SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two college students worked together to win the $1 million first-place prize at a Bass Pro Shops amateur bass fishing competition on Table Rock Lake.
Logan Parks, 23, and Tucker Smith, 20, are two Auburn University students from Shoal Creek, Alabama. They claimed the major prize at the Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops Us Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championships.
“We’re speechless. To win a tournament of this caliber is amazing,” Smith said. “We’d like to thank Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops, Toyota and everyone that helped organize this great tournament. After the first two days of the competition, we didn’t think we’d be the last team standing – it’s incredible.”
The three-day tournament had 350 teams. Parks and Smith bested them all. The duos best day came on Sunday when they caught five fish weighing 16.41 pounds. When it was announced that Parks and Smith were the winners, confetti rained down at Long Creek Marina at Big Cedar Lodge – America’s Premier Wilderness Resort.
“Tucker and I think alike when it comes to catching fish and have good chemistry as teammates,” Parks said. “Throughout the day, we tried not to think about the grand prize. Instead, we focused on being out on the water and having fun. Everything just seemed to work out. Thank you, Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops.”
In addition to the cash, both Logan and Tucker were awarded an all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra and a Toyota Extra Care Platinum Vehicle Services Agreement to go with it, and a 21-foot bass boat.
“Congratulations to our winners and every angler who fished this tournament. Their enthusiasm and love of fishing, nature and conservation has been a driving force in our company’s 50-year history,” Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris said.
The three-day championship event had more than just fishing. Fishing legends and celebrities made appearances. Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe were also in attendance.
The $1 million prize is the largest cash payout of any single freshwater fishing tournament in history. Each of the top 50 teams took home a cash prize. The highest placing junior angler received a $250,000 college scholarship.