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The third and final period of competition Wednesday on Lake Eufaula belonged to Jacob Wheeler, and so did the first tournament of 2020 in Major League Fishing's Bass Pro Tour.

The Harrison resident had won the qualifying rounds in Group B on the Alabama lake, and Wednesday he surged to victory in the 10-man final round with 24 fish totaling 68 pounds even. He caught seven of those bass, totaling about 22 pounds, in a 20-minute span around 2 p.m.

Group A winner Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, led after two periods and finished second at 40 pounds, 11 ounces for 13 fish, and morning leader Ott DeFoe from Blaine, Tennessee, was third with 10 fish for 34-9.

The Bass Pro Tour doesn't set daily limits. Each bass caught is weighed immediately on the boat and recorded electronically for all to see and quickly dropped back into the water.

 

Bryan shines again

The Bryan College bass fishing team got a top-10 finish for the sixth tournament in a row last weekend, this time an eighth place for Ethan Shaw and Thad Simerly in the first FLW Southeastern Conference collegiate event of the season.

The one-day tournament on Lake Seminole at Bainbridge, Georgia, included 140 boats battling for 14 spots in the 2021 FLW National Championship, and Bryan's Conner DiMauro and Cole Sands finished 13th. That matched their finish at a Bassmaster event a few weeks ago at Toledo Bend, where Simerly and Shaw were fourth.

Shaw pulled a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass out of Seminole.

Contact Ron Bush at rbush@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6291.

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