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March 3, 2008

Bassmaster Classic Winner Alton Jones Headlines Pond Management Seminar at TFFC

ATHENS, Texas — When was the last time you had the chance to talk one-on-one with a professional bass angler who had just won $500,000?

That’s just what you can do at the largemouth bass seminar set for March 28 and 29 at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

Bassmaster Classic winner Alton Jones of Waco will speak on fishing techniques for largemouth bass in small impoundments at the Athens meeting following the Friday evening fish fry put on by the Texas Game Warden Association.

Jones took home the top prize of $500,000 at the Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, S.C., February 24. Over three days of competition, Jones weighed in 49 pounds, 7 ounces of bass.

"This is the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had since childhood," he said. "My grandfather taught me how to fish, and I wish he could be here to see this."

Jones has qualified for Bassmaster Classic competition 11 times and won more than $1.5 million in tournaments.

Even though Jones spends most of his professional fishing time on large reservoirs, he developed his interest in fishing on private lakes.

"I am a member of the West Lakes Club, and that’s where I learned to fish," he said. "My grandfather joined the club in 1928, so I have a long family history of fishing private lakes."

Jones has a strong faith- and family-based fishing ethic. Both those themes come through on his web site.

The Athens seminar will focus on how to grow and catch bigger largemouth bass in private ponds. A panel of experts will detail how to grow big fish. Jones will tell how to catch them.

Bass Pro Shops is providing door prizes that will be awarded on both days of the seminar.

"The Largemouth Bass: Better Fishing Through Private Water Management," will be presented by Texas AgriLife Extension, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, in cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Henderson County Wildlife Committee.

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