Todd Harrell, bassist for rock band 3 Doors Down, and his pro bass angler father Bobby Harrell were not only crowned the winners of Saturday’s 5th Annual Porter Wagoner Memorial Artists & Anglers Memorial Fishing Tournament, they also took home the prize for “Big Fish.” Ironically, 3 Doors Down lead singer Brad Arnold won the tournament in 2010. A total of 21 boats braved thunderstorms on J. Percy Priest Lake soon after launching from Elm Hill Recreation Area.
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits’ George Braswell brought each team on stage at Bass Pro Shops Opry Mills location to take official measurements at the weigh-in. The Harrell/Harrell team weighed in five fish for a total of 11.28 pounds. Pro angler Chad Morgenthaler and new artist Chelsea Rae placed second with 8.15 pounds, and pro Gary Clouse and former Trailer Choir member Crystal Hoyt followed a close third with 8.03 pounds. The Clouse/Hoyt team also won the award for “Big Crappie” at .71 pounds.
In addition to bragging rights and trophies, prizes for the top three finishers and Big Bass team included Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Shimano fishing reels, TFO fishing rods, Gary Yamamoto Custom Bait gift packs and gear. The team with the largest crappie received a $1500 fishing prize package courtesy of Paul Alpers and Crappie Masters.
All fish were safely released back into the water. Primary sponsors for the event included Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Shimano Fishing, Temple Fork Outfitters, Texas Roadhouse Restaurants. Additional sponsors include Camp Chef and Hi Mountain Seasonings.
Porter Wagoner, who in addition to being one of the most popular stars ever to grace the stage of the Grand Old Opry, was an avid bass fisherman. In his spare time, he could often be found fishing on local lakes. The photo at left depicts Porter holding the largest bass he ever caught along with his fishing buddy and Bass Pro Shops founder John L. Morris.
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