May 31, 2008 by David A. Brown
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - He never got to enjoy the Ranger boat he received for his BFL divisional victory in 2007. However, Robert Crosnoe's fishing future will soon change - thanks to his winning performance at the 25th annual Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy.
"I had to sell my boat to help pay for the house I was building - I sold it to one of my good friends the day I got back (from the tournament)," a tearful Crosnoe said, as he held his $50,000 check aloft. "This is a new Ranger boat."
Entering the final round in fourth place, Crosnoe brought just three fish to the scale, but still registered the day's heaviest co-angler weight - 5 pounds, 11 ounces. His tournament total was 17-6.
"I only got three bites today, but I caught them all," he said. "If you're only going to get three bites, you want them to be good ones."
A sheriff's deputy in Inverness, Fla., Crosnoe fished a Carolina rig with a Berkley creature bait. That was a good choice for the way his boater, Ray Griffin, fished.
"My (boater) today was a slow jig fisherman and he covered the water, so I had no chance to flip a dock or whatever," Crosnoe said. "I had to throw something behind him on the points."
Cain captures second, Big Bass award
Billy Cain of Jackson, Ga., caught a limit weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces and finished second with a 16-7 total. Fishing ledges in 8 to 10 feet of water and boat docks, he caught his fish on a football jig and a shaky-head worm.
Cain thanked boater Mike Brueggen for putting him in productive areas: "I had a great boater today. He had found some fish, and they were good enough to bite for us today."
The 5-pound, 2-ounce largemouth Cain caught around 10 a.m. on the first day won the Snickers Big Bass award for the entire event and earned him $1,000. He also scored a $2,000 bonus for using a Frabill net to scoop up his fish.
Cain caught his largest fish on a 3/16-ounce shaky head with a Zoom craw. Making a long cast to a tapering point with gathering baitfish produced the big bass.
"It didn't move very much when I set the hook, but when she started to wiggle her head, I told my partner to get the net," Cain said.
Best of the rest
Leavitt Hamilton of Prairieville, La., finished third with 15-7 and Blake Wilson of Prattsville, Ark., took fourth with 15-6. Allan Williams of Moncks Corner, S.C., was fifth with 15-2
Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the BFL All-American event:
6th: Brett Wysock of Wilmington, Ill., 14-6
7th: Kenneth Hunnicutt of Jacksonville, Fla., 13-2
8th: Michael Roy of Ivy, Va., 12-14
9th: Chuck Rounds, Benton, Ky., 10-4
10th: Chris Dozier, Collinsville, Miss., 8-10