Gainesville's Shaw Grigsby takes fourth place in Bassmaster Legends
Published: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Gainesville's Shaw Grigsby went into Sunday's final round of the Bassmaster Legends, one of professional bass fishing's three Majors, with a seemingly insurmountable 3-pound-plus lead in the battle for the $250,000 top prize. Because the fishing had been so tough on the Arkansas River, his cushion seemed sizable.
To everyone except Grigsby.
"My lead's not safe," he said Saturday night via cell phone. "I caught all of my fish on spot and I never caught a keeper anywhere else. I could just as easily not catch a keeper (Sunday). Rook is in a good position to beat me."
That would be Scott Rook, hometown favorite and Arkansas River expert. And Grigsby was prophetic: He did not bring a bass to the scales, while Rook posted his second 7-pound-plus catch to walk away with the big prize with 15 pounds, 4 ounces.
Grigsby, who had grabbed the 12th and final spot in the semifinal round, dropped to fourth place with 11-5.
"I'm still kind of bummed about it," he said early this week. "It would have been different if I had squeaked into the final round, but I had the biggest catch of the day.
"I did all I could do Sunday. I caught eight or nine fish, but I never got a keeper bite. If I went back tomorrow, I'd do the same thing I did (Sunday). It's tough when you don't catch them, but that's the game. Still, you don't get many chances to win one of these tournaments."
Grigsby is an eight-time BASS winner who has pocketed more than $1 million, but has not won a tournament since 2000. Instead of $250,000, he took home $23,000.
A bonus drawing for recreational use permits for Gulf Hammock, Grove Park, Relay and Fort McCoy wildlife management areas will be conducted Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The areas sold out during the first-day permits were available July 11, while the FWC's license vendor experienced computer problems that intermittently blocked permit sales for about an hour.
A recreational use permit allows the permit holder and one dependent child under age 17 to hunt, fish and use the property for other recreational activities. With the exception of hunting, the permit holder's spouse and other dependent children can fish and use the property for recreational purposes.
The FWC will issue an additional 45 permits for Gulf Hammock ($275 each), 20 permits for Grove Park ($325), 30 permits for Relay ($275) and 15 permits for Fort McCoy ($200). These bonus permits will be valid through May 31, 2007, and are not renewable. Sportsmen who previously received a permit in the earlier drawing are not permitted to participate in the bonus drawing.
Recreational Use Permit Worksheets can be downloaded from MyFWC.com/hunting under "Limited Entry Hunts" and are available at FWC regional offices and tax collectors' offices within close proximity to the specific WMA. Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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