Strong finish trumps slim chances
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — In 12th place with 73 pounds when the championship round of the Southern Challenge began Sunday morning, Kentucky's Kevin Wirth was the least likeliest angler to reach the "Century Club" by exceeding a four-day haul of 100 pounds or more.
Guess who was the first angler to pass that milestone Sunday afternoon? Wirth brought 29 pounds, 3 ounces to the scales and finished in third place with 102 pounds, 3 ounces. In the process, his paycheck went from $10,500 for 12th to $20,000 for third.
As it was, only Aaron Martens (107-8) Skeet Reese (104-4), Wirth and Mike Iaconelli (101-1) passed the century mark.
The big bite goes bust
Alton Jones knew he was in for a rough time in the championship round when his best spot produced only one small bass Sunday morning.
"I've seen bigger fish on a pizza," Jones said of his first fish. His final stringer was 12 pounds, 11 ounces.
Jones wound up 12th with 89-3, but he's now only 58 points behind Kevin VanDam in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Skeet Reese, with 1,293 points, separate leader VanDam (1,298) and Jones (1,240).