Fishing News

Yamaha Pro Randall Tharp Wins Bassmaster® Elite on Bull Shoals/Norfolk

Posted 4/25/2016


MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark., April 25, 2016 – Yamaha Pro Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla. claimed his first Bassmaster® Elite Series win on Sunday, April 24 on Bull Shoals and Norfolk lakes. Keeping a consistent approach across the two lakes during the four-day tournament, Tharp brought in five bass weighing 16 pounds, two ounces on day four of the tournament to claim the win. He finished with a four-day total of 61 pounds, 10 ounces. 

Tharp’s final weight was more than two pounds better than second place finisher Skeet Reese. Yamaha Pros Chris Zaldain (58 pounds, 12 ounces), Matt Herren (58 pounds, 10 ounces) and Bill Lowen (58 pounds, five ounces), took third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

The Yamaha Pro kept things simple amongst all of the changes during the tournament, using a Randall Tharp Signature series golden craw color pattern 4x4 jig and a green pumpkin zoom Big Salty Chunk to catch fish all four days.

“When I got here, I wanted to find one pattern that would work on both lakes,” Tharp said. “Both of these lakes are Ozark Lakes, and they’re very, very similar. That’s the game plan I wanted to have. It just took me three days of practice to figure it out.”

 After the first day of the tournament on Norfolk, Tharp was in fifth place with 15 pounds, eight ounces. Day two on Bull Shoals didn’t go quite as well with Tharp catching 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Back on Bull Shoals on Saturday, he made some adjustments and brought in 16 pounds, four ounces to put him in the lead going into the final day of the tournament on Norfolk.

Though bass were spawning on both lakes, Tharp said he wasn’t sight fishing for bedding fish.

“I was just looking for crevices in rocks — shady places,” he said. “I was looking for isolated stuff that was different, whether it was a stump or a laydown or whatever.”

The 2015 Bassmaster® Elite Series season wasn’t an easy one for Tharp, but he is on a good path for the 2016 season.  He finished 11th in the 2016 Elite Series opener on the St. Johns River in his home state of Florida and 16th in the second tournament of the season earlier this month on South Carolina’s Winyah Bay. His victory Sunday put him in first place in the Angler of the Year standings.

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