North Carolina pro leads Bassmaster Classic

Bassmaster Classic
Hank Cherry of Lincolnton, N.C. leads the 50th Bassmaster Classic heading into the final day.

Despite injury, Cherry holds huge lead at Bassmaster Classic

Hank Cherry of Lincolnton, N.C. is leading the 50th Bassmaster Classic going into Sunday’s final day of the Super Bowl of bass fishing. He starts the day with a 4-pound, 13-ounce lead in the pursuit of his first Classic win, and the $300,000 first-place prize.

Alabama’s Lake Guntersville is hosting this year’s Classic, with daily weigh-ins taking place at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Cherry caught a huge bag on Friday, the first day of the tournament. His five-fish limit weighed 29-3. Saturday’s bag was much smaller at 16-10, setting his two-day total at 45-13.

Two other Carolina anglers in top 10

On Friday, Cherry took a tumble in his boat, injuring his right arm. He said the injury will likely require a doctor’s visit. But he isn’t about to let it keep him out of the Classic. The injury doesn’t seem to have hurt his results so far, and he’ll no doubt tough it out through day three.

Cherry has been fishing in one small area that he said is continuing to produce well. He’s rotated between three lures so far. A bladed jig, a jerkbait, and a Hank Cherry Signature Series Picasso jig have done the heavy lifting for the 8-year veteran, who won BASS Elite Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2013.

Two other Carolina anglers begin day 3 in the top 10. Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C. sits in fourth place. His two-day, 10-fish total of 38 pounds includes the biggest bass of the Bassmaster Classic heading into day three. Auten caught the 7-pound, 9-ounce fish on Friday.

Jason Williamson of Wagener, S.C. sits in ninth place with a two-day total of 34-3. He’s been very consistent in the tournament, catching 18-3 on day one, and 16 pounds on day two.

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About Brian Cope 2783 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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