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Crews Wins First Elite Series on Cal Delta

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From BASS:

The equivalent, for an angler, to Lebron James swishing a last-second three-pointer is to land a 5-pounder on the last cast.   John Crews of Salem, Va., executed that feat on the California Delta in the grandest of fashions Sunday to score victory at the Duel in the Delta, the Bassmaster Elite Series season-opener.  

 That fish added just enough weight to Crews’ four-day total of 72 pounds, 6 ounces, to best Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., by the slimmest of margins.   Reese (72-5) was visibly shaken.   Crews wasn’t.

 â€œThis is just unbelievable,†said Crews, 31.   “When it’s your time, it’s just your time.   I knew I was on the fish to win and I never have had that feeling before.   I’m almost speechless.â€

 Fans can catch extended analysis on Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 will recap the entire competition on the Sunday, March 28, edition of The Bassmasters at 10:30 a.m. ET. The episode will air again Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. ET.

 Crews certainly seemed to have a horseshoe in his back pocket this weekend.   But ultimately, Crews identified an area that many of his Elite brethren overlooked. His success can be directly tied to locating an area that was immune to the changing conditions that plagued many on the Delta this week.

 Case in point: Crews weighed his heaviest limits on Friday and Sunday.  The conditions on those days were on total opposite ends of the spectrum with Sunday producing blue-bird skies while Friday rain, wind and frigid conditions prevailed.

 The four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier concentrated on a dead-end slough that held deep, thick hydrilla in 4 to 8 feet of water depth.   He worked the flipping stick slowly and methodically.   As with most of the competitors this week, patience was a virtue for Crews as keeper bites were few and far between.

 But when he got one, he made it count.   He primarily used a sweet beaver through the first three rounds of competition but switched to a Gambler BB Cricket on the final day.   The move paid off as Crews brought the only 20-plus pound limit – actually 20-8 – to the scales on Sunday.  
Gambler BB Cricket  

“I found that area the first day of practice and actually only got one bite in there,†said Crews, who took his first BASS victory Sunday.   “But there was something that looked right there.   The water was deeper and the fish weren’t moving.   And they were kept off the bank because of the boat traffic.   The bite wasn’t tide-dependent and I knew it could be a winning area if I executed.† 

 The victory is sweet redemption after an “atrocious†beginning to the 2009 Elite season.   Though he missed out on qualifying for the 2010 Classic, Crews finally felt he was starting to put something together late last year.   Mentally, he said, he was in a good place and he was able to extend the good vibes into this week.   Now, his confidence is soaring.  

 â€œRight now, I’m in such a good place with my fishing,†said Crews.   “I don’t know how I will do at Clear Lake (the next Elite event) but I know I have a chance of winning.   And that feels good.â€

 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 worked a few baits – 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.

 â€œI’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.â€

 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 at the Delta.   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 faltered Sunday, failing to catch a limit.

 â€œI had two on that could have made the difference,†said Hackney, the 2004 Rookie of the Year.   “But that’s on me.â€

 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 March 18-21.   The Lakeport, Calif.-based event set then-BASS records in 2007 and with warming conditions in store, it 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.

     

TROKAR DUEL IN THE DELTA- FINAL STANDINGS

 

2010 Stockton, CA 3/11-3/14

California Delta, Stockton   CA.

(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

 

    Angler                                     Hometown                           No./lbs-oz   Pts     Total $$$

 

1.   John Crews                         Salem, VA                             18   72-06   305 $101,000.00

  Day 1: 4     15-02         Day 2: 5     21-13         Day 3: 4     14-15         Day 4: 5     20-08    

2.   Skeet Reese                       Auburn, CA                           20   72-05   295   $25,000.00

  Day 1: 5     15-01         Day 2: 5     18-13         Day 3: 5     18-12         Day 4: 5     19-11    

3.   Greg Hackney                     Gonzales, LA                       19   70-04   295   $20,500.00

  Day 1: 5     14-14         Day 2: 5     17-00         Day 3: 5     25-07         Day 4: 4     12-15    

4.   Michael Iaconelli           Pitts Grove, NJ                 20   67-12   285   $15,500.00

  Day 1: 5     14-00         Day 2: 5     25-12         Day 3: 5     14-14         Day 4: 5     13-02    

5.   Shaw E Grigsby                 Gainesville, FL                 17   63-11   280   $14,000.00

  Day 1: 5     14-08         Day 2: 5     18-14         Day 3: 3     12-06         Day 4: 4     17-15    

