I know nobody thought about it, or I don’t know, maybe it’s against the rules.
But if I were one of the 10 anglers fishing their hearts out on Bussey Brake in the championship round of the Major League Fishing Heavy Hitters tournament Saturday, I tell you what I would have done.
Nine of the anglers struggled to catch fish while one, Alton Jones, Jr., was wearing them out catching 80 plus pounds of bass to outdistance the nearest competitor by nearly 60 pounds. It was like the tortoise and the hare, only the rabbit never quit running full speed.
If I would have been chunking a purple lizard up in the bushes with no results, I would have put my rod down, pulled out my cell phone and watched Major League Fishing LIVESTREAM to see just what the heck Alton, Jr. was doing. Within a few minutes, I would have been picking up a white spinnerbait with a white plastic trailer of some sort and started chunking at cypress trees on the old windbreak.
That’s what Jones was doing.
I would have at least ridden around the lake, found him and watched what he was doing. Heck, that’s unethical you say? No it’s not. Baseball coaches go see what their opponents are doing and use it to their advantage. Football coaches develop intricate game plans based on what their opponents are doing.
Okay, maybe I wouldn’t have. But it’s a thought.
I do bet you one thing. You can’t buy a white Geecrack Bellows Shad within 200 miles of Bussey. You probably can’t even order them online because they are backlogged for six months. That’s what Jones caught all his fish on. There was one local fisherman who graciously offered on the Bussey Brake Lunkers Facebook page to sell his pack for $100. List is about $6.99. Hello, free market.
If Joe Biden was really doing his job, he’d make sure that everyone who fished at Bussey was given a pack for free to eliminate all that capitalistic nonsense.
Okay, I digress again. But on the next point, I am 100% serious and on point.
This event was fantastic for Louisiana as a whole and especially the communities around Bussey and Caney. Caney was kind of a letdown with the fishing as the post-spawn bass were finicky and not as large as usual. It was tough. But Bussey didn’t disappoint, even though the 10-pounders that have been showing up like popcorn at a concession stand had also already spawned.
I’m sure they’ll be back. The Monroe-West Monroe Visitors and Tourist Bureau and the Louisiana Tourism group put up the cash to get them here, so hats off to them. MLF doesn’t release to the public numbers of clicks on their site watching the six-day tournament livestreaming online, but a conservative estimate would be a million views on this type of event, probably a lot more. And that doesn’t even count the TV views when the tournament show hits the air. This is the Big Time.
Hats off to the locals, whose catches have made Bussey a very popular place lately. They cleared out and let the pros have it. Commendable. There were very few local anglers on the lake getting in the way of the pros hunts for $100,000 in cash for the win and $100,000 in cash for the big bass. That’s a class act and didn’t go unnoticed at Bussey.
All week, the anglers took time to sign autographs for kids (and some adults – hey, so what?) and pose for selfies and show visitors their favorite baits. It was awesome.
One more thing. A lot more bass were caught than show up in the final weights. Fish had to be a full THREE POUNDS to even count. As I said earlier, one any smaller might as well have been a white perch. By the way, at least five or six three pound perch were caught by anglers on bass baits during the tournament as well. All the fish were released – yes even the crappie) – right where they were caught.
Want to know or see more? You can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the tournament and more pictures of the week’s fishing than my Mom took at my college graduation online at
Here is how the Top 10 finished (place, number of bass) on Bussey Brake:
1. Alton Jones Jr. – 81-15 (19)
2. Dakota Ebare – 22-15 (5)
3. Andy Morgan – 15-0 (4)
4. Randy Howell – 13-9 (3)
5. Josh Bertrand – 11-2 (2)
6. Bradley Roy – 10-11 (2)
7. Bryan Thrift – 9-6 (1)
8. Edwin Evers – 7-3 (2)
9. Brent Ehrler – 3-10 (1)
10. Ryan Salzman – 3-2 (1)
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