Veteran angler Emery McKeen, who’s been fishing local waters for about as long as anyone can remember, hooked up with 27-year-old Jimmy Cross to win the first Jack AZ Bass Amateurs Only tournament of the season.
The victory was chalked up Aug. 29 in a Roosevelt Lake tournament that attracted 50 boats.
McKeen’s and Cross’ fish limit tipped the scales at 15.47 pounds to whip the secondplace finishing team by a full pound. In the champions’ catch was a 4.47-pound lunker that was in the running for the tournament’s big fish prize until another angler brought it a seven-pounder.
McKeen’s and Cross’ winning strategy was to fish 10-inch worms all around the lake.
“We only caught two bass in one spot,” McKeen said.
For the tournament win, the two shared $1,300 in prize money.
The victory was the first for McKeen and Cross as an angling team.
Next up for McKeen is an All-Star Bass tournament Sept. 25 and 26. His partner in that will be Maurice Johnson, with whom he has fished for the past 10 years.
The next Jack AZ Bass Amateurs Only Tournament is Oct. 3 at Bartlett Lake. McKeen said he is unsure if he and Cross will enter.