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Jay Yelas is a champion bass fisherman, winning both the 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic® and the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Tour® Angler of the Year award. Jay began his professional bass fishing career in 1990. In a recent 2 1/2 year span, he had an incredibly successful streak that put him in the top 10 standings for 17 out of 34 tournaments. A respected sportsman and Christian, Jay resides in Tyler, Texas with his wife, Jill, and daughters Hannah and Bethany. Jay currently appears in the Bass Pro Shops® "Outdoor World" television show, is a columnist for BASSMASTER Magazine and Hawg Heaven, and conducts seminars for BASSMASTER University.
In a season-long race for points that is to fishing what Nextel Cup is to NASCAR, Yamaha pro Jay Yelas won his second Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year title Friday, July 13 at the Wal-Mart FLW Tour's final 2007 qualifier on the Detroit River. In addition to the Yelas title, Yamaha anglers placed one through four in the top ten of the competition. The sixth and eighth-place finishers were also powered by Yamaha V MAX outboards, for a total of six in the top ten.
"It's quite an honor," said Yelas, who has amassed more than $1.75 million in career winnings and 62 top-10 finishes in FLW Tour and BASS competition. "These guys are the best fishermen in the world."
Jay Yelas is the author of A Champion's Journey of Faith, Family, and Fishing. It is an autobiography of one of the greatest bass fishing champions of all time. The author, Jay Yelas, is the current titleholder of the 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic®-the "Super Bowl" and "Granddaddy" of bass fishing tournaments. Jay is also the champion of the prestigious Wal-Mart FLW Tour®.
The book covers Jay Yelas' life from the time he caught his first bass at age six to the time he stepped onto the awards stage at the 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic®. With fishing tales, humor, and enthusiasm, Jay recounts the good and bad experiences that steered him toward success in fishing and in life. Jay includes a blow-by-blow description of tournament events leading to his incredible year in 2002, with the story culminating in an emotional win of both the Wal-Mart FLW Tour® Angler of the Year award, and the CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic®.
Struggling with the demands of a career and family, Jay was forced to evaluate a life that he describes as "not complete or fulfilling." Through prayer and a commitment to Jesus, Jay and his wife Jill created a "Life Mission" for Jay, giving him clarity and renewed focus that resulted in a magical 2002 season.