[Editor’s note: Although Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Monday Trivia is still going to be played – with the winner being announced Thursday as usual. In observance to the Holiday, though, no other features will be posted on Thursday and Friday. We’ll be back next Monday with a full week of posts.]
Brent Chapman, the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, began his B.A.S.S. career at the 1994 Missouri Invitational on Lake of the Ozarks, where he finished 32nd en route to three straight money finishes. Things must’ve seemed easy to the young Kansan, but subsequently things got tougher as he won the grand total of $3,400 over the next 11 events he fished. He earned checks with some frequency throughout 1996 – five in 10 events – but never made it into the top 12 during that period.
That changed when he fished his second Bassmaster event in the state of South Carolina. In his first Palmetto State event, the 1995 Megabucks event on Lake Murray, he’d finished a woeful 106th, but upon his return in April of 1997 – this time to timber-filled Santee Cooper – he contended for the win, eventually falling short of winner Julian Reitzel by two ounces. The South Carolina Eastern Invitational on Santee was effectively a two-horse race, with no other angler coming within 8 pounds of the leaders.
That finish enabled Chapman to qualify for the first of his 13 Bassmaster Classics to date, the 1997 iteration on Logan Martin, where he finished 11th, the first of four consecutive Classic finishes between 10th and 15th place. It wasn’t until 2010 that he cracked the top 10 in Classic competition, with a 5th place finish on Alabama’s Lay Lake.
The 1997 win marked Reitzel’s only top-10 finish in B.A.S.S. competition in 28 tries, the last of which occurred just three and a half years later on Alabama’s Lake Martin, when he finished 300th in a field of 328.
While the field at Santee was certainly strong, looking down the leaderboard it just goes to show how much times have changed. Chapman, then a relative newcomer, Davy Hite (the 1997 AOY Champion) Shaw Grigsby (34th place), and Rick Morris (44th place) are the only current Elite Series anglers that finished in the top 50.
Chapman got out to a strong start, catching 28-03 (including an 8-13 big fish) on Day One to claim the lead. On Day Two, however, he could only muster four fish for 16-15 and fell to third. On the third day, his limit actually weighed less (16-09) than his previous day’s catch, and while it was enough to move him back into 2nd, he fell just short of Reitzel.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, be the first person to correctly answer the following three questions in the comments section, below:
- Reitzel and Chapman fished different lakes on Santee that week. Who fished which one?
- Who was Chapman’s roommate for the tournament and in what place did he finish?
- Both Reitzel and Hite used the same brand of jig for much of their catch. What brand was it?
The answers and winner will be announced Thursday. Good Luck!