ANDERSON, S.C. — Caleb Sumrall became the second consecutive Louisiana angler to win the B.A.S.S. National Championship when he brought in a five-bass limit weighing 9 pounds, 13 ounces from Lake Hartwell for more than 2-pound edge over runnerup Luke Gritter of Michigan.
Sumrall’s 36-12 total not only earned the New Iberia bass fishermen the top boat/trailer/tow vehicle package, but also earned a spot in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic set for Hartwell in March.
Glitter came next with a 34-8 total and Alabama’s Marty Gibbens finished third at 32-10. Like Sumrall, they earned Classic berths.
Sumrall trailed second-day leader Arkansas angler Tray Huddleston by nearly three pounds in the three-day event. Huddleston caught one bass Saturday and finished fourth.
Ryan Lavigne, the Gonzales angler who won last year’s tournament, finished 43rd in the 61-angler field, and fellow Gonzales fishermen Jamie Laiche finished 22nd. Only the top 12 anglers in the Boater Division advanced to Sunday’s final.
Two south Louisiana anglers competed in the Nonboater Division. Kevin Simon of Reserve finished 10th with a two-day, 11-12 total, while Gonzales’ Neal Normand ws able to weigh one bass.