Jason Williamson started Day 3 of the 2017 Bassmaster Classic in 12th place, and was the only angler from the Carolinas to make the cut to fish on Championship Sunday. He swung for the fences, knowing he’d need an exceptionally big bag to have a shot at knocking off Brent Ehrler, who led the first two days of the event.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for Williamson, who brought only one fish to the scales. His 2-9 bag from today gave him a three-day total weight of 32-12 and landed him in 21st place.
Still, it was a promising tournament for the Wagener, S.C. angler. This was only his second trip to the Bassmaster Classic, and this was not only his best finish, but also his first time fishing on the final day of the event.
“I ran a lot of new water today. I put my big Buckeye Jig in my hand on my 7-7 Cashion flipping stick and just tried to make something happen in a big way today, and just never could really get in going,” said Williamson.
Williamson was upbeat about his experience, and said if he could change one thing about this weekend, he would spend more time observing his Lowrance in deep water, looking for a big school of fish. He also said he’s looking forward to heading to Toledo Bend in a couple of weeks for the next Elite Series event.
Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C. worked the booths today. His fishing ended on Day 2 when he failed to make the top 25, ending in 36th place. Hank Cherry of Maiden, N.C. also worked the booths today, finishing the Classic in 43rd, followed by Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C. who took 44th.
Ehrler, who averaged over 20 pounds a day on the first two days of the event, ending both days with the lead, could not keep the magic going on Day 3, bringing a 5-fish limit to the scales that weighed only 11-10, givng him a three-day total weight of 54-14. This cracked the door for Steve Kennedy, who slipped past Ehrler by catching 21-15 today, landing him in 2nd place overall with a total three-day weight of 55-1.
But it was Jordan Lee of Grant, Alabama, one of the hottest young anglers on the trail, who took the Classic by storm, finishing strong with a 5-fish bag weighing 27-4 – the biggest bag of this year’s Classic – and winning with a three-day total weight of 56-10. This was Lee’s third time fishing in the Classic, finishing 6th in the 2014 show in his home state, then placing 29th in Tulsa in 2016.
This wasn’t just Lee’s first Classic victory; it was his first tournament win since joining the Bassmaster Elite Series trail.