Ranger Pro Chris Johnston Wins FLW Tour Event on Harris Chain of Lakes

Ranger Pro Chris Johnston Wins FLW Tour Event on Harris Chain of Lakes

FLIPPIN, Ark. (February 28, 2018) - Ranger Boats Pro Chris Johnston brought in a total of 79 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the FLW Tour event at Harris Chain of Lakes, Feb. 25. The victory puts the angler in the lead for the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race. Johnston won the $100,000 first-place prize along with an additional $25,000 in Ranger Cup winnings. The Canadian angler didn't go into the Harris event with a good feeling after a dismal practice.

"My biggest fish in practice was three-and-a-half pounds," said Johnston. "Going into the tournament, I wasn't thinking about winning it. I was looking to get some points and a good check. But, at the end of the tournament, I ended up with almost a four-pound average."With a late starting time on day one, Johnston wanted to make the long run to Lake Griffin, which involves navigating a lock. The angler started in Lake Harris on a couple of marked spots while the other boats cleared the lock.

"I felt Griffin gave me the best chance to get 15 to 18 pounds," said Johnston. "I was just about the last boat out on day one so I fished for about an hour to let the boats clear. I started where I found some practice fish and caught a couple of small fish before moving and landing my three-and-half pounder."

Once on Lake Griffin, Johnston quickly landed a limit on a prop bait. The angler landed three of his keepers at Griffin before heading back to Harris to finish upgrading his limit. With 19 pounds, 13 ounces in his livewell, Johnston headed back to the weigh-in only to spot an edge on his graph while underway.

"I'm watching my graph and an edge popped up in the middle of the lake," said Johnston. "I spin around and I see fish busting on the surface. I throw out a top-water and have a two-pounder eat it. With maybe five more minutes left, I see more fish busting. I tossed a Chatterbait and had a giant hooked but it came off. That was the end of my day."

With the boat order reversed on day two, Johnston was left with a shorter day of fishing and elected to return to his promising edge.

"I looked at my graph and could see fish all underneath me," said Johnston. "You could see them coming up four to five feet off the bottom."

Over the course of the next two hours, Johnston pulled in approximately 50 fish, including a five-plus-pounder with a jerkbait. The angler worked down the weed edge before the bite died.

"I thought they must have seen the jerkbait too much, but there was obviously more fish there," said Johnston. "I picked up a lipless crankbait and let it fall to the bottom before I yo-yoed it. First cast pulled in a three-pounder and then I followed with an eight-pounder."

The angler worked further down the weed edge to discover he had been fishing a 100-yard long indentation where the bass had the shad pushed up in a little pocket. The feeding frenzy paid dividends by giving the angler a day two limit of 25 pounds, 7 ounces - the biggest of the tournament. Day three started quick with Johnston filling his limit within the first 10 minutes. The bite died and despite moving around, the angler didn't get another bite for six hours. At the end of the day, Johnston weighed 16 pounds, 12 ounces.

"Going into day four, I was worried," said Johnston. "What really worried me was that areas where I should have been catching fish weren't producing."

After hitting his productive indention and boating a small limit, Johnston hit up a spot pointed out to him the day before by fellow Canadian angler Jeff "Gussy" Gustafson. The spot didn't produce at the time so the angler pushed on to other areas before returning around mid-day.

"I hit the place where I had done most of my damage while Gussy was on his spot first thing in the morning," said Johnston. "He didn't catch them because it was a timing deal. I pulled in there around noon and got into a good school. That's what won the tournament for me."

Johnston cites a bit of luck combined with total confidence in his boat as key to his first FLW Tour victory.

"I never have to worry about issues or mechanical failure," said Johnston. "Everything on the boat is laid out perfectly. It's balanced and has a huge front deck. It's also the smoothest riding boat on the market.

About Ranger Boats

Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation's premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, with acclaimed models and series in the bass, multi-species, fish 'n play, saltwater, waterfowl utility and pontoon boat segments. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. For more information, go to RangerBoats.com.