Mississippi’s Pace Triumphs At Bassmaster Classic In Tulsa 2-25-2013

 


Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., wins the Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Photo by B.A.S.S.

Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, takes second place at the Bassmaster Classic. Photo by B.A.S.S.

TULSA, Okla. – Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., now owns what only 33 others can claim: a Bassmaster Classic title.
   On Sunday, Pace won the 43rd world championship of bass fishing, the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. His prize for a three-day catch of 54 pounds, 12 ounces, was $500,000 and the most coveted trophy of the sport.

His victory on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees was wire-to-wire, although he shared the first-day lead with the 2003 Classic champ, Michael Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J. On the second day, Pace stepped over the entire 53-angler field, surpassing his nearest challenger – Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho – by 7 pounds. Sunday Pace took the win with a margin of 3 pounds, 4 ounces over Palaniuk, who had to settle for second when his hard charge proved to be unsuccessful.

“This is a gift that I will always cherish,” said Pace, 32, claiming his first Classic trophy at his fifth Classic appearance. “This is the ultimate high of a career, a life-changing moment.”

Each day of the competition brought a new complication, from snow, rain, below-freezing temperatures and then warming air and water under high, bluebird skies – all challenges for anglers. Pace overcame the changing fishing conditions, weighing consistent bags of bass the first two days: Friday he had 21-8; and Saturday he did even better with 21-12. His two-day total distanced him from all challengers by 7 pounds or more.

But Sunday he experienced a reverse that gave him some uneasy hours out on Grand Lake. The day, he said, “was probably the hardest day I’ve ever spent on my boat. I caught two in the first hour and didn’t get another bite until about 1:30.”

He said the wind direction Sunday was not to his advantage.

“The places I was on were like flat glass today. I knew when I saw that, I was probably not going to catch any, but they had been so good to me for two days, I fished them. But I never got a bite on that stuff today,” he said.

He went 5 1/2 hours without a bite.

“I never lost focus on what I was trying to do. I told myself all day that if I was going to catch them, then I’d better slow down and fish like I’d been fishing,” he said. “Then I pulled up to a place and caught two on back-to-back casts. That gave me four.”

In the end, his Sunday weight of 11-8 was enough to slide home.

Pace said his winning lures were Jackall jerkbaits – a Squad Minnow and a Soul Shad – plus a Jackall DD Cherry crankbait in a crawdad color. He also used a 1/2-ounce B&M Football Jig with a V&M Twin Tail trailer in green pumpkin. He dipped the plastic trailer’s tails in orange dye for greater visibility in Grand Lake’s stained water.

He had two main patterns. Early in the morning, when the bass were deeper, he worked the football head jig deep on channel banks and on the inside of main-lake points. When the sun came out, he tied on a jerkbait for fish that had moved up shallower on shelves.

“That’s how I caught a lot of my big ones – except today. I never got a bite on a jerkbait today,” Pace said. “Sometimes during the day, fishing a place where there wasn’t any wind on it, and the fish wouldn’t come up to take a jerkbait, I’d throw the DD Cherry.”

With his $500,000 Classic prize, Pace became the 39th member of the B.A.S.S. Millionaires Club – anglers who have surpassed the $1 million mark in earnings from Bassmaster events.

Pace can feel an extra shot of satisfaction, and perhaps some redemption, in his Classic achievement. At age 27, he was the runner-up in the 2008 Classic. He has two wins at the lower Open Series level, but missed three Bassmaster Elite Series titles by one spot: he placed second at an Elite event in 2010, and had two back-to-back seconds last season.

Finishing behind Palaniuk, who had 51-8 over three days, was Classic rookie Hank Cherry of Maiden, N.C. Cherry sacked 17-4 on Sunday, pulling him up to third place with a total of 49-0. Ending in the fourth-place spot was Iaconelli, who had 48-5. Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., jumped from 14th place on Saturday to finish fifth with a 45-5 total.

The Carhartt Big Bass of the 2013 Classic was the 7-pound, 4-ounce largemouth brought to the scales by Mark Pierce of Clarksville, Tenn., on Day 1. He could collect a bonus from Carhartt of up to $2,500.

Fishing fans packed Tulsa’s new BOK Center for the Friday-Sunday weigh-ins. There was a capacity crowd the final two days. At the Wolf Creek launch site in Grove, Okla., as many as 3,000 braved the cold to watch the anglers launch their boats. And at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Tulsa Convention Center, a steady flow of fishing fans turned out to see the latest in fishing boats, motors, tow vehicles, gear and tackle.

