Zoom Bait Pro, Buddy Gross, just won the Bassmaster Elite Series at Harris Chain. Continue reading to learn more about Gross’ victory.
LEESBURG, Fla. — A chance encounter on Day 1 directed Tennessee pro-Buddy Gross to an unexpected finding that delivered four days of limit catches and propelled him to victory with a total weight of 77 pounds, 11 ounces at the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain.
Gross, who also won the 2020 Elite event on Lake Eufaula, placed third on Day 1 with 22-12, then took over the Day 2 lead by adding 17-11. Semifinal Saturday tested Gross’ resolve, as he found only 14-14 and slipped to sixth, but a Championship Sunday limit of 22-6 pushed him across the finish line.
Edging Drew Benton of Blakely, Ga., by 2-10, Gross earned the $100,000 top prize.
“This snuck up on me; I had a terrible practice, but I stuck to my guns and stuck to my strengths,” Gross said.
Except for brief Day 2 visits to lakes Beauclair and Eustis, Gross spent the majority of his tournament on the east side of Lake Harris. He did most of his work in Banana Cove, but also fished a point across from the cove on Day 4.
“The first day of the tournament, I went over to this spot where I thought I could catch a couple of keepers just to get me going, and then I’d go to the grass and weed through them,” Gross said. “When I stopped that morning, I caught 30 or 40 — I had some other anglers around me so I didn’t stop.”