Editor’s Note. In light of the fact that no one answered the questions correctly today, we would normally not have a winner. But, since Steve M got both parts of Question 4 correct and we didn’t catch the incorrect answers for 1, until we already posted he won, we’re going to give it to him this time. For the answers to this week’s contest, read below.
In a B.A.S.S. career that spanned the years from 1993 through 2010, Marty Stone earned two wins, the first of which came during a challenging event on Alabama’s Lake Wheeler in March of 1999. While Wheeler today is known for producing large quantities of bass, even if they’re not typically as big as those in neighboring Guntersville, it was a stingy fishery during the 1999 Bassmaster Top 150. After inclement weather forced the cancellation of Day One, it took less than 16 pounds over two days to make the top 40 and the money.
Stone managed three limits of fish that totaled 41-06 to claim the victory, beating runner up Alton Jones of Texas by over 6 pounds, with two other Texans (Randy Dearman and Lendell Martin) in 3rd and 4th, respectively. A limit that weighed 19-15 on Day Two, the largest of the tournament, propelled him to the win.
Both Stone and Jones concentrated primarily on the famed Decatur Flats area of the lake.
Stone later won the 2004 Bassmaster Tour event on the Harris Chain of Lakes, beating runner-up Scott Rook by a little over a pound. Once again, a group of Texans gave him a run for his money with five of them (Tommy Martin, Bud Pruitt, Alton Jones, David Wharton and Takahiro Omori) making the top 12. Before calling it quits, he returned exclusively to the FLW Tour for a season in 2012. Despite qualifying for four Forrest Wood Cups and four Bassmaster Classics, finishing a personal-best 9th on Lake Wylie in 2004, his goal of earning an Angler of the Year title eluded him – he finished as the runner-up on the FLW Tour in 1997 and on the Bassmaster Tour in 2005. Today he largely confines his tournament fishing efforts to local events.
In order to win this week’s trivia contest, be the first to answer the following four questions about Stone and the 1999 Wheeler event:
- What brand/model of lure produced Stone’s winning catch?
- Stone qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup four times, but only fished it three times. Why did he skip the 1997 Championship in Mississippi?
- What is Stone’s current primary profession?
- What future Bassmaster Classic qualifier fished the amateur side of the Wheeler event?
Here are the answers:
1) Stone plied the grass and stumps of the Decatur Flats with quarter-ounce Cordell Rattlin’ Spots in chrome blue back and chrome black back. According to Bassmaster’s Louie Stout, “they were older models in slightly different versions than what the company now makes.” He worked the lures very slowly in the chilly water, which didn’t get over 52 degrees, crawling it through new grass stems growing just a few inches off the bottom. According to Stout, Stone “replaced the stock hooks with No. 6 round bend Gamakatsu trebles to improve hook penetration and used a 7-foot Bass Pro Shops Crankin’ Stick, a soft-tipped, composite rod made of glass and graphite.” He paired it with a 5.1:1 gear ratio reel to keep the retrieve slow and spooled it with 14 pound test Triple Fish line (camouflage).
2) Stone qualified for the 1997 FLW Championship on Mississippi’s Lake Ferguson, but elected to drop out at the last minute to attend to the birth of his son J.T. Ken Cook was his replacement, and found out during the practice period (while sitting in a tree stand) that he was invited to fish. Cook arrived in Mississippi in time for the last day of practice.
3) During his first hiatus from professional fishing in 2011, Stone worked in sales for Nathan’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Fayetteville, N.C. Today he is a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, also in Fayetteville.
4) There were two possible correct answers to this question. Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., finished 28th on the amateur side at Wheeler with three fish for 8-02. He subsequently fished the 2009 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River, where he ended up 21st. Pugh fished the FLW Tour from 2000 through 2011, qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup on six occasions, with a personal-best 6th place finish in 2007. He continues to fish B.A.S.S. Opens in 2014. Current Elite Series pro Jamie Horton finished tied for 131st. He fished both the 2002 Classic on Lay Lake and the 2012 Classic on the Red River. FLW Tour pro Jonathan Newton, who guides on Wheeler, finished 35th on the co-angler side during Stone’s 1999 win.