Crews Beats Reese by an Ounce
Skeet Reese missed the win by 1 ounce. (Photo by BASS Communications / Seigo Saito) Reese is no stranger to just missing out on victory - he lost the 2007 Classic by mere ounces -- but even with his unfavorable luck, the sting of losing by one ounce was evident. Like Crews, Reese was able to piece together solid days throughout the event while other anglers were all over the map.
Reese fished two areas Sunday and switched up his bait choice - a chigger craw, creature bait and chatterbait. He explored new water in the morning that led to little success. But then he moved to his primary area - a long run from the launch location - and was able to put together 18 pounds, 12 ounces, a weight he thought was good enough to claim his fourth BASS victory.
Reese wanted nothing more than to claim victory in front of the vibrant homestate final-day crowd of 5,900, but it wasn't in the cards.
"I'm speechless right now," said Reese, the 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. "I had a great week overall but I hate finishing second. I really hate it. All you can hope for is to keep positioning yourself to get the victory and they will come."
Still, Reese, who is at the top of his game, has his eyes on a larger prize. Reese earned valuable Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points and his top nemesis, Kevin VanDam - who has scored the last two AOYs - stumbled a bit here and the season promises to be a back-and-forth battle between the two titans.
It was Saturday leader Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., who opened the door for Crews and Reese. After a tremendous 25-plus pound limit Saturday, Hackney stumbled Sunday, failing to catch a limit.
"I had two on that could have made the difference," said Hackney, the 2004 Rookie of the Year. "But that's on me."
In fourth was Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., with 70-4. Rounding out the top five was Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Fla., with 63-11.
The next event for Elite Series anglers is the Golden State Shootout on fish-factory Clear Lake on March 18-21. The Lakeport, Calif.-based event set then-BASS records in 2007 and with warming conditions promises to be another shootout. The Elite Series is comprised of eight regular-season events and the Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason.
Elite anglers were competing on the California Delta for a $100,000 first-place prize, points toward qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series postseason and 2011 Bassmaster Classic.
Stockton, the state's 13th largest city and seat of San Joaquin County, is situated on the San Joaquin Delta Waterway - also known as the California Delta because the area forms a triangle with the three points being Sacramento, Stockton and Pittsburg, Calif. The Delta encompasses 1,000 miles of navigable, fishable water in a labyrinth of sloughs, canals, channels and islands, one factor that makes tournament fishing there so tough - and so good.