The biggest bass fishing event in the world began Friday, Feb. 21 from Lake Guntersville, Okla. More than 50 of the world's best bass fishermen are ready to vie for the ultimate prize. Here is the latest update on the contest that runs from Feb. 21-23.
Updated by Brian Mazique at 7:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 23
Day 3 Results
After all the fish were weighed, Randy Howell walked away as the 2014 Bassmaster champion. His total three-day haul was 67 pounds and eight ounces. Howell did it with consistency and a huge day on Sunday. The Springfield, Ala. native came through in front of a good number of adoring fans.
He talked about that inspiration with Todd Masson of The Times-Picayune:
"This is so awesome because you never get a crowd who gets to see you fishing, but I've got 70 to 100 people on this bridge watching me fish. It's a magical morning."
Bassmaster captures Howell's triumphant moment with this tweet and vine.
He caught five fish on each day, but on Sunday the total weight of his catches was 29 pounds and two ounces. That was enough to hold off Day 2's biggest star Paul Mueller. Howell jumped up from 11th place to get the close win.
How close was it?
Howell edged Mueller by just one pound. Here's a look at the final leaderboard.
|Place||Name||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Total Fish||Total Weight|
|1||Randy Howell||5||20- 3||5||18- 3||5||29- 2||15||67- 8|
|2||Paul Mueller||3||9-10||5||32- 3||5||24-11||13||66- 8|
|3||Edwin Evers||5||26-13||5||20- 9||5||18- 5||15||65-11|
|4||Ott DeFoe||5||20-10||5||22-11||5||20- 1||15||63- 6|
|5||Randall Tharp||5||27- 8||5||19-13||5||15- 7||15||62-12|
|6||Jordan Lee||4||13- 7||5||24- 0||5||24-10||14||62- 1|
|7||Todd Faircloth||5||16- 6||5||21- 3||5||23- 8||15||61- 1|
|8||David Kilgore||5||18-15||5||16-11||5||24-13||15||60- 7|
|9||Doug Thompson||4||12- 7||5||22- 7||5||25- 5||14||60- 3|
|10||Adam Wagner||5||14-14||5||24- 3||5||20- 2||15||59- 3|
You can view the full leaderboard at Bassmaster.com.
Best Performance of the Day
Howell's 29-plus pound haul was the biggest of the day. Champions save their best for last, and that's exactly what Howell did on Sunday.
Biggest Fish of the Day
As a consolation prize of sorts went to Ott DeFoe. He snagged the biggest fish of the day. The catch was eight pounds and four ounces. The fish helped vault DeFoe to fourth in the final standings.
---End of Update---
Updated by Brian Mazique at 7:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 22
Day 2 Results
Randall Tharp had a solid day fishing on Saturday, but he couldn't hold on to his lead from Day 1. Edwin Evers inched passed him with a total two-day weight of 47 pounds six ounces. It was just one ounce more than Tharp's two-day haul.
With two days still remaining, this one could be nip and tuck until the last fish is weighed. Here's a look at the top 10 leaderboard after Saturday.
|Place||Name||Day 1||Day 2||Total Fish||Total Weight|
|1||Edwin Evers||5||26-13||5||20- 9||10||47- 6|
|2||Randall Tharp||5||27- 8||5||19-13||10||47- 5|
|3||Ott DeFoe||5||20-10||5||22-11||10||43- 5|
|4||Jason Christie||5||22- 3||5||20-11||10||42-14|
|5||Paul Mueller||3||9-10||5||32- 3||8||41-13|
|6||Casey Ashley||5||23- 2||5||18-10||10||41-12|
|7||Chad Morgenthaler||5||19- 5||5||21-14||10||41- 3|
|8||Jonathon VanDam||5||20-11||5||18-10||10||39- 5|
|9||Adam Wagner||5||14-14||5||24- 3||10||39- 1|
You can view the full leaderboard at Bassmaster.com.
Best Performance of the Day - Paul Mueller
After catching only three fish on Friday for a total weight of nine pounds, 10 ounces, Mueller exploded with five fish for a whopping 32 pounds and three ounces.
Man Versus Fish captured a glimpse of Mueller's big prizes in this tweet.
Big bag of the day goes to Paul Mueller. Those were five monsters! pic.twitter.com/dW93NA58Bp— Man Versus Fish (@ManVersusFish) February 23, 2014
Mueller's big day sent him skyrocketing up the leaderboard. Heading into Sunday, Mueller is now fifth, despite having caught two less fish than the rest of the men in the top 10.
It ain't the amount of fish, it's the fatness of the haul.
Biggest Fish of the Day - Jordan Lee
The Alabama native is only fourth on the leaderboard, but no one caught a bigger fish than the eight pound, eight ounce monster Lee reeled in.
This is Lee's first Bassmaster Classic. If nothing else, he's made a name for himself by catching the day's biggest fish. As Mueller showed with his dramatic climb up the leaderboard, all it takes is one big day to make a move.
Lee is still in range to do some damage at 14th with a day of fishing remaining.
---End of Update---
Day 1 Update
Randall Tharp sits in uncharted territory, as he is the leader after Day 1 of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. He caught five fish for a total of 27 pounds and eight ounces on Friday, putting him slightly ahead of Edwin Evers, per Bassmaster:
Here's a look at the top 15 of the standings.
|Pos.||Name||Day 1 Fish||Day 1 Weight||Total Fish||Total Weight|
You can view the full leaderboard on Bassmaster.com.
As the event started, the weather at Lake Guntersville looked to be optimal, which likely led to some of the impressive showings by many of the anglers:
Although Tharp came into Birmingham, Ala., on a good run, he had an unimpressive record at the event, so his Day 1 showing was a bit of a surprise in that respect.
This is only his second appearance at the Bassmaster Classic. His first one ended rather unceremoniously, as he finished 35th after amassing a total weight of 18 pounds, eight ounces. In just one day, Tharp was nearly 10 pounds better.
He's been on a great run recently, though, and in an interview after the first day, he said that Lake Guntersville is the place where he fell in love with tournament bass fishing.
Sometimes the stars align for an angler, and that seemed to happen for Tharp on Friday.
But the event is far from over.
Right behind Tharp sits Evers, who reeled in another five fish weighing in at 26 pounds, 13 ounces. For the third time in four years, Evers came up just short in the Angler of the Year race, and that has likely provided him with a lot of motivation heading into 2014.
With his Day 1 haul, he set himself up well for the rest of the weekend, and he'll be looking to parlay any success in Alabama to the entire year as a whole.
A little further down the leaderboard is Fred Roumbanis, who's the Carhartt Big Bass leader after bringing in a huge nine-pound-plus bass:
23-2 on day 1. Tied for 4th. Big fish of the day at 9-3, that one is for you Drew.— Fred Roumbanis (@FredRoumbanis) February 22, 2014
That fish helped to boost his total to 23 pounds, two ounces, which is good enough for fourth.
The problem, though, with relying on a huge bass to pad your final numbers is that you can't always count on reeling one in. Roumbanis will have to find a little more consistency if he's to remain within striking distance of the leader.
It remains to be seen whether Tharp can hold onto his lead. One day alone doesn't win the Classic. He'll have to remain focused the rest of the weekend and collect some impressive hauls. Evers, Roumbanis and David Walker are right there nipping at his heels.
With his performance on Friday, though, Tharp put himself in the driver's seat.