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When the Elite Series made a stop on the Mississippi River this past September, Alton Jones turned in a strong performance with a 3rd place finish. While he used a variety of different baits during the tournament, he located several key schools of bass during practice using a crankbait.

Following the third day of competition, Jones divulged that, during practice, he cut off five of the six hook points on his square bill crankbait and pinched down the barb on the one remaining hook point to create a “practice crankbait” that allowed him to feel the weight of the fish before it pulled free.

He believes that the tactic allowed him to go back to the same areas during the tournament and catch fish that would otherwise be lure shy if he had landed them during practice with a traditional crankbait.

Here’s how Jones practices with a crank bait Watch Video

JR - Winning Classic Berth

Had Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open weigh-in been held on Father’s Day it might have been more special but what did happen certainly fell into the ‘special’ category.

Alton Jones Jr. qualify for the 2017 Bassmaster Classic with his father, Alton Jones looking on. The 24-year-old Jones Jr. made it by posting the largest stringer of the 3-day tournament at 13 pounds, 14 ounces to win the prestigious Open in front of a large crowd at the Bossier City Bass Pro Shops.

Jones Jr. also qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series and will fish alongside his father, a past Bassmaster Classic champ next season.

“It’s incredible to be going to my first Classic, and to go in my home state about three hours from our home,” Jones Jr. said. “There’s nothing I can say, but ‘wow.’” Read Full Story - Slide Show - Bassmaster Story

Former Bassmaster Classic champ Alton Jones recently finished the 2016 Elite Series season. He had a solid year finishing 15th overall in the Angler of the Year race and qualified for the prestigious Bassmaster Classic.

So, what will Alton be doing during the fall? Sure, there's hunting and housework, but the bass are still biting, too.

Jones shared his favorite approaches for bagging a few bass when the leaves are changing colors.

Up top.

"I really enjoy fishing the Heddon Super Spook Jr.," said Jones. "Even though it isn't the big Spook, it's still a pretty big topwater. Read More

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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

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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