He held his smile until he was about a half a step back stage when he started swinging his arms around out of frustration.
"It seems like destiny," said Thliveros, a six-time BASS winner. "This victory and defending this title are the hallmark of my career."
Apart from being a supporter of BASS and bass conservation, Butler was also a fine fisherman. In 1972, he won the Bassmaster Classic in dramatic fashion.
"The fishing should be good, as it usually is," said Rick Ash, an Elite Series pro who also is a guide on Oneida. "It's such a good lake. And July makes for really good fishing on Oneida.
Immediately following the Elite Empire Chase at Lake Erie, qualifying pros will drive back across the state to Oneida Lake for the second Major of the season, the Bassmaster Memorial.
Scott Rook gave the term "home waters" a whole new meaning in the process of qualifying second among the top 12 pro anglers who advanced to the semifinals of the Bassmaster Legends tournament presented by Goodyear on the Arkansas River.
Bassmaster.com asked local angler Matt Lea what to expect in Arkansas
Major #3: Bassmaster Legends, Arkansas River, Day Two
Mike McClelland's game plan used to include a long run to a fishing hotspot that no one else was likely to find that simply isn't possible anymore
Mike Iaconelli's two-day performance in the Bassmaster Legends serves as a stark reminder of one of the oldest lesson in bass fishing