April 22nd, 2024

Gallant, Johnston advance to final round of US$1-million Bassmaster Classic

By The Canadian Press on March 23, 2024.

TULSA, Okla. – Canadian Cooper Gallant made a monumental jump Saturday at the US$1-million Bassmaster Classic.

The Bowmanville, Ont., native moved up 22 spots to easily qualify for the final round of pro bass fishing’s most prestigious event. Gallant weighed a five-fish limit of 19 points five ounces to sit sixth overall at 33 pounds three ounces.

Gallant was 28th on Friday with 13 pounds 14 ounces on Grand Lake O the Cherokees. He’s appearing in just his second Classic after finishing 52nd last year.

Brothers Cory and Chris Johnston will join Gallant on Sunday. Cory Johnston, of Cavan, Ont., improved 18 spots to 20th overall at 29 pounds eight ounces. He brought in a five-fish limit of 16 pounds nine ounces after recording 12 pounds 15 ounces Friday.

Chris Johnston, of Peterborough, Ont., dropped five spots to No. 22 at 29 pounds six ounces. His best five Saturday weighed 14 pounds four ounces after recording 15 pounds two ounces Friday.

However, Jeff Gustafson, of Kenora, Ont., won’t be defending his title Sunday. He finished 31st overall with 10 fish weighing 27 pounds 12 ounces as the top-25 competitors qualified for Sunday’s round.

Brandon Cobb earned the final qualifying spot at 29 pounds three ounces.

Gustafson’s limit Saturday weighed 15 pounds 15 ounces. He stood 29th on Friday with 13 pounds 13 ounces, just one ounce behind Gallant.

Last year, Gustafson became the first Canadian to win the Classic. 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 23, 2024.

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