Younger Johnston Wins First at Harris Chain


000290113_original_650x650The Johnston brothers, Cory and Chris, have been dominating northern tournaments for years. Case in point, the two have won the last three Angler of the Year titles in the FLW Costa Northern Division (Cory in 2015 and 2016, Chris in 2017).

Yet, while the older Cory has tasted victory by himself in some minor-level events, Chris had never won at the major or minor levels. That is, until this past weekend.

Despite hailing from Canada, Chris showed he’s pretty good in Florida, as he followed up his top 10 at the FLW opener on Okeechobee with his first major victory at the Harris Chain this weekend.

Johnston began his tournament in Lake Griffin on day one, but most of his time in Harris. He’d located a hydrilla edge in about 12 feet of water where bass were foraging around a shad spawn. The shad were piled into a 100-yard-long indention in the edge of the grass, and Johnston worked on them with a jerkbait and a gold lipless crankbait.

That area dwindled as the tournament went on, though, which forced him to try a schooling spot shown to him by second-place finisher Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson. That proved to be the key decision, as he milked it with a custom white vibrating jig with a Jackall Rhythm Wave 4.8 swimbait for the win.

Johnston – a former No. 1-ranked angler – had slipped during the 2017 season, but he’s quickly climbing again. He jumped from 69th to 46th with this victory.

An oddity of this tournament is home many anglers ranked 100 or lower that made the top 10. Gustafson was in the 100s but is now 94th after finishing runner-up, but take a look at the rest of the top 10:

3rd John Hunter – 137th

4th Glenn Browne – Not Ranked (missed 2017 season)

5th Buddy Gross – 182nd

6th Matt Greenblatt – 161st

7th Tony Dumitras – Not Ranked (missed 2017 season)

8th Kurt Dove – 177th

9th Jared McMillan – Not Ranked (rookie)

10th Anthony Gagliardi – 24th


About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

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