Tharp breathing easier now

One cast, one fish. That's what an entire season can come down to on the last day of the AOY Championship. Randall Tharp may have just guaranteed himself a Bassmaster Classic berth with a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass at 2:17 p.m.

Tharp was on the verge of missing the AOY top 35 cut for an automatic berth. He came into the tournament 33rd in Angler of the Year points. Tharp was in 32nd based on the Day 2 standings at Chatuge. And he wasn't having a good day today, languishing in low 30s with a limit weighing about 6 or 7 pounds.

Then - boom - one cast, one fish and Tharp's in great shape. That 4-pound, 10-ounce bass, according to BASSTrakk, allowed him to cull a dink, give him 11-8 for the day, 30-15 for the tournament and move him up to 21st place in the BASSTrakk standings.