BROOKELAND, Texas – It was never in doubt. Alec Morrison is the champion of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a three-day total of 73 pounds, 5 ounces to capture the first professional-level win of his career. Morrison added 16-3 on Saturday to make his margin of victory a record 24 pounds over second-place Tater Reynolds.
Previously, the biggest three-day winning margin in Toyota Series history was 17-15 and belonged to Ken Howden, a mark he set back in 2011 on Roosevelt Lake. The biggest four-day Toyota Series winning margin is 20-14, which Mark Pack set in 2004 on Pickwick.
With his win, Morrison earns $70,975 and automatically qualifies for the Toyota Series Championship on Table Rock Lake this November.
Morrison didn’t even need to catch a bass to earn the win on Saturday – his two-day total of 57-2 would have gotten him the win by nearly 7 pounds. The win was a comfortable one, but Morrison felt far from comfortable all day long.
“Despite the lead I had coming into today, I didn’t sleep at all last night,” Morrison admitted. “I was extremely nervous this morning and all day until I caught my one big one today. It was just so hard for me to believe that it was actually coming true, so I don’t think my nerves have let up even still.”
The 23-year-old angler started his Day 3 the same way he had all week – ‘scoping out deeper brush piles looking for big ones. That strategy proved extremely effective the first two days, as that’s how the bulk of Morrison’s impressive bags were caught. But on a cloudy morning in east Texas, Morrison’s pattern took a while to get going.
“It was a slower start to the morning but I stuck with the same strategy,” Morrison explained. “What I thought was my primary spot going into today didn’t really work out. It was great the first two days, but nothing happened there today. I didn’t freak out, I just ran around a lot and hit some other spots and was able to find what I needed to.”
Morrison was able to hunker down and fill his limit around 9:30 a.m. and then culled a few times to get him up to 16-3 for the day. A few variations of soft plastic worms were the winning bait combinations including a drop-shot, a free rig and a Texas rig with a sliding football head. However, Morrison insists that it was more about the spots he had picked out than any specific bait.
The New York kid now prepares to make the long trek back to upstate New York near the banks of Lake Champlain with a trophy and big check in tow. He has plans to fish a few of the Northern Division stops this summer to prepare himself for his Toyota Series Championship appearance in November.
Morrison mentioned multiple times this week that he’s been chasing this fishing dream since he was 10 years old. When asked what advice he would give to a young Alec Morrison with big fish dreams for his future, he gave some emotional insight.
“Just don’t quit,” Morrison said. “It will be a long road with a lot of ups and downs. At the end of the day, you do it all to have this feeling, which is so cool. I’ve dreamed of this moment for an incredible amount of time and it’s just an incredible moment to see it all come together like this.”
1. Alec Morrison – 73 – 05 (15) – $70,975 (includes $35,000 Phoenix Bonus)
2. Tater Reynolds – 49 – 05 (15) – $14,240
3. Brett Preuett – 48 – 12 (15) – $10,793
4. Cody Huff – 48 – 01 (15) – $8,994
5. Jeff Reynolds – 47 – 13 (15) – $8,594
6. Matt Reed – 47 – 09 (15) – $7,695
7. Jaden Parrish – 45 – 05 (15) – $6,296
8. Marshall Hughes – 44 – 13 (15) – $5,396
9. Hayden Heck – 44 – 13 (15) – $4,497
10. Todd Risinger – 44 – 07 (15) – $3,598