(Photo courtesy of FLW)
John Hunter has returned to the FLW Tour for the 2018 season after a two year stint in the Bassmaster Elite Series. In his first year removed from college, Hunter competed as a co-angler on the FLW Tour back in 2015, eventually taking home the 2015 Co-Angler of the Year honor after a spectacular season. This year, he is back on the FLW tour, and though he has moved to the front of the boat as a professional, he seems set to have another season reminiscent of 2015.
Hunter placed 54th in the first tournament of the year on Lake Okeechobee, after catching a two day total weight of 26 lbs even on two 5 fish limits. After competing in the first Bassmaster Eastern Open of the year on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, John took off to start practicing for the second FLW Tour event of the season - the tournament on the Harris Chain.
After a decent Day 1 bag, Hunter made a huge jump on the leader board on Day 2 with a 21 lb 9 oz bag, propelling him into the Top 20. He would need another big day to get into position for a chance to fish on championship Sunday, and that's exactly what he delivered. John netted a Day 3 bag weighing 19 lbs 3 oz, putting him into 10th place by just a few ounces.
Hunter was blowing up FLW Live throughout the day on Sunday - leading many to believe he had the bag he needed to go from 10th to 1st on the final day of the event. Though it wasn't quite enough to take home the trophy, John brought in the biggest bag of the day, weighing in at 21 lbs 11 oz. He would finish 3rd in the event, taking home $25,000 and some very valuable Angler of the Year points.
Hunter now sits 7th in the AOY standings after two tournaments, with 345 points. Next, he will have to leave sunny Florida and head the neighbor to the north - Georgia. The FLW Tour at Lake Lanier will take place March 8-11, and John hopes to continue his current "in-the-money" run with another Top 10 finish and perhaps taking home his first FLW Tour championship trophy.
STUNNING STAT: John Hunter has fished 22 total FLW events...finishing in the Top 10 in 9 of them.