That’s maybe the first time you’ve heard his name all week. We ran his picture on this site yesterday after his finish at Caney. But he isn’t one that gets a lot of attention like some other pro anglers.
But as of 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon, anybody following the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Stage One event that has been pounding north Louisiana waters the past six days had now heard it. He is the champion of the six – day event! Roy, a pro angler from Lancaster, Kentucky, caught five bass weighing 26 pounds, two ounces to claim the first prize of $100,000 at the Bussey Brake Boat Dock in front of a fairly large crowd of spectators.
Roy, the Kentucky-based pro, who was the youngest angler to fish a Bassmaster Elite Series event; was 19 years old when he qualified to fish the Major League Fishing Elites and had collected 11 Top 10s and 22 Top 20s in his professional career heading to Bussey Brake, just nailed the high point of his young pro fishing career.
“Man, this has been a long time coming,” he said of his first tour victory. “Many times during the day I doubted I would do it. In the last period, I didn’t catch a bass for three hours and I kept seeing the updates where others were creeping up. The other anglers in a format like this make you more nervous than the bass. Any one of them can blow up on you at any minute.”
The winner caught his bass flipping a beaver style bait up into thick, thick brush.
Bussey’s big bass laid in wait almost all day before some of them decided to start showing up. As one of the MLF Live commentators said, “These guys fishing Bussey today is kind of like Major League Baseball having a Home Run Derby with the wind blowing in”. Yes, it was. As the afternoon wore on, it didn’t even look like enough of the ten anglers would even catch a scoreable bass to be able to decide how to hand out the top ten paychecks without a coin flip. But that changed.
Roy’s biggest bass was 8 pounds, 14 ounces. Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas finished second and nailed a nine pounder and had five bass weighing 24-15. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala. was third with 24-9 and Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C. finished fourth with 23-15.
Randy Howell again made the big bass splash of the day. After setting a new record for big bass in an MLF Bass Pro event on Caney Wednesday, Howell did it again. Howell landed a 12 pound, 14 ounce lunker for the big bass of the day.
It’s unofficially a new lake record. You can get out your calculator and double check me, but here goes. Tyler Stewart held the lake record for bass at 12.74 pounds, weighed on a digital scale using hundredths. MLF scales weighs bass in pounds and ounces. So a 12 pound, 14 ounce bass would convert in that previous format to a 12.88 pound largemouth. Both were weighed on certified scales. We will weight….I mean wait…on the final call on that one.
The first four qualifying days were held at Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville; the knockout round to bring it to ten anglers was held at Caney in Chatham and the finals at Bussey in Bastrop. It’s a first-time event for MLF in this area. You can learn lots more and see lots more photos from the event here:
Bonus coverge: Thanks to Steve Adams of Farmerville today, I got to spend a good bit of time watching and photographing several of the anglers up close, including Roy and Howell. Steve took out writers and photographers every day during the six-day event. Okay, here you go. I don’t know how many anglers missed big bass during the final afternoon, but I know I missed a BIG one. Steve and I were watching Howell up close for almost an hour as he worked down a brush line near one of the windbreak areas. We decided since fishing was slow, we’d motor down the lake and look at some other folks. As we idled out of the area, the SCORETRACKER (official MLF on-line live tournament tracker) on our ipad lit up. “Randy Howell has just boated a 12 pound, 14 ounce bass”. Dad gum. Lake record. Big bass of the tournament. In my rear view mirror. Thrift, Roy, Lee and Howell were fishing in the same type areas within sight of each other.
Dad gum. But Steve, an avid crappie angler, couldnt’ stand it. When he saw a bunch of crappie on his electronics he did have to dip a jig in the water. Thump. Yep, he caught one.
This was an absolute great event. MLF is a great event and these guys are exemplary professional anglers. Thanks to the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Tourist Bureau and the Louisiana Department of Tourism for getting them here. It was a huge benefit to all of northeast Louisiana and the local hospitality in Ouachita, Union, Morehouse and Jackson parishes was excellent. And yes, they noticed!
Stay tuned. We’ll have more on the event and some more big bass photos!
What they won: