JAMES RIVER, Va. Hank Parker of Denver, N.C., won the 19th annual Bassmaster Classic, held on the James River for the second consecutive year.
Parker's three-day total of 31 pounds, 6 ounces beat the runner-up by just 2 ounces.
Parker also had the largest one day catch of the tournament 14-8, enough to give him the crown and the $50,000 first prize that accompanied it.
Parker slow rolled a 3/4-ounce Hawg Caller spinnerbait he modified with tandem gold blades. He fished the bait parallel to the cypress trees and laydown timber lying on the bank, catching just enough to win his second Classic crown.
• Many call this the Classic that Jim Bitter "lost." After leading for the first two days, Bitter actually had the winning bass in his grip on the final day, but after measuring the bass, it flipped out of his hand and back into the water. He didn't catch another fish all day.
Top 6 finishers
1. Hank Parker Denver, N.C. 31-06
2. Jim Bitter Fruitland Park, Fla. 31-04
3. Robert L. Kilby Royal, Ark. 30-10
4. Guido Hibdon Gravois Mills, Mo. 27-13
5. Woo Daves Chester, Va. 26-10
6. Paul Elias Laurel, Miss. 26-03