New York pro Jamie Hartman jumps the field from 10th place to win at Lake Guntersville after weighing 23 pounds, 15 ounces for a combined four-day total of 79-10.
When Jamie Hartman burst onto the scene with the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2017, he seemed like a virtual lock to eventually hoist one of the trail’s coveted blue winner’s trophies.
He had five Top 10s that first season — including a second- and a third-place showing — prompting many to believe he could be a true superstar in professional bass fishing.
A back ailment cut Hartman’s season short in 2018 and delayed his quest for an Elite Series win.
But it couldn’t derail it.
The New York native, who now lives in Arkansas, caught five bass Monday that weighed 23 pounds, 15 ounces and claimed his first Elite Series victory with a four-day total of 79-10 at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville.
“It’s just a godsend to be back here on the Bassmaster Elite Series,” Hartman said. “I’m just so happy to be able to do this for a living and to finally get over the hump with a win.
“I never say this — and I really don’t even know how to describe it. But I had a creepy, creepy feeling coming into this week that I was going to win.”
Having never seen Lake Guntersville before the official practice period began Tuesday, Hartman did what most anglers would likely do — he headed straight for the lake’s famous ledges and tried to find big schools of bass deep. But he struggled deep on Day 1, bringing in only 14-13 and landing in 46th place.
That’s when he finally admitted to himself that he needed to commit to a shallow pattern he had identified along a grassy stretch of shoreline. He caught 20-10 on Day 2 and 20-4 on Day 3 to begin Championship Monday in 10th place.
“It’s the third week of June, so there was no reason not to go deep,” Hartman said. “But that bite got progressively worse every day from practice through the first day of the tournament.
“I had several schools loc