DECATUR, Ala. – Monte Knight of Quitman, Miss., will forever remember one of the last casts he made with 15 minutes to go in the 2006 Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake.
“It was our last stop before we checked in,” Knight recalled. “I sat down in the boat and tied on a drop-shot rig. The first cast I made with it, I caught my third keeper of the day, and we headed in.”
At the time, Knight had no way of knowing that he just boated a $62,500 fish.
In fact, it wasn’t until he got back to the weigh-in stage at the Decatur Wal-Mart that Knight learned that his three bass weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces were enough to win the Stren Series Championship in the Co-angler Division.
“This is awesome,” Knight said. “I had aspirations of fishing two divisions of the Stren Series as a boater next year, and now I can.”
What’s more, due to being the highest co-angler finisher from the Central Division, Knight was also given one of the first tickets to the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup event in Hot Springs, Ark., next year.
Knight fished his way into the top 10 of the Stren Championship much on the strength of an 11-pound, 2-ounce catch on day one.
“I caught all those fish on a topwater toad,” Knight said. “The next day, I kind of survived the cut with two fish I caught on a crankbait.”
Saturday, Knight fished with Stacey King and caught two fish off riprap with a Norman Fat Boy crankbait before ending the day with the tournament-winning drop-shot fish.
Hench takes second
Hench fished Carolina-rigged brush hogs and lizards behind pro Thanh Le today to amass three bass for 4 pounds, 12 ounces worth $5,500.
“The Forrest Wood Cup berth is just awesome,” Hench said. “Now the pressure for qualifying is off for next year, and I can just go fishing for fun.”
He fished spinnerbaits, Shaky Heads and crankbaits behind pro J.T. Kenney.
“J.T. is just a great guy,” Rizzo said. “You couldn’t ask for a nicer partner. We put the run and gun on the fish today and had a great time together.”
Barnett, Hults round out top five
Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., finished fifth with two bass weighing 2 pounds, 3 ounces worth $3,500. Hults also garnered a spot in the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup though his finish today.