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SACRAMENTO CA. – Many sports fans have no idea that Rocky Marciano’s night of becoming heavyweight champion of the world started out on a troubling note.
For after winning the first 42 fights of his career, he found himself knocked down (courtesy of a punishing left hook), in the very first round by reigning title holder Jersey Joe Walcott.
And not only did Walcott get off to a solid start against Marciano, but he built a lead over the challenger, holding an edge on all three scorecards heading into the 13th round, until Rocky, showing the determination of a true warrior, ended the bout with a crushing right hand that launched him into boxing lore.
And a similar “Rocky story” came to pass this weekend for the father and son team of Kevin and Kirby Wallace, long-time FPT veterans who having won two FPT events in 2021 and being very familiar with the Sacramento River system, were extremely confident that their path to victory would be an easy one.
But much like Rocky’s troubled first round, when they pulled up to their first - and BEST fishing spot, they found veteran anglers Brandon Gee and Duke Kanaya “camped out” on it and catching one good fish after another.
“When we saw those two on our best spot – right out the gate…we totally lost it, and were completely “spun out”, noted Kirby as he addressed the crowd during the awards ceremony.
“Duke and Brandon are extremely good anglers, so our first thoughts were that we had no chance at winning the event with them camped out on our best spot”. But we took a step back, gathered our thoughts, and reminded ourselves that we are fishing against the fish – not other fisherman… and then went to work”.
Kevin and Kirby dissected the river’s wing-dam structures with dropshot offerings, and in the last hour of event, set the hook on a 3.81-pound spotted bass, courtesy of a R2sea “Biggie Series” crankbait, to deliver a crushing, last-round “Rocky style” right hand to the competition, thus turning early adversity into a late-round victory.
Their five-fish limit weighed 13.87 pounds, which narrowly edged out Duke and Brandon and dominated the 50-boat field, PLUS the victory set a new FPT record for most wins (three) in a single season!
For the win they also earned $2,075 in cash and two custom trophies!
Congratulations Kevin and Kirby…your determination and tenacity are what TRUE champions are made of!
Arlando Abella/Tanner Austin – 2021 FPT AOY/Navionics Cup Champions
The Future Pro Tour’s Hall of Fame - presented by Gone Fishin’ Marine, opened its doors for two new inductees, as Arlando Abella and Tanner Austin’s incredibly consistent performance over a 5-event series, has earned them entrance, and a seat at the table with other outstanding Hall of Fame anglers such as Shane Peirson, Austin Wilson, Rafael Ortiz, Cliff King, Vince Bernal, Scott Stevens, Matt Fraizer, Josh Paris and Travis Huckaby – just to name a few.
In addition to the inductee honors, Arlando and Tanner will also receive $400 in cash from Angler’s Press Outdoors, and Navionics corp.
Congratulations Arlando and Tanner…your seat at the Hall of Fame table is waiting!
Timothy Albrecht and Cameron Dassonville win Youth League Angler of the Year titles
In the Future Pro Tour’s Youth Angler League, presented by Gone Fishin’ Marine, River2Sea, and Daiwa, 16-year-old Timothy Albrecht, from Ione California, accomplished his goal of becoming the FPT’s Youth League Angler of the Year, as his 10.71-pound limit in Saturday’s competition garnered him not only Youth Angler of the Year honors, but also a win in the league's "Youth" Division for 12–18-year-olds.
10-year-old Cameron Dassonville came out of the gate “swinging for the fences”, bringing to the scales a five-fish limit that went 12.57 pounds to take 1st place in the Youth Angler League’s "Kid’s" division for 5–11-year-olds.
What was even more impressive about Cameron’s performance was that his weight was only one pound off the weight of the adult division winners, AND his limit contained a spotted bass that went 4.01 pounds – the biggest fish of the entire event!
Congratulations Timothy and Cameron …you did it!
What a challenging year this has been for all of us! And even though the year was loaded with COVID-19, forest fires, lake closures, and low-water issues, we made it through!
We would like to take this moment to give a sincere thanks for the fantastic support we continue to receive from our many partnering sponsors and participants, which continue to help make the Future Pro Tour the PREMIER and most exciting all-amateur bass fishing circuit in the west!
We wish you and your families a very safe and happy holiday season!
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