He was using a Tennessee shad-colored crank bait. "This fish was near a laydown, a fallen tree," Shopher said. He had hits from other bass, left the area and returned in about 15 minutes. One fish hit but missed being hooked. "Then the big bass hit," he said.
Shopher is 51 and has a taxidermy business. He often fishes the Coal Pile area.
Winners in the other four pools are:
- Jerry Overton of Hot Springs (6.19) - Dardanelle Pool
- 'Jess Everette of White Hall (5.38) - Pine Bluff Pool
- Craig Flowers of Midland (5.22) - Fort Smith Pool
- Lane Patterson of Little Rock (5.84) - Little Rock/North Little Rock Pool
Each of the other four pool winners will be awarded a $10,000 prize for catching the largest fish in their pool. Additional place money is awarded $900 for second, $700 for third, $400 for fourth, and the Willow Leaf Award of $1,000 will be presented to Bill Casey Sr. and his grandson Dillon Taylor. The amount of hourly prizes will be determined by the number of participants for the three days. New this year, anyone entered into the tournament was eligible for a chance to win a Bassmaster Classic VIP package. The winner was Robert Perkins from Pine Bluff. This package includes:
- VIP credentials to the Bassmaster Classic behind the scenes tour
- Access to BASS life member lounge
- Early entry into the Bassmaster Classic Expo
- The dates are Feb. 22-24 in Tulsa, Okla.
- A $300 gift card to any exact 3-pound fish during the third payout hour, 9:01 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- A $400 gift card to any exact 4-pound fish during the fourth payout hour, 10:01 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- A $500 gift card to any exact 5-pound fish during the fifth payout hour, 11:01 a.m. to 12 noon.
- A total of 3-$300, 3-$400 and 1-$500 gift cards will be awarded.
Click here for more information on the tournament and complete results.