Short wins the Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake
Plying through a ton of bites, Pace threw a jig to tight, small areas that were home to roaming smallmouth. As the day progressed, he was moving towards the outer edges and finding quality large and smallmouth.
"I thought I gave myself a great chance with the day I had today," said Pace, who qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason last season. "But it just wasn't my time to win. Still, I have no regrets and it was a great week."
Saturday leader Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., slipped to fifth. He was the only one in the Sunday field who was locking through to Lake Wilson, which took a sizable chunk of his fishing day. As such, he took one on the chin Sunday with the truncated day and his 12-11 limit was indicative of the risky approach. Still, Reese came in with zero expectations for Pickwick as this week marked his first time on the Tennessee River impoundment.
Couple that with his fourth consecutive top-five finish in Elite competition and Reese should find the silver lining in his performance. The top-five streak, which is quite rare, puts him more than 150 points in the lead in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.
Behind Pace in third this week was Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., with 67-9. Moving up to fourth and scoring his best Elite finish of the season was Rick Morris of Virginia Beach, Va., with 65-2. Reese rounded out the top five with 64-14.
Reese's closest competitor in the AOY standings is Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La. Close behind Hackney is Edwin Evers (third) of Talala, Okla., and Dean Rojas (fourth) of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The full AOY standings can be found below.
Next up for the Elite Series is the Synergy Southern Challenge on Alabama's Lake Guntersville, another Tennessee River impoundment, on May 6-9.
Local sponsor of the Alabama Charge: Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
The top 12 pros in the AOY standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series postseason, in which the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be determined.
Toyota Trucks Championship Week is set for July 24-31 and will be played out once again on two productive Alabama fisheries. The first leg, the July 24-25 Trophy Chase, returns to Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka. The finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, is slated for July 30-31 on the Alabama River from Montgomery.