After fishing at FLW’s top level for 11 years, competing in his 76th career event, Jason Abram finally got it done. He earned his first career victory in a dramatic finale Saturday at the Lake Martin FLW Pro Circuit in Alabama after bringing a five-bass limit totaling 11-03.
four-day total of 20 bass weighing 52-09 earned him the victory by a 1-01 margin over 2nd-place Ron Nelson and the $100,000 top prize.
“I’ve been chasing this dream for as long as I can remember,” said an emotional Abram on-stage after being declared the champion. “The trophy is more important to me than the money. I’ve had a couple of good finishes and a couple of chances to win in the past, but came up short. To win today, it feels absolutely great. So great.
“Every fish that I caught this week came on a Reaction Innovations product – either a Skinny Dipper or a Flirt Worm – and the key was just covering a lot of water with those two baits,” Abram continued. “I’ve never been here before, so I just relied on my Lowrance unit. I’d see a pocket on the map and then just run it.”
The reason Abram stuck with his pattern Saturday was the same reason he’d been fishing it all week – it didn’t get many bites, but it got the right bites. In this case, a 4-pounder that couldn’t resist his merthiolate Reaction Innovations Flirt Worm walked under docks – but not just any docks.
“It had to be the last three docks in a pocket,” said Abram. “I was looking for flatter pockets with three docks lined up in the back. I could look on my graphs and quickly see which pockets looked good, which helped me fish fast, and I needed to. I caught one fish for every 15 pockets I hit.”
Abram spent the first few hours of each day targeting spotted bass to catch a limit before focusing his efforts in the mid-lake region, right around where the dirty and clear water met.
“I was paralleling just random banks with a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper,” he said. “I think the spots were just pushing bait up against the bank because I’d go awhile with nothing and then catch three or four quick. It’s like a pod swam up and I’d catch them.
“I’d been so close to winning before and always came up short. I thought I didn’t close it out again today. But I stuck to what I thought I could win this thing on, and I was rewarded.”
Here are the final totals for the top 10:
1. Jason Abram: 52-09
2. Ron Nelson: 51-08
3. Spencer Shuffield:51-00
4. Matt Becker: 49-03
5. Laramy Strickland: 49-01
6. Greg Bohannan: 48-05
7. Tom Monsoor: 47-15
8. Jordan Osborne: 45-15
9. Kerry Milner: 45-02
10. Derrick Snavely: 43-10