MLF PRESS RELEASE
QUITMAN, Texas – After making the Bass Pro Tour Championship Round six previous times, for the first time in his career Alton Jones, Jr. has earned his own big red trophy. The 29-year-old Waco, Texas, pro caught 13 bass weighing 46 pounds, 2 ounces Friday to win the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Toro Stage Two on Lake Fork Presented by Grundéns in Quitman, Texas, and earn the top prize of $100,000.
Going into the third and final period of competition Friday, Jones held a 9-pound, 7-ounce lead over fellow Texan Dakota Ebare. However, 10 minutes into the period, Ebare had boated a 4-13 and a 6-8 to seize the lead from Jones with just 50 minutes left in the competition. Five minutes later, Jones managed to catch a 2½-pounder and took the lead back from Ebare by a scant 10 ounces. Neither was able to catch a fish in the final 45 minutes, and although Academy Sports + Outdoors pro Jacob Wheeler made it interesting at the end to get within six pounds, Jones’ 13 bass for 46-2 earned him the win by a narrow 10-ounce margin.
“I’m so excited – I really didn’t see this coming,” an emotional Jones said at his Bass Pro Tour Trophy Presentation. “If you’d asked me halfway through our first day if I’d have a shot to win this thing, I would have said absolutely not. Somehow, someway, by the grace of God, it just kind of came together this week. They say when it’s your time, it’s your time and I guess it’s just my time.
“There are so many great anglers here,” Jones said. “We’ve got a lot of really great anglers that have fished for a very long time and never won one. You see it all the time. I don’t even feel like I’m that good of an angler. I don’t know why it was me, but I just feel so blessed, so fortunate, so lucky and just thankful.”