Welcome to the big time, Jonathan Carter.
Carter, a 30-year-old first-grade teacher who grew up in Orrington, made a big splash on a national stage on Friday when he stunned the professional fishing world by ending the first day of the Bassmaster Classic — the Super Bowl of the sport — in seventh place.
Carter caught a limit of five bass that weighed in at 18 pounds, 11 ounces.
He is the first Mainer to ever compete in the Bassmaster Classic, which awards $500,000 to the top angler over the three-day tourney, and hands out $1.2 million to the 53-angler field. His only other B.A.S.S. tournament finish, in Maryland in 2009, finished with him in 104th place, and not earning a penny.
Tops on the day, which is being staged on Lake o’ the Cherokees in Oklahoma, were bass-fishing star Michael Iaoconelli and Cliff Pace, who each caught five fish weighing a total of 21 pounds, 8 ounces.
Hank Cherry, Kevin VanDam, Tracy Adams and Jason Christie finished in places three through six.
In his career, Iaconelli has won $1.89 million as a bass fisherman. Pace has earned $766,970, VanDam a whopping $5.41 million.
Carter’s career earnings: Zero.
Carter caught the first keeper of the day and kept on catching fish, ending up “culling,” or throwing back fish that were smaller than those he would keep in his five-fish limit, earlier than most.
According to BassTrakk, an unofficial live-tracking account of the day on Bassmaster.com, Carter caught 13 fish during his day of fishing.