Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 12/13/2017

Moore, OK – For over a decade, The BASS ZONE has had an on-location presence at every Elite Series tournament.

With 2017 coming to a close, The BASS ZONE’S Mark Jeffreys, Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush take a moment to talk about their favorite on-the-water moment from this past season that started on Lake Cherokee in February of 2017 and ended on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota in September.  

Mark Jeffreys’ top on-the-water moment from 2017:  Kennedy’s Arkansas Lunker  
“I didn’t think that swim jig fishing could get much more exciting after watching the final day of the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe when Steve Kennedy put on a clinic with a swim jig in shallow brush, but I was wrong.    My top on-the-water moment from the 2017 season was when Kennedy caught the 6-poud largemouth on the final day at Lake Dardanelle to seal the deal and earn his third blue trophy.  

“He works that lure differently than everyone else, and he fishes it in places where nobody else fishes it.  The way that he won that tournament was vintage Steve Kennedy – it was a tough tournament and he went against the grain and found a way to get into a secluded backwater that really nobody else knew existed.  

“There’s not much that gets me pumped up, but when Steve had that big fish hooked up and was just leading it around the boat laughing and having a good time, he had my full attention.”

Matt Pangrac’s top on-the-water moment from 2017:  Horton Tosses his Hat  
“Covering every Elite Series tournament since the 2008 season, it’s easy to overlook the fact that some of the most established anglers on tour still have emotion, self doubt, and apprehension.  When one of these anglers wins a tournament, it’s always surprising how much built up emotion comes out.  

“That was the case this year when Timmy Horton won the second Elite Series stop on Lake Okeechobee in Florida.  For years, Horton plugged along as a well established pro with a list of accomplishments that include the AOY and Rookie Of the Year title in the same season.   What was easily overlooked was the fact that in the nine-plus years since his last Elite Series win in 2007, Horton had just two Top 5 finishes on the Elite Series prior to his win this year in Florida.  

“The raw emotion that Horton displayed on the water both when landing and losing lunkers showed just how much he had invested in the sport and how badly he wanted to lift another trophy.  When he realized that he had won the tournament, you could almost physically see the weight being lifted off of his shoulders as he tossed his hat into the crowd.”  

Dave Rush’s top on-the-water moment from 2017:  Jacob Wheeler Has Arrived  
“With a Forrest Wood Cup victory, All-American victory, and BASSFest victory under his belt, it’s not exactly like Jacob Wheeler flew under the radar when it came to his first season on the Elite Series in 2017.  I’m not sure many people thought he’d make his presence felt so soon, though.  Wheeler won the first event of the season on Cherokee Lake and established himself as a force to be reckoned with.  

“He would go on to record five Top 12 finishes and serve notice to the field that he’s going to be a major player for years to come.  On the last couple days on Cherokee, it was impressive to watch just how dialed-in Wheeler was when it came to targeting the Cherokee Lake smallmouth.   He faced adversity from other competitors and mechanical issues and kept his cool and just kept putting them in the boat.”