Keeping up with the Joneses
By Craig Lamb
For years, Alton Jones Jr. grew up watching his famous dad become one of bass fishing’s most successful pro bass anglers.
Jones Jr., 24, traveled with his family from the time he was a youngster until enrolling at Baylor University, where he graduated with a marketing degree.
As a teenager, he honed his angling skills to the point of gaining success at local, regional and then national tournaments. He took the full leap several years ago and joined the pro ranks, fishing the Bass Pro Shops® Bassmaster® Opens. Those events are the springboard into the Classic® and the sport’s top tier, the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Now, Alton Jones Jr. and Alton Jones Sr. will soon fish against each other at the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® in their home state of Texas. The sport’s world championship is March 24-26, at Lake Conroe.
Only four fathers and sons have competed together in the same Classic®. The list consists of Denny and Chad Brauer, Guido and Dion Hibdon, Bill and Gregory Ward, and now the Joneses. That Classic® occurrence happened five times. Of that group, only the Hibdons each won a championship.
“That’s a long line of fishing history,” said Jones Sr. “I hope we can represent the sport in this event as well as those fishing families have done.”
“I hadn’t really thought about it until he qualified,” he continued when asked about how the two will share information. “It will change, obviously, since he has really matured as an angler.”
“We’ll talk strategy, pro to pro.”
Above all else will be shared moments of family pride.
“He’s been to a lot of Classics® before watching me,” added Jones Sr. “Now I’ll be at a Classic® as a proud dad watching his son.”
Jones Jr. capped a successful year of ramping up to qualify for the Elite Series. He earned the invitation after finishing near the top of the point standings of the Bass Pro Shops® Bassmaster® Central Opens.
The top anglers receive invitations to the Elite Series, and now Jones Jr. will join his father on that tour as well.
“It’s a dream come true for me, for sure,” he said. “I still have a lot to prove, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com