Alton Jones leads Elite Series stop on St. Johns River
Dustin Wilks in 13th going into second day
Texas' Alton Jones took the first-day lead of the second stop in the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series trail yesterday (March 17).
“I always say that the three most important things in fishing are location, location, location,” Jones said. “That was certainly the case today.”
He was 1 pound, 5 ounces in front of his nearest challenger, Brent Chapman of Kansas, in second with 25-4. In third was Texan Todd Faircloth with 23-10, and in fourth was South Carolina’s Jason Williamson. Rounding out the top five was Tim Horton of Alabama, who had 22-4.
Rocky Mount's Dustin Wilks goes into the second day of competition in 13th with 18-07.
Complete day-one standings can be found at www.bassmaster.com.
The 99-angler field is competing over four days for a $100,000 first prize. The winner’s take also includes a 2012 Bassmaster Classic qualification. Elite anglers are also after points that count toward qualifying for the coveted 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and 2011 postseason, a winner-take-all, $100,000 contest.
Jones’ location was good, but he was sharing it. With multiple anglers working the same spawning grounds off the main St. Johns River, out-of-the-ordinary tricks were in order, Jones said.
“A lot of it is just patience, but I do have a bait that’s really working well,” said Jones, the 2008 Bassmaster Classic champion. “It’s not like you catch a 5-pounder with it every time you throw it. It’s a grind. You have to work for every one of those big bites. It’s nice to have confidence in a bait.”
He weighed in a 9-6 as his biggest bass, but it wasn’t enough to take honors for largest of the day. That went to Williamson, who brought in a 10-3.
“That was the second biggest fish I ever caught in my life,” Williamson said. “I actually lost one today that was a little bigger than she was, so I look forward to tomorrow. I think I’ll have a good chance to catch her.”
Chapman, also sight fishing in an area shared by 12 to 15 other Elite pros, had two anchors in his 25-4 bag. One was a 9-4 and the other was an 8-9.
The 9-4 almost came unbuttoned at the boat, but Chapman grabbed it. The 8-9 hit while he snuck a bite of a sandwich.
“All of a sudden, the rod about got jerked out of my hand,” he said. “Those two fish there made a world of difference. They were typical big fish for Florida, and that’s what you need here — a big one and a limit.”
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No one, including Howell really thought he had a shot.
“I didn’t expect to have the chance to win after the first day, and especially after yesterday,” Howell said.
But he whacked the bass today, putting 29 pounds, 2 ounces on the scales to seal the 2014 Bassmaster Classic championship and pocketing the $300,000 first-place prize.">Howell changes fishing area, claims 2014 Bassmaster Classic
Posted on February 23 at 8:45 pm by
“I went to cranking rocks this afternoon,” Cherry said.
That strategy yielded quick results, and the Bassmaster Elite Series pro built a 17-pound, 7 ounce stringer.
But it wasn’t enough to make the cut: Cherry wrapped up the tournament in 27th place, only two places out of the cut.">Cherry improves weight, misses Bassmaster Classic cut
Posted on February 22 at 8:47 pm by
Emcee Dave Mercer announced Evers needed 20 pounds, 9 ounces to claim the lead, and that’s exactly what the scales read.
The stringer brought Ever’s two-day weight to 47 pounds, 6 ounces.">Evers edges out Tharp for Day 2 lead in Bassmaster Classic
Posted on February 22 at 8:12 pm by
“The fish are in some places I haven’t seen them in five to seven years,” the Florida pro said. “Every time I fish a tournament here this time of year, I make a point to check these places — and the fish haven’t been there in years.”">Tharp leads after first day of Bassmaster Classic
Posted on February 21 at 8:45 pm by
“I had one pretty good day, and then I had two not-so-good ones,” Cherry said after leaving the weigh-in stage. “But after Wednesday I thought I was going to kill it;it was that good.”
Unfortunately, he was thrown a curve ball when a severe storm system rolled through the area and dumped inches of rain and kicked up high winds — a combination that turned all of Cherry’s spots to mud pits.">Cherry has tough day on Bassmaster Classic’s first day
Posted on February 21 at 7:28 pm by
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