LEESBURG, Fla. (March 18, 2021) – Boater Jordan Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, introduced 5 bass to the size Thursday weighing 18 kilos, 3 ounces to go wire-to-wire and win the Toyota Series offered by A.R.E. on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Thompkins weighed in 15 bass over three days of competitors totaling 65 kilos even, besting second-place boater Willy Dennison of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, by 12½ kilos. For his victory, Thompkins earned the highest payout of $40,000 within the second event of the 2021 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Southern Division.
“I can’t even hardly think straight right now – I’ve had probably one hour of sleep over the past two nights. My heart has been beating out of my chest since I caught the 31-pound limit on day one,” Thompkins stated. “This has just been an unreal experience. Waiting in the bag line today, I just kept thinking to myself, ‘When am I going to wake up?’ Everything has just gone right for me this week – it’s been unreal.”
Thompkins has a powerful fishing pedigree – his father, Timmy Thompkins, competed on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit for 4 seasons and has fished in quite a few Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League occasions. The 19-year-old Jordan grew to become the fourth professional beneath 20-years-old to win a Toyota Series occasion.
“My dad has blessed me with awesome teaching – I’ve learned every piece of information that I know from him,” Thompkins stated. “This is all for him. I’ve gotten so much support from everyone back home, it really helped me keep my mind in it and kept me on my game.”
Thompkins credited a Rapala DT-10 crankbait as being his key bait all through the week.
“I’d never really cranked before in my life – especially in Florida – but when I saw them there and I saw the way the fish were setting up, it reminded me of a couple of different times that I caught them cranking and then when I caught the first one it gave me the confidence to stick with it,” Thompkins stated.
“On the first day, it was lights out very quick and I caught the 31 pounds in a hurry,” Thompkins continued. “The rest of the week was a bit of a scramble. I’d start on my first spot and could get a limit in 15 minutes with a jerkbait. That was important because it would help me get my nerves down. Then later in the day I would pick up a ChatterBait and the crankbait and look for the bigger bites. I really just had to run as many high percentage areas as I could, and it worked out. Not very often things like this happen, but every decision I made worked and it’s just been an awesome experience.”
The high 10 professionals on the Harris Chain of Lakes completed: 1st: Jordan Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 15 bass, 65-0, $40,000 2nd: Willy Dennison of Willoughby Hills, Ohio, 15 bass, 52-8, $15,500 third: Steven Eastman of Eustis, Fla., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,000 4th: Michael Conley of Bainbridge, Ga., 15 bass, 48-1, $10,000 fifth: Jeffrey Harper of Fleming Island, Fla., 15 bass, 46-8, $9,000 sixth: Destin Lesesne of Blue Ridge, Ga., 15 bass, 45-5, $8,000 seventh: Lance Oligschlaeger of Gallatin, Tenn., 14 bass, 42-8, $7,000 eighth: Nathan Thomas of Weirsdale, Fla., 14 bass, 40-12, $6,000 ninth: Jacob Walker of Alabaster, Ala., 14 bass, 39-10, $5,000 tenth: Christian Greico of Tampa, Fla., 13 bass, 39-4, $4,150