CHICKAMAUGA, Tenn. Charlie Reed, 51, of Broken Bow, Okla., became the oldest angler at that time to win a Classic, with a 21-bass, 23-pound, 9-ounce creel.
He collected $50,000 for the championship, his biggest tournament paycheck ever.
With fishing conditions made difficult by low oxygen levels from a summer-long drought, only ounces separated the top positions.
In the final round, Reed fished a small cove with plum-colored worms to piece together a limit of small bass.
Seeking to upgrade his catch, he switched to a deep diving crankbait and began scouring the bottom of a 10-foot hole in the creek.
• Danny Correia's second-place finish was the best ever by a Federation qualifier at that time.
• While being backed down the launch ramp to begin the opening round, defending champion Jack Chancellor had a rude awakening when his driver stopped short and accidentally launched Chancellor's rig on the concrete.
Top 6 finishers
1. Charlie Reed Broken Bow, Okla. 23-09
2. Danny Correia Marlboro, Mass. 22-12
3. Woo Daves Chester, Va. 22-08
4. Gary Klein Oroville, Calif. 22-01
5. David Yarbrough Gadsden, Ala. 20-14
6. Jerry Rhyne Denver, N.C. 20-03