DENISON, Texas -- Mike Pharr of Shreveport, La., capitalized on some key slip-ups at the top of the leaderboard to claim his first BASS win at the final stop of the 2010 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Opens on Lake Texoma.
Pharr added 10 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to build his three-day total to 27 pounds, 4 ounces.
"This is unreal, I don't know what I'm going to do," the firefighter said. "To win without catching a single limit is pretty wild."
Pharr relied on a slew of baits to catch all nine of the bass he weighed in. With fishing ultra-tough on Texoma, Pharr made his bites count. An Omega football jig, Omega Revelation swimming jig, a Tru-Trac spinnerbait and what he called an LSU crankbait (it's purple and chartreuse) ultimately snagged the right fish and earned Pharr $42,171.
"I call that crankbait the Les Miles (LSU's head football coach) crankbait, because it can pull a win out of nowhere," Pharr said.
Pharr has been borrowing boats from friends recently to fish tournaments because his has a blown engine so he will look to invest in some hefty repairs with his winnings.
Former Elite Series pro Brian Clark of Haltom City, Texas, made a big run at the lead the final day. Clark registered the heaviest single-day of the tournament, a 13-11 limit (one of five today) that bumped him up to a 26-10 total, which was within 1 pound but ultimately wasn't enough. In third was Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas, who totaled 26 pounds, 0 ounces.
With the strong performance at Texoma, Combs ended up winning the Central Open points standings. That distinction earned him a coveted 2011 Classic berth. He was second in the standings heading into the tournament and though he faced an uphill battle for the lead, Craig Schuff of Watauga, Texas, faltered at Texoma, opening the door.
And with Schuff posting a disappointing 48th here, Clark Reehm of Lufkin, Texas, took advantage, snaring the second Classic berth via the Opens. With 24 pounds, 11 ounces, the Elite pro scored a fifth place here and edged out Schuff by three points.
On the co-angler side, Matt Crawford of Little Elm, Texas, earned a brand-new Skeeter FX190 with a 150-horsepower Yamaha motor for a three-day catch that weighed 13-7.
"You have no idea how great this is," he said. "I didn't think I had enough to win, but then I caught my (only fish of the day) with an hour left. This is great."
In second was JC Thompson of Calera, Okla., with 12-4 while Bo Rhodes of Carrollton, Texas, was third with 11-12.
With the completion of the Central Opens circuit, Combs and Reehm are Classic-bound and five other pros are invited to fish the 2011 Elite Series. They are: Craig Schuff of Watauga, Texas; Lee Sisson of Winter Haven, Fla.; Dean Alexander of Florence, Texas; Aaron Johnson of Bossier City, La., and James Stricklin of Jasper, Texas.