Michigan autoworker wins $5,000 Shopping Spree contest

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After living on Lake St. Clair, Michigan, his whole life, Kelly Ray knows what lures he likes to use on the Northern fishery: tube jigs and spinners.

Now Ray can buy all the tube jigs and spinners he will need for quite a while, thanks to winning the Bassmaster Shopping Spree Sweepstakes for a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card.

“I enter Bassmaster sweepstakes all the time,” Ray said. “When I learned that I won, that was unreal. I couldn’t believe it.”

Ray lives in Sterling Heights, Mich., about 8 miles from Detroit and works as a tool setter in the auto industry.

He said he is thinking about using his prize to put a down payment on a bass boat. It would be his first time owning a boat.

“I live really close to Lake St. Clair, so I fish it all the time in the summer,” Ray said.

However, he’s not too eager to head out on the lake right now and put some new Bass Pro Shops gear to the test. That will have to wait for warmer weather. “The fish have wintered down already,” he said. “They’re already down deep.”

Ray said his strategy in playing the Bassmaster Shopping Spree Sweepstakes was to log on every day and enter. He said he was trying to win the sweepstakes to fish with another Michigan angler — Kevin VanDam — when the shopping spree caught his eye.

“I grew up fishing with my father,” said Ray, whose personal best fish is a 5 1/2-pound smallmouth.

From now through Dec. 7, visit Bassmaster.com to enter the latest sweepstakes, the Bassmaster Winter Boat Giveaway. The first-place winner will receive a Triton 179 TrX, Yamaha F11LB, Triton single-axle trailer, MotorGuide trolling motor and Lowrance Mark 5. The total value of this prize is $25,095.

A second prizewinner will receive a Triton 17 TX, Mercury 60 ELPT, Triton single-axle trailer, MotorGuide trolling motor and Lowrance 3X depthfinder. This prize is valued at $17,395.

All entries must be received by midnight on Dec. 7 to be eligible, and the two winners will be selected on Dec. 9.