The Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship wrapped up at Center Pointe Marina in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday. Chris Zaldain of San Jose, California won the event, and while there was no trophy or extra money for winning, that didn’t take anything away from the win for Zaldain…..
The top two after the first two days of fishing were the last to weigh-in on Sunday. David Walker of Sevierville, Tennessee had the lead until Zaldain weighed 14 pounds 15 ounces for a three day total of just over 53 pounds. That left Greg Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana, who had had the lead since Thursday when he was the first to weigh-in on day 1. Once on stage, Hackney revealed that he had blanked and Zaldain had the win while Hackney dropped to 16th. Zaldain said that he really didn’t know that Hackney was heading to the scale with no fish….
In reality, the tournament was about Angler of the Year- Aaron Martens of Alabama had that locked up before arriving in Sturgeon Bay- and was also about qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March. The top 40 Elite Pros automatically qualified.