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> Day 4: 5, 14-15 (20, 61-14) Photo by: Seigo Saito - Jones made the long-distance run to Pool 9 for the fourth straight day and hammered the same spot he’d fished on days 1-3. He caught another 40 keepers, a mix of smallmouth and largemouth, off the rocky patch in the middle of the river and it carried him to his best finish of the season.

More importantly, he locked himself into the Bassmaster Classic, meaning he can approach next week’s AOY event with a more relaxed mindset.

“I accomplished all the goals I set for myself this week,” he said. “Number 1, I wanted to finish strong and have momentum to carry into next year and the Classic. Number 2 was to make the Classic and not have any pressure at the AOY. That’s a great luxury. The pressure’s off and I can go try to only find giants and try to win there.”

Still, he said it stung a little falling short of what would’ve been his second full-field Elite Series win.

“I’m really happy for Ott,” he said. “Coming within a couple pounds of winning and not winning, it’s hard, but when you’re taking more risks going through locks and being in the situation I was in, I was really pleased with it.” Read more

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> Day 2: 5, 15-12 (10, 30-07) Photo Gary Tramontina - Jones has spent the first two days taking a conservative approach on what he considered his back-up spot after his preferred area from practice was unfishable on Thursday and again today.

“When I went to my A spot from practice yesterday, it was blown out,” he said. “When I realized that, I panicked. I had one other spot that had some merit and when I went there, I had my weight within 12 casts. Today, it took me about 20 casts. It’s better now than in practice.”

After his early flurry, he rode out part of the storm tucked away under a bridge alongside fellow Texan Kelly Jordon.

“That was a stormy day,” he said. “It’s been a while since I fishied through a day like that. Lightning and I don’t get along.”

Having not leaned on his spot for an extended period of time so far, Jones is curious to see what it’ll produce on the weekend.

“With today’s rain, it could be blown out and muddy tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve caught 15 fish there in 2 days, so maybe there were just 15 there and they were real aggressive, but it feels like a spot that’s reloading. My first five today were bigger than my first five yesterday.

“I’m in a vast area, but there’s one little sweet spot and I think the conditions have pushed the fish to that sweet spot.” Read more

As a kid, Alton Jones used to ride his 10-speed bicycle around the Park Cities, holding a fishing pole in one hand and a tackle box in the other.

Forty years later, he might have ditched the bike, but he’s still holding the tackle box and the fishing rod. And Jones hasn’t lost any of his lifelong passion for a sport in which he’s been a professional for more than a quarter century.

Jones has been one of the top anglers in the world for the past several years, and he reached the pinnacle of the sport in 2008, when he won the Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina (and was subsequently invited to the White House to meet fellow Texan and outdoor enthusiast George W. Bush). He doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon.

“If you’re 10 years into a career in a physical sport, you’re done,” Jones said. “But fishing gives you some longevity.”

Jones credits his maternal grandfather, who taught him to fish at age two. In the years that followed, they fished at lakes in East Texas almost every weekend. Jones began reading Bassmaster magazine when he was 7.

Growing up in the Park Cities, he used to throw bread in the water at Caruth Park to attract carp. And he caught some bass in Turtle Creek. Later, Jones became the president of the field and stream club at Highland Park High School, where he graduated in 1981. Read Full Story

For almost 30 years, Alton Jones has succeeded in the elite level of professional bass fishing. Take an exclusive tour of his 2016 tournament rig and learn more about his gear and boat organization. See Alton's Boat

Load Your Live Well

Did that most recent cold front throw you a curve ball? Did the bite you were on suddenly disappear? There is always a solution to every problem, here’s one that has saved my day on many occasions. After severe cold fronts big bass almost always seek out the darkest shadows they can find. 

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