Swindle, Lane, Avena advance to Classic

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Andy Crawford

ELLIJAY, Ga. — Adrian Avena told his followers on social media Thursday night that Friday’s final round of the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Classic Bracket on Carters Lake would be the most important six hours of his career.
 
Then he went out and made the most of the opportunity.
 
The New Jersey pro was one of three anglers — along with Gerald Swindle and Chris Lane of Alabama — who won their head-to-head matches during the Bracket finals to earn berths into the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
 
Avena, who will be making his first trip to the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing, caught a five-bass limit that weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces, to easily win his match with Japanese pro Shin Fukae, who boated only one keeper that weighed 1-5.
 
“Today was all about making a dream come true,” Avena said. “I’ve never had a day of fishing that meant more, and I’m so glad it happened the way it did for me.”
 
The pressure of the moment was so immense that Avena had trouble sleeping Thursday night, and he used that insomnia to his advantage to make some adjustments to a bait that would be the key to his success Friday.