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Newcomb Wins Toyota Event on Grand Lake

GROVE, Okla. – Toyota Series angler Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces to win the three-day Toyota Series presented by A.R.E. at Grand Lake presented by Fenwick in Grove, Oklahoma. Newcomb’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52-13 earned him the win by a 11-ounce margin over second-place angler Chris Jones of Bokoshe, Oklahoma , and earned Newcomb the top payout of $76,500, including a lucrative $35,500 Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus, in the second tournament of the 2021 Toyota Series Plains Division.

After finishing second in the first Toyota Series Plains Division event at Lake of the Ozarks back in March, Newcomb dropped 17 pounds, 13 ounces on Day 1 of the event to sit in ninth place. He backed it up on Day 2 with 19-5 to take the lead, followed by 15-11 on Day 3 to earn his first career Toyota Series win.

“It’s incredible,” Newcomb said of his win. “Just the fact that I was able to edge out Chris (Jones) is incredible – Chris is the man. Eric Olliverson  is another buddy of mine that catches them everywhere. To beat those guys… I’ve worked hard at it and I’ve never felt I was truly at that level.

So, to win one feels really, really good.

“Thursday, I caught all of my fish off of chunky gravel and my good ones came halfway back in pockets,” Newcomb said. “If I went back further I could only catch small keepers, and towards the main lake I couldn’t catch anything.”

With no wind, warmer temperatures and clear skies on Day 2, Newcomb said he tried to force his “chunky gravel” pattern, but to no avail.

“I tried for a long time to make that pattern from Day 1 work,” he said. “Finally, I rolled up to a bluff and I thought that it looked like a place I could catch one.

“I threw out there and had one hit it and that changed my whole tournament. Even though I didn’t land it, that fish biting made me think, ‘there’s fish here.’ I went a little further down and had another bite and told my co-angler we were going to camp there. In the last hour and a half of the day, they turned on. I went from 9 pounds to over 19 in a hurry.”

Newcomb said as far as baits go, he stuck with Grand Lake staples ­– a jig and a spinnerbait.

“In cleaner water, I was either throwing a BOOYAH Covert Spinnerbait with a small, gold Colorado blade and a bigger, silver willow blade or a chartreuse  War Eagle spinnerbait – I swapped the painted blades out for smaller willow blades so I could fish it a little faster, which made the fish swallow it instead of just biting it.”

Newcomb said he also added a BioSpawn ExoSwim (Feider shad) to his spinnerbait for extra bulk and dyed the tail chartreuse. He threw his blades on a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite vibrating jig rod with a  Daiwa Tatula reel, spooled with 17-pound-test Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon line.

A ½-ounce Apex Tackle Company Dirk’s Jig got a key bite on Day 2, but did all of the heavy lifting on the final day. He put a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw on the back and pitched it to any rock or wood he could along the bank. His jig tackle consisted of a 7-foot, 1-inch  Tatula Elite rod, with the same Tatula reel as the spinnerbait and he ran 20-pound Vicious Pro Elite fluorocarbon on it.

“It’s a very small jig, with just a few strands of skirt,” Newcomb said. “Color didn’t seem to matter. If you got it in front of one they would bite, but they just ate funny. I think I weighed every fish today on the jig and most everything the first two days on a spinnerbait.”

With the trophy in hand, Newcomb said he’s happy that his fish-to-win mentality finally paid off on the big stage and he’s hoping it may lead to an even bigger stage soon.

“At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I know I did everything I could to win,” he said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but when it does, boy it feels really, really good.”

The top 10 pros on Grand Lake finished:
1st:       Andy Newcomb of Camdenton, Mo., 15 bass, 52-13, $76,500
2nd:      Chris M. Jones of Bokoshe, Okla., 15 bass, 52-2, $15,500
3rd:       Kyle Minke of Lindstrom, Minn., 15 bass, 51-15, $12,000
4th:       Joey Cantrell of Whitesboro, Texas, 15 bass, 51-8, $10,000
5th:       T.J. Martin of Claremore, Okla., 15 bass, 49-4, $9,000
6th:       Brent Algeo of Ozark, Mo., 15 bass, 48-12, $8,000
7th:       James Watson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-9, $7,150
8th:       Eric Olliverson of Lampe, Mo., 15 bass, 48-0, $6,000
9th:       Kyle Weisenburger of Columbus Grove, Ohio, 15 bass, 46-8, $5,000
10th:     Toby Hartsell of Afton, Okla., 45-13, $4,000

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Pro James Watson of Lampe, Missouri took home an additional $150 for the Day 1 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, with a bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounces. Nathen Luce of Claremore, Oklahoma won the Day Two Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division, bringing an 6-pound, 11-ounce bass to the scale.

Newcomb added an extra $35,000 to his winnings as the highest finishing Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $35,000 per event in each Toyota Series tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the Phoenix MLF BIG5 Bonus contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.

Derek Felton of Willard, Missouri won the Strike King Co-angler Division Saturday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 37 pounds, 6 ounces. Felton took home the top prize package of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.

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