Jimmy Johnson caught a 13-13 bag on Saturday to win the win the Mississippi River Central Rayovac with a 3-day total of 45-07. Johnson led the tournament on each of competition and earned $35,815 for his victory.
“This feels pretty awesome,” said Johnson, who had 14 previous Top-10 finishes on the river in FLW competition. “I’ve finished 2nd so many times, and to be able to pull out a win on my home waters against the caliber of this field is just awesome.”
After finishing 2nd in the BFL Super Tournament held on the river last weekend, Johnson said he closely monitored the changing conditions and credited his local knowledge as being crucial to his success.
“I noticed the condition changes throughout the week,” he said. “I knew that the water levels were dropping and that it was going to have a big effect on the fish. The weather was my biggest concern throughout the tournament. I was fishing wing dams in Pool 8 where I knew that big fish were, but I knew from experience that a strong south wind will shut those fish down.”
Johnson said that he was fishing for only big bites, and averaging just 5 to 10 bites a day.
“I would Power-Pole down on a spot and make the same repetitive cast, sometimes for up to an hour and a half at a time,” Johnson said. “I fished probably 30 different spots throughout the week. I was looking for wing dams where there was some sort of transition – a turn, or where the sand meets the rock.”
Johnson said he had two key baits that were a “1-2 punch” for him throughout the week – a 3/8-ounce iridescent Lethal Weapon IV swimjig with a shad-colored Yamamoto Swim Senko and a Carolina-rigged green pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Lizard with a 1/2-ounce weight. Full details of his winning pattern will be published soon.
Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Jimmy Johnson: 45-07
2. Jeff Ritter: 42-15
3. Mark Tucker: 41-06
4. Mike Brueggen: 40-14
5. Gary Yamamoto: 40-09
6. Kent Priel: 39-13
7. Jeff Benson: 38-10
8. Jerry Robackouski: 37-03
9. Joe Pollak: 37-03
10. Terry Fitzpatrick: 32-10