TRENTON, Mich. — After three days of still waters at the Walmart FLW Tour on the Detroit River, wind greeted anglers at takeoff Sunday morning. The buzz at the ramp was how the winds would affect strategies for the top 10 anglers that had outfished the best bass anglers in the world to survive the cut to the last day.
And it seems wind did play a factor, and anglers had to change plans and adapt. That’s where Larry Nixon’s 36 years of professional bass-fishing experience gave him the edge. The Bee Branch angler caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 4 ounces Sunday to win $100,000 with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 84-11. The catch gave him the win by a 6-pound, 1-ounce margin over Bill McDonald of Greenwood, Ind., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 78-10 and earned $31,574.
"I’m in total shock," said Nixon, who earned his first FLW Tour win since 1997. "I’ve been fishing in competitions for 36 years. A lot of my body parts are worn out, I’ll tell you right now. I’m not a spring chicken anymore. That rough water today by the Chevy building coming down the Detroit River. I’m glad I left an hour and a half early, because it took every single bit of it to get through the ‘Miracle Mile.’ You know why they call it that? It’s a miracle if you get through it in a bass boat."
Nixon said he caught most of his fish during the tournament on a drop-shot rig tipped with a Berkley Gulp! Goby or a Berkley Jerk Shad, but managed to boat a few on a variety of other baits including a Berkley Havoc Sick Fish. Nixon said his drop-shot technique was more of a "drop-dragging" technique, where he would cast into the wind and drag the bait slowly back over his targeted waypoint.
"I had to use a lot of baits," Nixon said. "It didn’t work the same every day. I’d get there and couldn’t get a bite, so I’d grab another rod and start catching them."