“Oh my gosh,” said an emotional Wiggins as time expired. “I’m shaking, my videographers shaking, my official is shaking – we’re freaking tore up. I’m just a redneck from Alabama that likes to fish and loves to throw a shaky-head.
“I get here, and the banks look identical to Smith Lake. I mean, identical. And the fish set up identical. It seemed like I could call my shot, all week long.”
Wiggins spent the tournament targeting boat docks with a homemade shaky-head rig. After winning the Group A Qualifying Round, he advanced directly into Thursday’s Championship Round.
“I did exactly what I wanted to do, all week,” Wiggins said. “I grew up throwing a worm – that’s all we did. And we finally get a lake where they’re spawning and they’re biting the shaky-head. When they’re on that thing, I feel like I can win.”
Wiggins shaky-head rig was homemade – he fished both a 1/8-ounce and a 3/16-ounce – and he credited his key bait as being a watermelon-candy-colored Jackall Flick Shake worm.
“To come away with a win, first place against these guys – Lord have mercy, I can’t even put it into words,” Wiggins went on to say. “My support system back home – they all sacrifice so much. My wife Haley, River, my mom, Haley’s mom, Haley’s sisters, my grandma, my brothers – it’s crazy how much they sacrifice just for me to come out here and chase these things. I am so happy to win this for them. I can’t wait to bring this trophy back home to Addison.”
The top 10 pros from the Bass Boat Technologies Stage Four on Lake of the Ozarks Presented by Bass Cat finished:
1st – Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 11 bass, 27-11, $100,000
2nd – Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., nine bass, 25-4, $45,000
3rd – Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., six bass, 17-11, $38,000
4rd – Stephen Browning, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 14-0, $32,000
5th – Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., five bass, 13-2, $30,000
6th – Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, four bass, 11-11, $26,000
7th – Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., four bass, 10-9, $23,000
8th – Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., three bass, 10-4, $21,000
9th – Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., two bass, 4-3, $19,000
10th – Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., zero bass, 0-0, $16,000
Overall there were 49 scorable bass weighing 134 pounds, 7 ounces caught by the final 10 pros Thursday.
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