FT. WORTH, Texas -- Kansas' Brent Chapman won his first major title in bass fishing today by winning the inaugural Cabela's Top Gun Championship. Held here on Eagle Mountain Lake, the tournament fielded the top 25 professional bass fishermen in the world according to the State Farm World Rankings.
Sunday was the final day of competition, and with the day's cloudy weather the event became a big-weight shootout. Japan's Toshinari Namiki had the heaviest five-fish limit of the day (12.31 pounds), but his total three-day weight of 34.29 pounds wasn't enough to beat Chapman.
Chapman's 11.09-pound limit today gave him 34.96 pounds, good enough for his first major win and a $100,000 check from Cabela's and Skeeter Boats. A Skeeter pro, he won by fishing docks with a Terminator Pro's Top Secret Jig with a sapphire blue Zoom chunk. He tied a custom skirt on the jig to match the bright sapphire blue color.
"This is awesome," Chapman said, who came into this tournament ranked 9th in the world. "I'm just relieved. I finally won a big tournament.
"I was little nervous for a spell, but decided I couldn't worry -- I couldn't get too caught up in it. Then I was nervous when I saw what Toshi (Namiki) weighed. When he weighed in, and I saw his total weight, I thought it would be within ounces. I didn't know if I had it or not."
Namiki said, "I'm a little disappointed because of the money, but I'm not disappointed for how I did in this tournament. I had a really great time. These were great people -- Texas people, BassFan people, Cabela's, and also the other contenders."
The rest of the Top 5 included George Cochran (third with 32.57 pounds), Dean Rojas (fourth with 32.52 pounds) and Alabama's Matt Herren with 30.80 pounds.
All were disappointed they didn't win, but especially Rojas, who thought he had a great shot. "I feel terrible," he said when he got off the water. "I just lost $100,000 and I know it. But I did the best I could today. I have no regrets. I went for it."
Tonight also marked the final event of the 2005 professional bass fishing season. And the angler who is ranked No. 1 in the world now that it's all over for the year is Greg Hackney, the Louisiana phenom who has taken the professional bass fishing world by storm the last few years.
Hackney is the No. 1 angler in the State Farm World Rankings after the 2005 season, and tonight at the Cabela's Top Gun Championship was awarded the State Farm No. 1 in the world trophy and $7,500 State Farm No. 1 Bonus. He received a standing ovation from his fellow competitors and the crowd.
About the event:
The Cabela's Top Gun Championship takes the 25 top-ranked professional bass fishermen in the world, regardless of which tour or tours they fish, and puts them on the same body of water. The anglers are the best in the world according to the State Farm World Rankings, which rankings anglers who fish either or both of the pro fishing tours: the Bassmaster Tour and the FLW Tour.
The event is title-sponsored by outdoor outfitter Cabela's (www.cabelas.com), and is presented by Skeeter Boats (www.skeeterboats.com), the Outdoor Life Network (www.olntv.com) and BassFan (www.bassfan.com). Supporting sponsors include State Farm Insurance (www.statefarm.com), Mann's HardNose Baits (www.mannsbait.com), Bagley Bait Co. (www.bagleybait.com), Lowrance Electronics (www.lowrance.com), Oakley sunglasses (www.oakley.com) and Tru-Tungsten (www.tru-tungsten.com).
The Cabela's Top Gun Championship telecast will air Saturday, Sept. 24 at 10:00 a.m. EST on the Outdoor Life Network. Additional coverage of the event will appear on FOX Sports and OLN (Americana Outdoors and Fishing and Hunting Texas). Full 24/7 coverage is on BassFan.com.
see page 2 for final standings >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>