6.   Stephen Browning            Hot Springs, AR                 16   62-15   286   $13,500.00

  Day 1: 5     21-11         Day 2: 5     23-09         Day 3: 1     00-13         Day 4: 5     16-14    

7.   James Niggemeyer             Van, TX                                 16   58-13   272   $13,000.00

  Day 1: 1     02-08         Day 2: 5     18-09         Day 3: 5     21-06         Day 4: 5     16-06    

8.   Dustin Wilks                     Rocky Mount, NC                 19   56-00   268   $12,500.00

  Day 1: 5     14-11         Day 2: 5     14-06         Day 3: 5     16-11         Day 4: 4     10-04    

9.   Rick Clunn                         Ava, MO                                18   55-10   264   $12,000.00

  Day 1: 4     09-13         Day 2: 5     18-15         Day 3: 4     15-00         Day 4: 5     11-14    

10. Denny Brauer                     Camdenton, MO                     17   47-14   260   $11,500.00

  Day 1: 5     12-05         Day 2: 5     17-01         Day 3: 5     11-10         Day 4: 2     06-14    

11. Gary Klein                         Weatherford, TX                 14   47-03   257   $11,000.00

  Day 1: 5     13-09         Day 2: 5     21-10         Day 3: 3     09-00         Day 4: 1     03-00    

12. Zell Rowland                     Austin, TX                           11   41-08   254   $10,500.00

  Day 1: 2     05-07         Day 2: 5     23-04         Day 3: 4     12-13         Day 4: 0     00-00    

BIG BASS OF TOURNAMENT

        Greg Hackney                         Gonzales, LA               08-10               $500.00

        Greg Vinson                           Wetumpka, AL               08-10               $500.00

BERKLEY HEAVYWEIGHT OF TOURN

        Michael Iaconelli               Pitts Grove, NJ         25-12               $500.00

 

———————————————————————–

Totals

Day     #Limits       #Fish           Weight

 1               30             289             738-08

 2               55             375           1079-04

 3               17             163             461-11

 4                 6               45             149-07

———————————-

                108             872           2428-14

 

TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

 

2010 Duel in the Delta – Stockton, CA Pro Points After California Delta, Stockton, Calif.   Ending 03-14-2010, Day 4

——————————————-

Place   Name                             St                       Pts

——————————————-

  1 John Crews                       Va.                     305

  2 Skeet Reese                     Calif.               295

  2 Greg Hackney                   La.                     295

  4 Stephen Browning           Ark.                   286

  5 Michael Iaconelli         N.J.                   285

  6 Shaw Grigsby                   Fla.                   280

  7 James Niggemeyer          Texas                 272

  8 Dustin Wilks                   N.C.                   268

  9 Rick Clunn                       Mo.                     264

 10 Denny Brauer                   Mo.                     260

 11 Gary Klein                       Texas                 257

 12 Zell Rowland                   Texas                 254

 13 Greg Vinson                     Ala.                   251

 14 Derek Remitz                   Ala.                   248

 15 Kevin Short                     Ark.                   245

 16 Jeff Kriet                       Okla.                 243

 17 J Todd Tucker                 Ga.                     241

 18 Mark Davis                       Ark.                   239

 19 Peter Thliveros             Fla.                   237

 20 Dave Wolak                       N.C.                   235

 21 Scott Rook                       Ark.                   233

 22 Bradley Hallman             Okla.                 231

 23 Dean Rojas                       Ariz.                 229

 24 Guy Eaker                         N.C.                   227

 25 Edwin Evers                     Okla.                 225

 26 Alton Jones                     Texas                 223

 27 Bill Lowen                       Ohio                   221

 28 Paul Elias                       Miss.                 219

 29 Kevin VanDam                   Mich.                 217

 30 Mark Tucker                     Mo.                    215

 31 Todd Faircloth               Texas                 213

 32 Steve Kennedy                 Ala.                   211

 33 Clark Reehm                     Ark.                   209

 34 Jeff Connella                 La.                     207

 35 Kotaro Kiriyama             Ala.                   205

 36 Jason Quinn                    S.C.                   203

 37 Russ Lane                         Ala.                   201

 38 Kevin Wirth                     Ky.                     199

 39 Pat Golden                       N.C.                   197

 40 Brian Snowden                 Mo.                     195

 41 Pete Ponds                       Miss.                 193

 42 Matt Herren                    Ala.                   191

 43 Vince Fulks                     Okla.                 189

 44 John Murray                     Ariz.                 187

 45 Jami Fralick                   S.D.                   185

 46 Chad Griffin                   Texas                 183

 47 Mike McClelland             Ark.                   181