Payne honors grandmother’s memory on Oneida

Heading into Day 2 of the Bassmaster Northern Open, the most valuable item Billy Payne carries is something you’d never see — unless you knew to ask for a glimpse. It’s not that the pro from Lackawaxen, N.Y. is hiding anything, it’s just that this precious possession hangs around his neck and rests inside his tournament jersey.

It’s a rosary. Two weeks ago, it belonged to his grandmother, Margaret Payne.

Billy placed second on Thursday, an ounce behind Bill Perkins. Throughout his day, Payne had his spot all to himself, but he said he never felt alone on that front deck.

Speaking of his highly productive day, Payne said: “It was a blessing from God. I (had) my grandmother’s rosary on me; she just passed away and it was an emotional day.

“She was with us. She was with us.”