Today most fishing fans think of Alton Jones first and foremost as the 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champ, but in May of 1997 the Texas pro was a 34 year-old guide and former computer salesman with seven years as a full-time touring pro under his belt. He’d only notched four Top Ten finishes in B.A.S.S. competition to that point, half of them in Alabama. The best of the bunch came when he finished tied for 4th in the 1996 Alabama Top 100 at Lake Neely Henry. That tournament was won by Davy Hite, marking Hite’s second B.A.S.S. victory, both of them in Alabama.
The following year Jones moved up three spots to claim his first B.A.S.S. win in the 1997 Alabama Top 100, edging out Gary Klein by an ounce to earn the 1st-place trophy.
Not surprisingly to those who’ve followed his subsequent career, Jones excelled in a tournament where most of the bass were spawning. He caught some of the fish sight fishing, others flipping when fast-rising water forced him to adjust. In both cases he relied largely on a plum-colored 4-inch Berkley Power Craw.
Since that first B.A.S.S. win, Jones has won five more times, in four different states. The only state that has seen him win twice is South Carolina – Hite’s home state – where he won the 2000 Megabucks on Lake Murray as well as the 2008 Classic on Hartwell.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, answer the following five questions correctly:
- Where did Jones go to college?
- Even though he finished 6th at Neely Henry in 1997, the tournament was significant to Hite’s career. Why?
- Who caught the largest limit of the tournament (1997 Neely Henry)?
- Mark Davis was the only angler in the top five who did not rely primarily on soft plastics during the tournament? What style/model of lure was his primary tool that week?
- Of his nine 2nd-place finishes in B.A.S.S. competition, the one-ounce margin at Neely Henry was of course the smallest deficit of Klein’s career. Which was his next closest 2nd-place finish and who finished first in that tournament?
The answers and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!