RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In his first time fishing in the James River, angler Kenta Kimura of Osaka, Japan won the Bassmaster Northern Open, held annually in Richmond.

Catching a total of 65 pounds of fish during the three-day event, Kimura took home the top prize of $52,000, as well a $500 Garmin contingency bonus for being the best angler using Garmin products.

Finishing day 1 in 19th place, Kimura orchestrated a major comeback, advancing all the way to second place on day 2.

“I really didn’t expect this because I had a horrible practice. I was going to be happy with 14 pounds a day, but I figured some things out,” said Kimura. “Some guys said it was going to take 18 pounds a day to make the cut, but I said, ‘No way.’ But this river is full of big fish. This might be the best river I’ve ever been to in the whole world. I love the James River.”

With the win in Richmond, Kimura has earned a spot in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, which will take place from March 24 through to March 26 in Knoxville, Tennessee.