BASS TALK LIVE with HEAVY HITTERS CHAMPION, ALTON JONES
Alton Jones Wins MLF General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops
RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It was a sight-fishing clinic on Shearon Harris Reservoir in Raleigh on Wednesday, and pro Alton Jones of Woodway, Texas, was the professor. The Texas angler boated 12 bass weighing 45 pounds, 9 ounces to dominate the final-day Championship Round and win the top prize of $100,000 at the Major League Fishing (MLF) General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops in North Carolina. Jones won by a 15-pound, 5-ounce margin over pro Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, who caught eight bass totaling 30-4. Sprague, however, was not disappointed in his finish as he earned the top Big Bass Bonus of $100,000 with a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth.
Just 23 minutes into Period 2, Jones caught a 3-pound, 3-ounce bass to move into the top position on the leaderboard and he never relinquished it. The tall Texan showed MLF NOW! viewers why he has long been considered one of the top sight-fishing anglers in the game.
“This feels so, so good. It’s been a while since I’ve won a Tour-level event like this, and it was a very special day,” said an emotional Jones when he came off of the water. “After my practice time, I knew that I had found several key areas that had the potential to be really special for this event, if I could just make the final rounds.
“When we did our morning ride-through this morning and I got on the trolling motor, I found about 10 3-pounders in my first pass through the cove, and I thought to myself, ‘you know what, this could actually happen.’ I didn’t know if they were going to bite, but if they did I was going to have a chance. And sure enough, here I am. I still can’t believe that I’m the Heavy Hitters Champion.”
Jones saw the majority of the fish that he caught on Wednesday on beds, and managed to boat a dozen keepers flipping an “old-school” Texas-rigged Canyon Plastics Gitzit tube (green-pumpkin with purple and black metal flake).
“I really like throwing a tube during the spawn – it’s a bait that will catch a 2-pounder, a 3-pounder, but it will also catch a 10-pounder,” Jones said. “So, it’s good bait to fish for numbers and size. My Kistler rods were also very important – I used a Kistler Z Bone. That rod is super-light, super-sensitive, and super-strong and helped me out a lot today.”
Jones also shared some of his sight-fishing prowess with the crowd gathered at the takeout ramp.
“Every fish that I caught today was an individual,” Jones said. “I had to figure out what each fish was doing, and how to work that particular fish. That’s one of the things that I love about sight fishing – you treat every fish as an individual. What makes one fish hot, the other fish will ignore. So, it’s kind of a thinking man’s game. It’s a stealthy game, because you can see them, but they can also see you. I try to hide from the fish, and I’ve got a few other little tricks that I like to pull and today, it all worked out for me.”
Top 10 Baits & Patterns: How They Caught ’em in the Heavy Hitters Championship Round
Photo - Garrick Dixon A noted sight-fishing expert, Jones secured the victory while looking at all 12 of the bass he caught during the Championship Round. The majority of his catches during the Knockout Round also came by fishing for spawning fish.
“I caught some (in the Knockout Round) with a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm with a 3/32-ounce weight,” Jones said. “(In the final round) every fish was on the tube. It was easier to fish around the cover, and I was casting over little pieces of cover and working the bait up and down to work the bait and keep it in one place.”
Jones relied on a Canyon Plastics 3 3/4-inch Original Gitzit Tube in #00B (Brown Melon/Black and Purple Glitter) with a 3/16-ounce Reins Tungsten weight and rigged on a 4/0 Owner 4X Jungle Flipping Hook.
Jones Puts on a Sight-Fishing Clinic for Heavy Hitters Win; Sprague Lands $100,000 Big Bass
APRIL 14, 2021 • MASON PRINCE • BASS PRO TOUR
Photo - Garrick Dixon RALEIGH, N.C. – Alton Jones is the winner of General Tire Heavy Hitters Presented by Bass Pro Shops after a dominating performance on Shearon Harris Reservoir to end a memorable week outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. The win was Jones’ first win on the Bass Pro Tour and the seventh tour-level win of his career.
Jones wasn’t the only Texas pro to take home $100,000 during the Championship Round. Fellow Texan Jeff Sprague finished second to Jones on SCORETRACKER®, but also caught a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth that earned him $100,000 for the biggest bass caught in the Championship Round. Sprague was able to edge out Jones by just 3 ounces for Berkley Big Bass honors.
Jones Was In the Championship Zone
Alton Jones’ son, Alton Jones Jr., tweeted earlier Wednesday morning that if the Championship Round of Heavy Hitters turned into a sight-fishing derby, his money was on his old man. Junior’s faith in his father’s sight-fishing ability proved to be prophetic as Senior separated himself from the other nine anglers decisively.
Jones beat out Sprague by 15-5 and was the only angler in the Championship Round to register more than 10 bass to SCORETRACKER®. That even more impressive considering the scorable bass weight threshold was raised to 3 pounds for the final round.
The Bass Force pro knew he had the win locked up for much of the final hour. When his MLF official gave him the good news, Jones was overcome with emotion.
“This feels so good and I’m so grateful,” Jones said through tears moments after being named the winner. “It’s been a long time since I’ve won an event. I’ve always said the three most important things in bass fishing are: location, location and location. That was absolutely the key for me today. You can be doing the right thing in the wrong place and not catch them.”
The Garmin pro’s location was one that he found during his lone practice day on Shearon Harris. It was an area that he knew he was going to have to sight fish with a Texas-rigged tube.
“I knew in practice I found several areas that were going to be productive,” Jones said. “The place that I did my damage in today was where I started Tuesday morning and I didn’t even catch a fish there. I pulled in there today and there was a fish spawning every 20 feet. I was blessed with some really good fish.”
Alton Jones pulled his 49 pounds worth of fish in the Knockout Round
MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING/GARRICK DIXON - Prior to the start of the Bass Pro Tour event in Raleigh, N.C., Alton Jones said the event should be right in his wheelhouse. The veteran from Texas backed up his words in the Knockout Round.
Jones caught 12 fish from Falls Lake that combined to weigh 49-01 to lead the contingent of 10 anglers who advanced to the Championship Round at Shearon Harris Reservoir. His haul was highlighted by a 7 1/2-pounder that he caught with 30 minutes to fish.
"It was a fun day, but I had to work for every bite I got," he said. "Once I figured out how to get some bites, I just had to find as much of that kind of water as I could and cover it effectively. It wasn't like I had a magic spot or anything like that." Read More