James Nealy of Yale, Virginia, won the co-angler division at the recent St. Croix Bassmaster Northern Open at James River with a two-day total of 26-14. Nealy took home the $25,183 top prize along with the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award and $500 in St. Croix Rod Rewards for being the highest-finishing co-angler fishing St. Croix Rods.

Nealy got off to a fast start on Day 1, catching four bass around shallow wood with reaction baits, including an 8-2 beast, which earned the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award for the co-angler division. Nealy caught his fifth bass flipping a craw after his spinnerbait bite had slowed down and culled up with a bonus four-pounder in the last hour of fishing to end the day with 15-2. Day 2 saw Nealy returning to the shallows, where he bounced a 5/16-ounce chartreuse and white spinnerbait with tandem gold and silver Colorado blades off the wood to catch another 11-12.

Nealy fished St. Croix Mojo Bass and BassX rods to earn his win at James River, along with his $500 St. Croix Rewards. “I love their feel and durability,” says Nealy, adding that his next goal is to win a Bassmaster Open event as a boater. “My dream has always been to fish and to win some of the big tournaments and to one day fish in the Bassmaster Classic. I am going to fish as hard as I can and a big part of that will be to continue to use the Best Rods on Earth®.”

St. Croix Rod wants to remind both pro and co-anglers competing in any Bassmaster Opens Series event that they can win cash St. Croix Rewards by fishing with St. Croix Rods!

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The St. Croix Rod Rewards Program pays an extra $1,000 to any registered* pro angler who wins a St. Croix Bassmaster Open tournament fishing St. Croix rods, or $500 to the highest-finishing registered top-10 pro angler fishing St. Croix rods.

Similarly, the program awards an extra $500 to any registered* co-angler who wins a St. Croix Bassmaster Open tournament fishing St. Croix rods, or $250 to the highest-finishing registered top-10 co-angler fishing St. Croix rods.

*Anglers must register via QR code at pre-tournament registration held by B.A.S.S. prior to the event.