The stars were perfectly aligned for Jason Williamson heading into the final day of the Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia on Clarks Hill Lake, a tournament in which he held a more than 4-pound lead over Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet.
Williamson’s sisters performed the National Anthem prior to the weigh-in, and the crowd was filled with family, friends and fishing buddies who he had smoked in years past at local tournaments. But the Wagener, S.C., rising pro couldn’t get the fish to bite.
Sunday (May 23), he made a long trek upriver to a spot that produced for him in the past both monetarily — he has won boats in numerous local tournaments relying on the area — and in piscatorial terms — he dredged up a 7-12 brute Saturday, the biggest bass of the tournament.
But the current wasn’t running on the sprawling reservoir, and Williamson couldn’t buy a bite. Showing a veteran’s poise, Williamson dug deep into his vast local knowledge bank and decided to downsize from the Buckeye mop jig he primarily worked the first three days of competition. He tied on a shaky head worm and was able to scratch out a quick limit ultimately weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces, upgrading his total to 53 pounds, 6 ounces.
It was enough, albeit barely, to best Elite rookie Crochet of Pierre Part, La., by 2 ounces and take home the $100,000 top prize.
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