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As an avid hunter, Alton Jones knows the importance of being stealthy in the field. When a deer locks in on you or hears something out of the ordinary, your chances of bagging it are likely cooked.

The same goes on the water, at least when fishing for bedding bass as he was at the St. Johns River Bassmaster Elite Series. The veteran pro from Waco, Texas, went to great lengths to blend into his surroundings and not draw the attention of the hefty females he was targeting all week. Read More

Photo - BASS - James Overstreet - PALATKA, Fla. — Alton Jones’ Sunday victory on the St. Johns River was all the sweeter for the redemption sprinkled on top.

He finally got the St. Johns Bassmaster Elite Series win that slipped through his fingers last season. That memory, and the fact that he ran out of time Sunday to entice a lunker he could see on a bed, gave the pro from Woodway, Texas, a few tense moments as he was waiting for the final-day trek to the scales. He was feeling shaky despite the 9-pound lead he had going into the day.

But win he did, with 75 pounds, 9 ounces and by a margin of 1 pound, 2 ounces, over runner-up Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas.

“I am absolutely speechless that I won. I entered the weigh-in line today thinking I had lost this tournament. It was a complete reversal of fortune from last year,” he said. “That’s all gone now. It always feels good to win.” Read More

Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito - Jones is a big college basketball fan so this is obviously one of his favorite times of the year. He’s not a bad sight-fisherman either as he’s proven at the St. Johns last year and so far this week.

He knows, however, that having a 9-plus pound lead is the equivalent of holding a 12-point edge with 5 minutes to go on the hardwood. Tomorrow, he wants to close the deal and take home his first Elite Series title.

“I’ll have to go out and execute tomorrow,” he said. “You always see basketball teams get a big lead and they let up a little bit and they invariably let the other team back into the game and it’s a struggle right to the end. But you’ll see a few teams and one that comes to mind is the UConn women and when you watch them, they always play like they’re 1 point behind, no matter how far they’re ahead. That’s how I have play tomorrow. I have to fish like I’m 1 pound behind.” Read More

Photo by BASS/James Overstreet - PALATKA, Fla. — Alton Jones, leading the St. Johns River Showdown by more than 7 pounds going into Saturday’s competition, padded his lead by the end of the day to 9 pounds, 1 ounce, setting himself up to be hard to catch in Sunday’s final round.

But even with 62 pounds, 14 ounces over three days, Jones of Woodway, Texas, still has some work to do to claim his first Bassmaster Elite Series event title. His top threats include Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, in second with 53-13; Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., third with 51-3; Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, fourth with 48-7; and Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La., fifth with 48-6. Read More

Photo - James Overstreet - PALATKA, Fla. — Alton Jones, leading the Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. Johns River by 7 pounds, 4 ounces, on the second day, could easily feel like he’s been dropped into the plot of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.

One year ago on the same fishery, Jones led the Elite Series field after two days by 7 pounds, 9 ounces. He finished the tournament in third place, coming up short of fulfilling his goal of a first Elite Series win. Now, like Murray in the movie, he has a chance to change the ending of the story.Jones, the 2008 Bassmaster Classic champ from Woodway, Texas, brought a whopping 28 pounds, 7 ounces to the scales Friday, jumping from 17th place into the lead at the season opener with a two-day total of 44-14. 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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