Chad Grigsby confessed that deep water fishing isn’t his strongest venue. But the Minnesota-based pro used a deep-running 6XD Strike King crankbait to yank three heavy duty largemouth bass off a 15-foot deep Kentucky Lake shell bed to anchor a 22 pound 13 ounce bag during the final round of the FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake Sunday.
It was more than enough to vault Grigsby from third to first, giving him his first major tournament victory and earning him $125,000.
“This is what everyone strives for,” he said while signing autographs for a covey of fans who had swarmed the stage. “I knew this day was coming.”
Grigsby’s final day heroics eclicped the hopes two other finalists who were also gunning for their first major tournament victory.
Ramie Colson Jr. started the final round with a slim lead but finished fourth after a solid but unspectacular 9 pound 8 ounce final day.
Kevin Snider was fourth going into the final round but electrified the crowd at Murray State’s CFSB center with 17 pound 3 ounce limit of bass. The heavy sack vaulted Snider into the lead until Grigsby took the stage.
Snider finished second.
Veteran pro Jay Yelas, who spent the four-day tournament fishing shallow water cover while nearly everyone else was working deep water areas, was third.
“I was fishing a flat that comes up to about 12 feet,” Grigsby said. “In the middle of the flat there’s a ditch that goes down to about 15 feet. At the top where the ditch comes back up is where the big shell bed is. That’s where I caught them.”
Shinichi Fukae, who was in 10th place going into the final round, was involved in a boating accident and did not attend the weigh-in. Fukae, who, like each finalist, was accompanied by an FLW cameraman, struck a bridge near the Paris Landing area. Fukae was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. The cameraman, whose name was not released by FLW officials, was transported to a Nashville, Tenn., hospital for further observation.
For full tournament results or more information go to www.flwoutdoors.com.