Complete Classic coverage is available at Bassmaster.com. Access to the site is free.

Ten hours of Classic coverage will air on ESPN2. The Bassmasters will present its Day 1 show at 9-10 a.m. ET, March 2, and will run again March 3 at 6-7 a.m. ET. Coverage of the final two days of Classic competition will air March 3 from 7-9 a.m. ET and 10 a.m.-noon ET. Fans can see Classic shows again on March 10 on ESPN2 from 5-9 a.m. ET. An hour-long Classic highlights program will air at 8 a.m. on April 7.

2013 Bassmaster Classic Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2013 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

2013 Bassmaster Classic EXPO Presenting Sponsor: Dick’s Sporting Goods

2013 Bassmaster Classic Official Apparel Sponsor: Carhartt

2013 Bassmaster Classic Proud Partner: Mustang Survival

About B.A.S.S.
For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications – Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times – comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.
2013 2013 Bassmaster Classic 2/22-2/24
Grand Lake, Tulsa OK.
(ANGLER) Standings Day 3

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts

1. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 14 54-12 0 $500,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 21-12 Day 3: 4 11-08
2. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 15 51-08 0 $45,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 19-10 Day 3: 5 15-04
3. Hank Cherry Maiden, NC 15 49-00 0 $40,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-15 Day 2: 5 10-13 Day 3: 5 17-04
4. Michael Iaconelli Pittsgrove, NJ 15 48-05 0 $30,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-08 Day 2: 5 13-11 Day 3: 5 13-02
5. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 15 45-05 0 $25,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 09-08 Day 3: 5 17-14
6. Tracy Adams Wilkesboro, NC 15 45-02 0 $22,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-10 Day 2: 5 09-12 Day 3: 5 15-12
7. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 14 43-05 0 $21,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-12 Day 2: 5 12-09 Day 3: 4 12-00
8. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 13 41-11 0 $21,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 4 11-02 Day 3: 4 10-13
9. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 15 41-05 0 $20,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-05 Day 2: 5 14-02 Day 3: 5 14-14
10. Randy Howell Springville, AL 14 41-04 0 $20,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-15 Day 2: 5 11-06 Day 3: 4 14-15
11. Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 15 40-06 0 $15,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 10-10 Day 3: 5 13-10
12. Shaw E Grigsby Jr. Gainesville, FL 15 40-00 0 $14,500.00
Day 1: 5 15-15 Day 2: 5 13-09 Day 3: 5 10-08
13. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 15 39-10 0 $14,250.00
Day 1: 5 14-14 Day 2: 5 12-07 Day 3: 5 12-05
14. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 15 39-02 0 $14,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 15-07 Day 3: 5 10-11
15. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 15 38-12 0 $13,750.00
Day 1: 5 15-07 Day 2: 5 13-08 Day 3: 5 09-13
16. Joshua Wagy Dewitt, VA 15 37-11 0 $13,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 13-06 Day 3: 5 09-15
17. Jonathan Carter South Portland, ME 13 36-10 0 $12,900.00
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 5 11-01 Day 3: 3 06-14
18. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 15 36-08 0 $12,800.00
Day 1: 5 12-05 Day 2: 5 14-03 Day 3: 5 10-00
19. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 15 36-08 0 $12,700.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 14-01 Day 3: 5 10-07
20. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 13 35-12 0 $12,600.00
Day 1: 5 18-08 Day 2: 4 10-09 Day 3: 4 06-11
21. Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 13 34-02 0 $12,400.00
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 5 13-08 Day 3: 3 07-15
22. John Crews Salem, VA 13 32-12 0 $12,300.00
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 13-11 Day 3: 3 05-07
23. Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 11 31-09 0 $12,200.00
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 4 10-13 Day 3: 2 04-11
24. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 11 29-02 0 $12,100.00
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 13-15 Day 3: 1 03-03
25. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 10 28-08 0 $12,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-13 Day 2: 4 09-10 Day 3: 1 02-01
CARHARTT BIG BASS
Mark Pierce Clarksville, TN 07-04 $1,000.00
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Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 37 222 627-15
2 35 223 580-10
3 14 103 267-09
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86 548 1476-02

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