Combs Victorious at Falcon Slam
by Ryan Watkins
ZAPATA, Texas — Bass King pro Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas overcame 99 of the world’s best anglers to claim the Rigid Industries Falcon Slam. It was a tournament of history that prevailed for Combs as he relied heavily on his knowledge from guiding on the reservoir for many years.
After weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces on the final day, Combs hit and surpassed the 100-pound mark with 111 pounds, 5 ounces over four days of competition on Falcon Lake out of Zapata, Texas. Combs claimed his first Bassmaster Elite Series title in BassKing fashion by claiming a demanding lead of 5 pounds, 15 ounces over Rick Clunn.
Although his title was nothing short of physically demanding and mentally challenging. The final day was traditionally set-up on Sunday, but high winds caused a postponed day of fishing. A change of events the greatly benefited the Bass King pro due to his long runs towards the south end of the lake.
“I definitely could not have fished the areas I caught them in today,” he said, noting his water was a long run to the dam and got the worst of the waves, while Clunn’s area was close by and somewhat protected. “I would have gone there and tried it yesterday, but I am sure Rick would have stomped me.”
Below: Combs hooks into another good one on the final day of the Falcon Slam (Photo: Seigo Saito)
In spite of it all, Combs held it together like a true champion and earned sealed his victory which cements his berth into the 2014 Bassmaster Classic to be held on Lake Guntersville, Al.
Having a guaranteed spot in the Classic will surely allow Combs to fish more relaxed and will change his approach to upcoming events. However; for the time being he is living in the moment of not only cherishing a win, but being one of the few anglers to surpass the 100 pound mark during a tournament.
“I’m going to cherish this. Wins like this don’t come around often,” Combs said. “I’ve been trying for a long time to get a tour-level win. With the Classic berth, it’s also a relief. This is a huge career move for me.”
Keith Combs weights were as follows:
Day 1- 34.13
Day 2- 28.1
Day 3- 20.5
Day 4- 28.2
TOTAL – 111 pound, 5 ounces
Below: Combs relishes the moment and soaks in his Elite Series victory (Photo: James Overstreet)
There is no doubt that Keith Combs has been a consistent Elite angler, but notching a win will allow him to expand the way he fishes. With a long season ahead of Combs, it looks to be a bright year and one for the record books.
Next on the Bassmaster Elite Series schedule is a return to Bull Shoals Lake out of Bull Shoals, Ark., for the April 18-21 Ramada Quest.
Photos courtesy of James Overstreet and Sergio Saito for Bassmaster.com