Jared Lintner finished in second-place during the Championship Round of Stage Four. Photo by Garrick Dixon

DAYTON, Tenn. – In any other Championship Round, Jared Lintner’s 60 pounds, 7 ounces of bass would have given him a very good shot at taking home a championship. Unfortunately for Lintner, his impressive day was outdone by Econo Lodge Stage Four Champion Andy Morgan’s 80 pounds.

“Andy just fished better than me today,” Lintner admitted. “Losing by 20 pounds is a lot easier to swallow than losing by 2 pounds. I didn’t lose today, I just got beat. Andy is an awesome individual and one of the best guys on this tour. He put his time in on this lake and he deserves it. To lose to him, my hat is off to him.”

The California pro came into the Championship Round with plenty of Sunday experience. A qualifier in three out of four stages, Lintner knows what it takes to even get a chance at taking home the trophy. When the round got started, he knew that he was going to have to catch plenty of bass if he wanted to keep pace.

“I was surprised there were still a lot of fish biting,” Lintner recapped. “I missed a lot of fish in the first hour, and that was pretty frustrating. That’s just a sign of pressure because there has been a bunch of us in the area I was in this week.”

That area that Lintner speaks of was a very popular area throughout the week of competition. Lintner said the area worked so well for him because there were so many fish in the area and in different stages of spawn. The key spot also featured some very beneficial vegetation.

“This little pocket had some clear water because there was a patch of hydrilla running through it that filtered the water,” Lintner explained. “It came off of this big creek with a little bend, and the fish just piled in there.”

That honey hole allowed Lintner to catch, weigh, and release 31 bass on the day, only three less than Morgan’s 34 largemouth. A three-fish difference makes it seem like Lintner was a lot closer than he really was. While he was getting the bites, the bigger bites he was hunting eluded him throughout the day.

“I felt like I made the right decisions this week and I put myself in the right area to win,” Lintner said. “I just didn’t get any big bites today that you need to win. I caught an 8-10 on Saturday, and that’s the kind of fish I needed today, I just couldn’t find it.”

Still, a second-place finish is nothing to hang your head about if you’re Lintner. He leaves Tennessee with three Championship Round appearances, the second-most on tour behind Edwin Evers’ four. He is still new to the MLF format, and while he continues the quest for his first win, he enjoys the lessons the Bass Pro Tour is teaching him.

“I’ve learned to trust my instincts a lot more instead of trying to fight them,” Lintner said. “I make mistakes, but I learn something new every day I fish in this format. To be honest, coming into this season I was kind of freaking out with all the new rules and not knowing how I was going to adjust. To be halfway through the season and to have three Top-10’s and to make the first two cup events, I’m pretty happy.”