DAYTON, TN (WRCB) -- Andy Morgan (Dayton), Wesley Strader (Spring City) and Michael Neal (Dayton) spent the days leading up to the FLW tournament on Chickamauga Lake talking about the hometown curse. After four days the curse was nowhere to be seen as all three finished in the top five.
Morgan in fifth, Neal third and Strader second.
"Being in front of the hometown crowd everyone was saying you better do good, you better do good. It was kind of expected but I don't think they expected third or a win. We all three came out pretty good," said Neal.
Neal bagged a little more than 17 pounds on the final day finishing with just over 79 pounds. Six pounds better than Dayton veteran Andy Morgan.
On top of Morgan's fifth place finish he won his first FLW Angler of the Year Award, "there's nothing sweeter than that. I've always wanted to win the AOY but to come to Chickamauga right here in Dayton was just sweet as sugar," said Morgan.
Spring City's Wesley Strader finished second, "there's no place I'd rather be fishing right now and there's no place I'd rather have been raised than right here. This is awesome, I wish every crowd we had was this big because you don't know what this means to us fisherman," said Strader.
The trio said after Saturday it felt like they were fishing for second place because Alabama pro Casey Martin just ran away with it. He bagged 30 pounds on Sunday totaling an impressive 103 pounds.
Neal said, "100 pounds in four days is just incredible. There's not many places you can go that produce that kind of weight. In the summer time that's phenomenal. Anything over 80-85 pounds is unheard of."
Strader, Neal and Morgan qualified for the Forest Wood Cup in early August where the top prize is $500,000.