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Posted By The Bass Hog

ANDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 22, 2016) – After three career Walmart FLW Tour top-20 finishes, numerous wins at the AAA-level and two career championship appearances, pro James Watson of Nixa, Missouri, earned the first FLW Tour victory of his career and $95,400 Saturday at the Walmart FLW Tour Invitational at Norris Lake presented by Quaker State with a final day's catch of four largemouth and one smallmouth bass weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces.

 

“I thought I blew it today, so I am absolutely floored,” said Watson, who pushed his FLW career earnings to more than $276,000. “I’ve won a B.A.S.S. Open, I’ve won a P.A.A. event, but I’ve never won an FLW Tour event. I’ve been fishing these things a long time and I bleed FLW. This is such a huge win for me – by far the biggest financial win of my career. And to punch my ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup before the season even starts, this is big time.”                                                 Courtesy of FLW Outdoors.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

MORGAN CITY, La. — Bites were more frequent for Fred Roumbanis today as he extended his lead in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana.

After catching only six bass the first day of the tournament, Roumbanis had a more productive day Friday, amassing a 16-pound, 6-ounce limit to extend his lead in the pro division with 35-15.

"I was going to scrap what I found the first day because I didn't catch a lot, but I decided to start there again," Roumbanis said. "I caught a 4-pounder immediately, so I put my head down and caught just five fish all day."

Most of what he caught were small fish, and he also lost one big bass, so the London, Ark., pro made some adjustments that triggered more bites today. "I really slowed down and fished more methodically and changed the sizes of my weights and trailers," Roumbanis said.

When the action stopped around 2 p.m., Roumbanis went scouting for new areas. He didn't find anything worth revisiting on Saturday.

Roumbanis plans on sticking with his primary spot, but he will also try a point where he caught several small bass because he thinks it probably holds some big fish as well.

 "I have one other area that is on the opposite side of where I am fishing, but I am going to start (Saturday) where I have been catching them," he said.  

Local favorite Greg Hackney continued to hold second place after catching another double-digit limit to finish the day with 29-10. The Gonzalez, La., pro said he lost some time this morning when he ran into heavy fog. "That took me about 30 minutes longer to get to where I have been going," he said.

He still caught his bass mainly in the morning despite the later start.

"I am still catching plenty of fish, but I am getting a lot of weird bites — kind of mealy mouthed," he said. "The fish just aren't real aggressive."

The former Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year is fishing different areas every day.

"I am kind of running a pattern in a big area," Hackney said. "When I practiced in there I didn't fish all of it, so now I know what to look for."

The rest of the Top 5 pro anglers include Derek Hudnall, Baton Rouge, La., third place, 29-1; Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, fourth, 29-0; and David Cavell, Prairieville, La., fifth, 28-14.

Catching another limit helped Blake Naquin of Thibodaux, La., stay in first place in the co-angler division with 16-14. While fishing in the Bayou Black area, Naquin finished his limit around noon and then caught a "few more knotheads" (small fish) the rest of the day.

Hunter Parra of Houma, La., continues to lead in the pro division for the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award with his 7-12 largemouth. Vincent Todaro of Luling, La., took over the lead in the co-angler division for the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award with a 4-5 largemouth.


Saturday's launch will be held at the Jesse Fontenot Memorial Boat Landing. The final weigh-in will move to the Bass Pro Shops at 175 Bass Blvd. in Denham Springs and will begin at 4:45 p.m. CT.


 
Posted By The Bass Hog

MORGAN CITY, La. — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Cliff Crochet cashed in on his home-waters advantage Saturday to claim his first B.A.S.S. victory at the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana.

Sitting in seventh place after the second day of competition Friday, Crochet rallied today with an 18-pound, 4-ounce limit to win the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open and earn the grand prize of a $45,000 Skeeter ZX200/Yamaha VF200LA rig and $6,741 in cash. The Pierre Part, La., angler finished with a three-day total of 46-06 to earn his first Bassmaster victory and a berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

Crochet described today's fishing as "slow and steady." Mixing in some small keepers with some kicker bass, Crochet steadily caught fish throughout the day. He finished his limit by about 11 a.m., and then caught his biggest fish of the day — a 5-12 largemouth — at about 1:45 p.m.

His key bait for the whole tournament was a Luck-E-Strike Ringmaster creature bait that he punched through mats with a 1 1/2-ounce weight.

Another local favorite, Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., retained second place with 42-4. Each day he caught fish early but lost a big one this morning that he said "kind of hurt my feelings."

Co-angler Blake Naquin of Thibodaux, La., went wire-to-wire to win the first-place prize of a $30,000 Nitro Z18/Mercury 150 Pro XS package with a total of 23-9.