Tournament Fishing

Reese Wins West Point Elite Series Tournament

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Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

Skeet Reese came from 7th place to start the morning to win his seventh Bassmaster title, the Elite Series West Point Lake Battle on Sunday. While most of the competitors found the fishing tough, Reese weighed in the third heaviest bag of the tournament to seal the win.

He skipped wacky rigged worms around on spinning gear and mixed it up a little with a lipless crankbait to catch his fish this week.

“I came into this event after watching Steve Kennedy last year, and I’m a swimbait guy so I fantasized about winning like he did on a swimbait,” Reese said. “I couldn’t get bit on a swimbait this week.”

“I just found a good area down by the Highland Marina area. I actually stayed there this week. I had some big bites there in practice and I found a few big fish but never did catch those fish this week. I ended up fishing one creek all week and just grinding it out. I threw a weightless worm a Berkley Dover Crawler in methiolate, watermelon and green pumpkin and mixed it up with a Lucky Craft LV100 lipless crankbait.   I just went down the banks and went fishing.

“Fishing was tough. I was never sure I could catch a limit this week. I just tried to get one good fish and go from there. I had no idea I could catch five 3-pounders today. I would skip a Berkley Dover Crawler on Berkley Nanofil this week with a Lazer Trokar wacky hook. That line let me skip that bait way back there where I don’t think other guys were getting to. I fantasized about winning here with big swimbaits and heavy tackle. I never dreamed I’d have a spinning rod and reel skipping wacky worms and have a chance to win.

“As pros we pride ourselves to fishing the moment. I fished the changing conditions each day. I had a bait in my mind but never pulled it out until yesterday. I got the LV 100 out and caught 3 key fish on it. I never picked it up in practice but I just had it in my head to throw it so I did. I caught two key fish I weighed today on it. You just have to trust your feelings and fish the day.”

Skeet beat day-two leader Aaron Martens by exactly 2-pounds and earned a berth into the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, the site of one of his 7 wins.

“You never expect to have the same results when you go back to a fishery, but yeah I’m pretty partial to Guntersville and it’s going to be an incredible Classic. I can’t wait!”

Here’s how the rest of the top 12 finished on Sunday:

Place      Name                     Day 1           Day 2         Day 3           Day 4      Total Fish      Total Weight

1      Skeet Reese      5      13- 0      5      9-10      5      8- 8      5      15- 4      20      46- 6
2      Aaron Martens   5      13- 5      5      11- 9      5      7-12      5      11-12      20      44- 6
3      Pete Ponds         5      8-11      5      13- 0      5      11- 5      5      11- 1      20      44- 1
4      Hank Cherry       5      12- 4      5      8-12      5      9- 6      5      10-12      20      41- 2
5      Todd Faircloth   5      7-12      5      8-12      5      15- 9      4      7- 0      19      39- 1
6      Chris Zaldain     5      8-12      5      12-12      5      10- 7      5      6-15      20      38-14
7      Cliff Pace               5      14- 2      5      7- 4      5      8- 2      5      9- 2      20      38-10
8      Greg Vinson       5      15-10      5      9- 3      5      5- 2      5      8- 2      20      38- 1
9      Rick Clunn           5      7-11      5      14- 0      4      8- 7      3      7- 3      17      37- 5
10      Tommy Biffle   4      12-10      4      10- 9      5      10- 6      1      1- 5      14      34-14
11      Casey Ashley   5      8-15      5      13- 8      5      9- 5      2      2- 9      17      34- 5
12      Cliff Crochet     3      10-13      3      9-10      4      9- 8                    10      29-15