pm and the anglers were given notice.  Unit 2 was the area that provided us with the Challenge Cup "record to date" of 42lbs-12oz in Round 1 of the challenge and was drawn again for the finals.  There was a particular area in that zone that had many fish holding in it......back a couple of weeks ago.  All three anglers had fished in that unit before and witnessed what kind of fish weights it can produce.  The anglers started working on a lake game plan with one angler, working first, on the other two angler's!    

Todd Gentzel was the angler that had the record setting day on Day 1 of the event in a particular area in Unit 2.  He is also the angler that began his lobbying right away to the other two competitors in an attempt to convince them to let him have the "hot area" all to himself at the beginning of this final day.  Somehow he got the other two anglers to take the bait and they agreed to his desperate wishes.............at least for most of the first period of this Final Day event!

It turns out that Todd got such a  jump in weight, in that first period, that the other two anglers were playing catch up and fishing for second place early on.  It also turns out the "hot area" only produced a couple of medium fish and it did not produce the majority of the fish Todd caught that helped him begin a run away for the title.  Todd plucked fish from everywhere he went and ended up with a giant 37lb-12oz limit to slam the door shut on Derek and Troy for the overall title of "Challenge Cup" Champion!

Troy Limmer  began the day behind everyone after each angler had caught a few fish a piece.  He then began to get a pattern working and started to accumulate some good fish that put some distance between he and third place Derek.  Those same fish were also helping him to close the distance between he and the leader.  A few different times, Troy got closer to the leader by catching some really good fish on "back to back" casts.  He would then have to watch that gain disappear as Todd would return the favor with a couple of fish in a row himself.  Troy put together what would be considered a strong winning pattern catching 21lbs........if only Todd wasn't in the finals!  It was a great showing and a well earned 2nd place finish! 

 Derek Phillips, the guy that many projected to win the title, had one of those events that he would like to forget.  You know, one of those days where you break off a Carolina Rig, re-tie it, snag it again on the next cast, break it off, re-tie it, snag it again on the next cast and break it off again.  Unfortunately for Derek, it was like that all day long...with backlashes to boot!  Derek had one of those events where he couldn't get into a consistant rhythm no matter how hard he tried.  He started the day by catching the biggest fish of the event and took the lead early.  Very soon after that catch, it all began to go down hill for him, causing him to fall behind by too much to run down guys that were running hard away from him.  Derek never gave up and added fish until the final bell.  He never let Troy relax until it was actually over.  All in all......when fishing against the skill level of guys that are in the Pikes Peak Bass Masters club, a 3rd place finish is really good stuff!                              

"V"-Troy Limmer with a good November Largemouth!

Right Now by Van Halen