Classic In Depth - Alton Jones - Fourth Place
With the experience of a veteran, Jones spent two days at the Red River before the waterway went off limits in December. But, rather than simply drive through the river hoping to see areas that he might fish; Jones went the extra mile.
"I actually only went on the water one of the days in pre-practice," said the Woodway, Tex. pro "I flew over the Red River in a helicopter on the other day because I can observe areas much more efficiently from the air than from just reading a map, or driving it in my Skeeter." Read More
Classic Patterns 2-5
Alton Jones said he only burned a "thimble's worth" of gas throughout the 3 days of competition. He fished directly across from the launch site in Port Lake.
"I caught 20 pounds out of that spot at the 2009 Classic," he noted. "That was the first place I fished on the first day of practice and it was on. I looked around at some other stuff the rest of practice, but I never really found anything as good as that little spot." Read More
2012 Classic - 4th: Jones Anticipated Bedders
Day 3: 5, 14-03 (15, 45-14) - Angler after angler lamented at not being better prepared for the onslaught of spawning fish that eventually became the dominant theme of this year's Classic. Springtime guru Alton Jones, on the other hand, was more than ready for the seasonal shift to kick off.
"I fished this tournament from day 1 as if it was going to develop into a spawn-fest," he said. "I'm always watching the extended forecast in practice and when I saw that warm-up coming, I knew it was close. I'm actually surprised that it didn't happen quicker. Had we not had those cold nights, it would've progressed further."
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
"Even though it's cold outside, if the sun shines, it gets pretty warm inside that car. Those backwaters are the same way. All it takes is a little bit of sun and they warm up really fast.
"You could see the fish come to life mid-morning," he added. "If you went in there first thing in the morning you'd swear there wasn't a bass in there. It was absolutely dead. But by about 10:30 everything came alive and it seemed like every little pad stem had a fish on it."
He said he was fortunate not to have to share his area with too many of his competitors this week, but added that learning how to better manage crowds is something he'll have at the forefront of his mind as the 2012 Elite Series season unfolds.
"(Fishing in a crowd) is a part of my gameplan that I'm deliberately working on this year. In the past I've made the mistake of avoiding fish because I've avoided the crowds. (In the Elite Series) it's difficult to find a place and have it all to yourself. I'll definitely mix it up this year if I have to."
2012 Classic - 3rd: Jones Staying Focused
> Day 2: 5, 17-14 (10, 31-11) - Jones was all smiles after a day that saw him move from 16th place in the standings to third. He's trying to join VanDam, Rick Clunn, George Cochran, Hank Parker and Bobby Murray as anglers with multiple Classic wins.
“It’s exciting," he said. "I can’t remember what movie it is, but it reminds me of the line, ‘So you’re saying I have a chance?’ And that’s what you want heading into the final day of the Bassmaster Classic, is to be in contention for a title, and anything can happen.
2012 Classic 3rd Place: Alton Jones (31-11)
Photos - Basszone.com 2008 Classic champion Alton Jones made a hard charge up the leader board on Saturday, putting himself in prime position to take another Classic trophy home to Texas. Jones was able to improve on his day one total by over four pounds, and his 17-14 day two sack has him sitting in 3rd place headed into the final day the Classic.
After weighing his options and sleeping on his decision, Alton decided not to abandon his day one area, but rather to return with the confidence that the right fish to win the Classic were swimming in his prime location. The decision paid off handsomely and Jones plans on sticking to his guns again on day 3.
“I was considering making a change today and checking out another area but decided to give my day one spot another try. You never want to leave fish, and I have some history with this particular spot and know what it is capable of producing.