April 15th, 2024

Chris Johnston top Canadian after first day of US$1-million Bassmaster Classic

By The Canadian Press on March 22, 2024.

TULSA, Okla. – Chris Johnston is the top Canadian following Friday’s first round of the US$1-million Bassmaster Classic.

Johnston, of Peterborough, Ont., brought in a five-fish limit weighing 15 pounds two ounces on Grand Lake O the Cherokees. That left Johnston tied for 17th spot in the 56-competitor field heading into action Saturday.

American Justin Hamner’s limit weighed 22 pounds six ounces for the overall lead.

Cooper Gallant, of Bowmanville, Ont., stands 28th at 13 pounds 14 ounces, one spot ahead of defending-champion Jeff Gustafson, of Kenora, Ont. (13 pounds 13 ounces). Both also weighed five fish.

Johnston’s brother, Cory, of Cavan, Ont., is 38th at 12 pounds 15 ounces for his limit.

The top 25 competitors after Saturday’s round qualify for Sunday’s final. American Timothy Dube is currently 25th at 14 pounds five ounces, just one ounce behind compatriot Joey Nania.

Last year, Gustafson became the first Canadian to win pro bass fishing’s most prized title. He led wire-to-wire on the Tennessee River at Knoxville, Tenn., where he captured his first Elite Series title two years before that.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2024.

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