By Mike Moguin
TULSA – Chris Jones of Bokoshe knew he had the BPS Bassmasters Central Open won when he made a catch in the final day of the event Saturday at the Arkansas River.
“We went to two or three places where I just caught a big one before, and I went specifically looking for a big fish,“ Jones said. “We pulled up there and just caught it. We had some celebrations in the boat. Let’s say that.”
Jones won the Pro-Angler Championship by finishing with catches of 15 fish for 40 pounds and one ounce for the tournament. He was declared winner after weigh-in at the Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow.
Jones totaled 13-7 on Saturday. He edged out another Oklahoman, Terry Butcher of Talaha, who finished with 39 pounds.
The water levels in the Arkansas River also were a big help.
“They actually dropped today,” Jones said. “It helped me. Everything I caught was off wood. It was off the main bank. It was actually 10-20 feet off the bank. It was pretty easy. After I figured out what they were doing, I could look what I was looking for.”
Jones used a Z8 nitro boat for the tournament.
“It was sponsored by Bass Pros,” Jones said. “It’s a great boat. All of them are the best products that they are.”
After winning the tournament, he was doused by bottles of champaign from friends and supporters.
“It felt pretty good actually,” Jones said. “I was getting hot.”
Mark Goines of Shady Point, who was the leader going into Saturday’s round, dropped to eighth place.
Other Oklahoman in the Pro-Anglers championship who competed in the top 12 were Jason Christie of Park Hill (sixth, 35-4), Dale Hightower of Mannford (10th, 25-14) and Joel Baker of Talala (11th, 25-4.
David Padgett of Republican City, Neb. won the Co-Angler Championship with eight fish caught for 20-10. He got three fish for 6-7 in the last round, moving up from third place, where he stood through Day 2 on Friday.
Sooner participants rounded out the top five in the Co-Anglers field. Wagoner’s Nick Muzljakovich (20-5) and Clayton Coppin (10-15) finished runner-up and fifth, respectively. In between them were Bill Bean of Eufaula (third, 19-7) and John Thomas of Hulbert (fourth, 18-14).
Fort Gibson’s Randy Morris finished in 12th spot (10-12).
Bass Pro Shops Central Open
1. Chris M Jones 40-1
2. Terry Butcher 39-0
3. Trevor Romans 37-15
4. Stetson Blaylock 37-0
5. Brock Mosley 36-15
6. Jason Christie, Park Hill 35-04
7. Brett Hite 32-13
8. Mark Goines 35-4
9. E.P. Fletcher 28-15
10. Dale Hightower 25-14
11. Joel Baker 25-4
12. Roy Sanford 24-1
1. David Padgett 20-10
2. Nick Muzljakovich, Wagoner 20-5
3. Bill Bean, Eufaula 19-7
4. John Thomas, Hulbert 18-14
5. Clayton Coppin, Wagoner 10-15
6. Steven Gloden 14-11
7. Kenneth Moser 12-13
8. John M Roberson 12-5
9. Christian Baires 12-00
10. Scott Bunday 11-09
11. Daniel Vasquez 11-09
12. Randy Morris, Fort Gibson 10-12