The yellow and black attack of Auburn, California's Skeet Reese was victorious today at the Bassmaster Elite Series event on West Point Lake out of LaGrange, Georgia. Reese started the day in 7th. Thanks to a limit of bass weighing 15 pounds 4 ounces, Reese shot to the top and stayed put. In second place was Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama. Martens ended up with 44 pounds 4 ounces of fish for his four days of fishing. This victory was the 7th Bassmaster victory for the former Bassmaster Classic and Angler of the Year champ.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Pete Ponds of Madison, Mississippi, Hank Cherry of Maiden, North Carolina and Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas.
Reese was never sure.
"I didn't know if I could catch a fish each day I went out," said Reese. "Seriously, this was a very tough event. I saw what Steve Kennedy did here last time with a swimbait, and I love fishing swimbaits. I fantasized about winning this with swimbaits. I couldn't get bit with one.
"I wound up fishing a community area in the Highland Marina area. I was staying at Highland Marina. It was the best area I had, so I fished there throughout the tournament."
Winning and Angler of the Year points are priority for Reese.
"It feels really good to win," said Reese. "We play to win every time. The trophy, the cool 100 grand, and earning more points for the one title I fish for, the Angler of the Year. Today I just went fishing and I got big bites."
Reese used a variety of Berkley Havoc baits including a Bottom Hopper and a Dover Crawler. A Lucky Craft LV100 lipless crankbait was also in his arsenal.
Martens missed opportunities.
"You really have to have a flawless event to win," said Martens. "I lost a 5-pounder today that is going to haunt me, along with a couple of 3-pounders. I had my opportunities, but that 5-pounder was really a jab to the heart. My line broke on a log after I hooked it, around two this afternoon."
Ponds okay with finish.
"I'm happy with my finish," said Ponds. "I fished hard. I wouldn't change much. I caught most of my fish on top with a Pop-R. Today I fished a drainage area and caught some on a spinnerbait."
"I really thought it was going to be my day," said Cherry. "I caught that 5-pounder right away, but it just didn't turn out that way for me. I'm glad my family is here. I tell you, every time I come to Georgia it rains, and it rained this week."
Faircloth pumped for final day.
"I had real high hopes after my big bag yesterday," said Faircloth. "It's human nature to fish the same way today as I did yesterday. It just didn't pan out. I switched up in the afternoon to catch what I weighed."
Championship Sunday final:
1. Skeet Reese: 46-06
2. Aaron Martens: 44-06
3. Pete Ponds: 44-01
4. Hank Cherry: 41-02
5. Todd Faircloth: 39-01
6. Chris Zaldain: 38-14
7. Cliff Pace: 38-10
8. Greg Vinson: 38-01
9. Rick Clunn: 37-05
10. Tommy Biffle: 34-14
11. Casey Ashley: 34-05
12. Cliff Crochet: 29-15