LOUISIANA DELTA, La. Davy Hite of Prosperity, S.C., won the 29th Classic with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 55 pounds, 10 ounces; 9-15 more than runner-up Denny Brauer.
Hite took home a total of $101,000, which included a $1,000 bonus for catching the big bass on Day 2.
For all practical purposes, Hite put the tournament away on the second day, coming to the scales with a startling catch of 19 pounds, 3 ounces, which gave him a total of 35-12 and a lead of more than 5 pounds over Shuffield, who moved into second with 30 pounds.
Shuffield ended up finishing fifth with 40-14.
On the final day, Hite returned to the same fallen logs, hyacinths and stumps he had fished on previous days.
He fished four different lures: a 1/4-ounce black Boogerman buzzbait, a homemade white plastic frog; a yellow/black crankbait loaned to him by a friend; and the junebug Gambler Bacon Rind, rigged with the 3/8-ounce screw-in sinker and a 5/0 Owner Rig-Ing hook.
• On Day 2, Jay Yelas had his fishing interrupted by an airboat that came roaring down his canal. The BASS pro was surprised to see his mother and several cousins in the airboat. They were taking a swamp boat tour. The airboat stopped near Yelas and everyone in it called for him to catch a fish for them. He did it on his very next cast.
• In 2002, David Gregg returned to the Classic for the first time since his appearance in 1983 a 16-year gap.
Top 6 finishers
1. Davy Hite Prosperity, S.C. 55-10
2. Denny Brauer Camdenton, Mo. 45-11
3. Larry Nixon Bee Branch, Ark. 43-14
4. Gary Klein Weatherford, Texas 42-10
5. Ron Shuffield Bismarck, Ark. 40-04
6. Michael Iaconelli Runnemede, N.J. 39-12