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Wiggins claims Open victory

Wiggins claims Open victory

If Jesse Wiggins is going to keep winning fishing tournaments, someone is going to have to put a rush order on his pro fishing jersey.

While most professional anglers are outfitted in fishing jerseys adorned with more patches than you can count, the Bassmaster Elite Series rookie sported a plain red T-shirt Saturday when he climbed from 4th place to the top spot in the Harris Chain Bassmaster Southern Open with a final-day catch of 21-05.

Wiggins’ 3-day mark of 59-04 was just over a pound better than that of 2nd-place finisher John Pollard (58-01).

In many ways, Wiggins’ simple red T-shirt was symbolic of his meteoric rise in professional fishing – it’s straight talk and no frills. The clothing choice was even more appropriate though, considering the only insignia on it (besides a B.A.S.S. patch) was a Jenko Fishing logo.

Jenko is the maker of the crankbait Wiggins used to win the first Bassmaster tournament of the 2017 season. For the 27-year-old Cullman, Ala., native, it was his second Open victory in 10 months. His first came in last year’s Southern Open on Alabama’s Smith Lake.

“I expected to win that one on Smith Lake (close to home,)” Wiggins said to the crowd gathered at the Orlando Bass Pro Shops for the final weigh-in. “This one, I had no idea. I’m shaking like a leaf on a tree up here.”

Wiggins earned a package, including cash and a Nitro boat, valued at $51,400 for his victory Saturday. He also claimed a spot in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic, which is the first berth awarded for the event this season.

Details of his winning pattern will be published soon.

Here are the final totals for the Top 12:

1. Jesse Wiggins: 59-04
2. John Pollard: 58-01
3. Hunter Shryock: 56-04
4. Justin Lucas: 53-02
5. Marty Robinson: 52-10
6. David Kilgore: 46-08
7. Scott Canterbury: 44-13
8. Brandon Card: 43-09
9. Derek Hudnall: 42-15
10. John Cox: 41-11
11. Joshua Stacner: 40-11
12. David Hudson: 39-08

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