Springfield News-Leader

Angler Lands $100,000 Largemouth Bass

A Missouri angler caught a first-place-finish largemouth bass in a fishing tournament, but the real surprise was that it also netted him more than $100,000.

John Odom of Normandy, Missouri, reeled in a largemouth bass that netted him not only a $1,500 big-fish prize, but an additional $100,000 tournament jackpot.

Odom was fishing in the annual Midwest Fish Tournament's Big Bass Bash at Lake of the Ozarks. He won the prize money with an impressive 7.59-pound largemouth.

The tournament was organized with four time slots anglers could fish, and the payout was also set up for an angler's single biggest fish.

Tournament organizer Charlie Terrell said the weigh-in was dramatic and tense. Mike Roberts of Oak Grove entered a 7.44-pound bass on the first day of the tournament. The smart money was on Roberts' fish to win the entire tournament.

But then, Odom showed up with this lunker.

"(Roberts) held that lead all the way until 2 p.m. Sunday when John showed up with his 7.59-pound fish," Terrell said. "It was pretty tough on Mike because, though he won his time slot and a $20,00 prize (for second place), he lost out on $80,000."

Odom took his time-slot prize and the overall $100,000 jackpot with the fish. His bass was the second largest ever caught in the six-year history of the tournament. The tourney's biggest bass, registered a few years ago, was close to a half-pound larger than Odom's, weighing in at 7.96 pounds.

"We had over 3,000 anglers from 30 states this weekend," Terrell said. "John's strictly an amateur—he was fishing from a 20-year-old Stratos boat on the Niangua arm of the lake when he hooked it. He was pretty excited when he came in. He was almost crying and almost passed out when he won."

I think if I won $100,000 with a big bass, I'd just about cry with happiness, too!

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.