Loughran misses Wheeler event due to kidney stones; season now in doubt

Ed Loughran

DECATUR, Ala. — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Ed Loughran III of Richmond, Va., decided to skip the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake due to trouble with kidney stones, and his return to competition in 2024 is uncertain at this time.

“Over the past decade or two I’ve had kidney stone issues from time to time,” said Loughran, who has fished the Elite Series since 2019. “I hadn’t had any problems in three or four years. This year, I had a kidney stone at St. Johns and after the Lake Murray event.

“(Thursday) I had to take myself to Athens-Limestone Hospital and admit myself to the ER,” Loughran, 53, added. “They did what they could do. They gave me a bunch of painkillers, which I did not take, because they’re opiates, and I don’t want to go down that road.”

Loughran said he fished the Wheeler Lake practice period in moderate pain, but his pain increased the night before the tournament.

“I was hoping I would pass it and it would be fine,” he said. “But the pain became a nine out of 10. It just didn’t make sense to fight through it. I’ve had kidney stones for 15 years and fished through them, but this was different. This was a different situation.”

Loughran said doctors found a kidney stone by MRI “4 or 5 millimeters in diameter.”

“I have an appointment with my doctor Friday in Virginia to see if there’s surgery necessary or what they can do,” he said.

Loughran has posted two Top 10 finishes in 2024, including an eighth-place finish at the Harris Chain in Florida in April and a seventh-place effort at South Carolina’s Lake Murray in May. He is sitting in 53rd place in the Progressive Bassmaster Angler of the Year race after the first five Elite events of the season in solid position to qualify for the 2025 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Classic presented by Jockey Outdoors scheduled for March 21-23 in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This dashes my hope for the Classic,” Loughran said. “I felt like I had momentum going this year, but I won’t be going back to Lake Ray Roberts to try to improve on my 12th-place finish I had there (at the 2021 Classic). That’s the most disappointing thing.”