“I’ve been on the Elite Series since its inception (in 2006),” said Murray, who earned $100,000 for the victory. “All that time I’ve been trying to win one, and I always thought I would. But as the years went by and the competition kept getting better and better, I was starting to think maybe it wasn’t going to happen. To finally really do it … It just feels like a dream.”
His final four-day total was 77-10.
Murray had one spot on the south end of the lake where he knew there were some big fish — and he found those fish. But when he wasn’t able to put them in the boat, he decided to rely more on a spot back near the launch site at Cypress Bend Park that’s been good to him through the years.
Murray’s comeback really took off Saturday in a spot he said was only 200 yards from where he won the Open Championship in 2003. He used large jerkbaits and a crankbait to target big largemouth bass that were feeding on small white bass along a ridge. He said the spot had about 4 or 5 feet of water on top and some type of old housing foundation that was holding fish.
He explained that throwing a shad-sized bait worked earlier in the day. But once the sun got up, he needed something bigger, and switched to a bigger sized jerkbait.
His lures of choice were two 30-year-old Smithwick Rogues, a Strike King 5XD crankbait and a Lucky Craft 128 Pointer jerkbait that was given to him by his friend and fellow Elite Series angler, Skeet Reese. On Sunday, it was the crankbait that worked best.
He said that the wind that blew all night kind of brought them out a little deeper. Murray had two giants in his bag Sunday that weighed 7-9 and 7-7.
Oklahoma angler Jason Christie finished second with 72-11 and earned $2,500 dollars as the winner of the Phoenix Boats Big Bass award. He had the largest fish of the tournament with a 9-12 on Day 1.
Elite Series rookie Jamie Hartman finished in third place with a total of 72-7.
Courtesy: BASS Communications