We just got back from the Forrest Wood Cup on Murray this past week and while we were there, we had an opportunity to speak with Larry Nixon and Jay Yelas about their careers. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these videos (much better audio by the way) for you to see into their pasts and relive some of the more memorable moments of their careers.
Up first Larry Nixon talks about his biggest tournament fish ever, a fish that Bassmaster rookie Jay Yelas lipped. The tournament was the 1990 Megabuck event held on the Harris Chain. Nixon won the event, beating Roland Martin by 9-15, after a hard fought battle in the four-day qualifying round.
Here’s some background on the event.
The event lasted six days, with the first four days the qualifying round for the finals. The field started with 233 anglers and was dropped to 50 after day three. Martin, who started out in 24th place the first day of the qualifier, weighed in four fish for 19-04 topped by a 9-06 and rocketed into first place. But Nixon wouldn’t relinquish that easy. He also weighed in a seven-bass limit of 20-07 anchored by the biggest tournament bass of his career, 10-10 toad. That put Martin and Nixon in the top two after two days.
On the third day Martin extended his lead with another limit of fish that weighed 21-09 anchored by the day’s big fish, 8-06. Unfortunately, Nixon’s paltry limit of 10-08 dropped him to 12 pounds behind Martin going into the last day of qualification. Still, he remained in second place overall.
The final day of qualification, Martin didn’t fish much, trying to keep his friend, Rob Kilby in the hunt for the finals. Kilby made the finals and Martin weighed in three fish for 3-03. Nixon brought in another limit for 13-03, securing second place going into the finals.
The finals was a two-day affair on Little Lake Harris – the exact body of water where Nixon won his first Megabucks event only two years earlier. The lake, with only fifty miles of shoreline, was divided into a 10-hole course where each angler would get only 50 minutes to fish.
With weights zeroed, the first day of competition saw Mark Davis jump into the lead with a limit for 14-02. The second spot was held down by Jack Wade with 12-13 and Nixon hung on to third place with a limit that weighed 12-03. Martin would only bring in six squeakers for 6-15 and sit in the eighth spot.
At the final day’s weigh in, Martin and Nixon were the last to the scales. Jack Wade had taken over the lead with 21-03 and Martin needed only 14-05 to take the lead. He weighed in 14-10.
Then it was Nixon’s turn.
Nixon reached into his livewell and pulled out five small fish – then he went to the other well and pulled out two fish that topped 5 pounds each. The story was over except for the formalities. He weighed in 19 pounds and won by nearly 10 pounds – his second Megabucks win in two years.
Nixon would go on to win two more Megabucks events (1990 at Guntersville and 1991 at Chickamauga) and become known as Mr. Megabucks.
Yelas would end up finishing in 53rd place, three spots out of the final qualifying cut, with 20-15. But, as he says in the video, he made his early name by lipping Nixon’s 10-10. By 1991 he’d be known by more than that, though.
We hope you enjoy the video.