PERCY PRIEST, Tenn. — Don Butler of Tulsa, Okla., claimed the Bassmaster Classic for his first tournament win, and a $10,000 check.
Butler finished 13 pounds ahead of his nearest challenger — with 22 bass total weighing 38 pounds, 11 ounces. Butler used a Small Okiebug, a spinnerbait he designed, to catch his winning weight.
• Don Butler's 13-pound, 7-ounce margin of victory was the Classic's biggest until Rick Clunn lapped the field in the 1984 Classic.
• Butler's comeback after a tough first round with only two small bass is the best in Classic history. He went from 14th place and nearly 13 pounds out to win fishing's biggest event.
• Following his Classic victory, Butler was introduced on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry by Ernest Tubbs.
Top 6 finishers
1. Don Butler Tulsa, Okla, 38-11
2. Ricky Green Arkadelphia, Ark. 25-04
3. Tom Mann Eufaula, Ala. 21-02
4. Jim Finley Lebanon, Mo. 20-10
5. Joe Wilson Hot Springs, Ark. 19-02
6. Doug Howard Brierfield, Ala. 16-05