On Tuesday, the half-year long 3X9 Series completed its 25th weekly event.
Qualifying angler teams now prepare to compete in the one-day championship tournament slated for Sept. 25 on Stillhouse Hollow Lake from safe light in the morning until 3 p.m.
A total of 39 teams participated in this week’s final regular season event. Of those, 25 brought at least one legal fish to the scales for weigh-in.
The team of Charlie Gantenbein and Mike McClafferty led the pack Tuesday, as they have on multiple occasions this season. The men put three solid largemouth bass weighing a cumulative 18.57 pounds on the scales to finish more than four pounds ahead of the next closest team.
Gantenbein had this to say about the win: “Going into the last event, we basically put the puzzle together. We had fished these two areas the last two weeks, but they weren’t eating what we were throwing.
“Last night we changed our approach in regards to bait presentation. The north wind helped a lot. The bait itself hasn’t changed for us, but the way it was rigged, and the technique, did. We milked our first location and left it with about an hour left in the event.
“At that time, we had around 15 pounds with three fish. Within the first five casts at the second stop, we caught another six-pounder which culled out our smallest fish. At that point we knew we would certainly give first place a look. Everything just went right last night.”
McClafferty and Gantenbein earned $970.
Second place went to Robert Sizemore and Taylor Mixon. They weighed in 14.13 pounds of fish, including an 8.45-pound largemouth, earning $190.
Third place went to Travis Bass and Dustin Riddle with 13.48 pounds, earning them $115.
The big fish award went to Ed Cole and Billy Freeman for their capture of an 8.57-pound largemouth bass.
Last week’s victors, Jody Berger and James Millsap, finished in 15th place this week with two bass weighing a total of 7.47 pounds.