Mercury pro Seth Feider caught 15 smallmouth bass totaling nearly 78 pounds on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, Michigan, to win the 2019 Bassmaster Angler of the Year tournament Tuesday.
The victory elevated Feider to sixth place in the final 2019 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year standings. Feider also caught the largest bass of the tournament, a 6-pound, 12-ounce behemoth boated on the first day of the tournament. Feider was also champion three years ago at the 2016 season-ending event on massive Mille Lacs in Minnesota.
Fans tuning in to watch the action on Bassmaster.com saw Feider catch one solid fish after another from what he called a “magic spot” on the southwestern portion of the lake.
“It was just a sandy spot that they happened to be ganged up on,” he said. “They won’t be there every year or anything, but right now they’re just loaded in there.”
Feider said his only regret was falling short of the 100-pound “Century Club” during the three-day event.
“I’d like to go out there right now and catch 23 pounds real quick to make that ‘Century Club,’ ” Feider said after the final weigh-in. “The locals were awesome about respecting our spot during the tournament, but I guarantee you they’re out there having the time of their lives right now. This lake and that spot are incredible.”
The 50 competing B.A.S.S. pros weighed 697 total fish (mostly smallmouth) for 2,637 pounds – an average weight of more than 3.75 pounds. Feider’s fish averaged nearly 5 pounds each.
Strong winds changed directions daily and combined with the huge size of the lake to make the final 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series event challenging. But Feider’s Bass Cat powered by a Mercury Pro XS outboard passed the test with flying colors.
“My rig performed flawlessly out there this week, just like it did all season,” said Feider. “This new motor is just incredible.”
Feider’s sixth-place finish in the AOY race qualified him for another world-class three-day event in 2020 – the 50th annual Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. The qualification marks Feider’s third trip to the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.” Not only will Feider compete in the 2020 Classic, his chances of winning are looking better – no former Bassmaster champion will be in the field.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do in life was fish the Bassmaster Classic,” he said. “This Classic will be special for many reasons.”