UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

A hero’s victory

Pro Ricky Shumpert (right) of Lexington, S.C., takes home his first EverStart Series first-place trophy.

Local favorite Ricky Shumpert breaks record, takes home pro trophy

MANNING, S.C. - Ricky Shumpert is making his mark on the EverStart Series. To tell the truth, he's making his mark in all of pro bass fishing. Today he brought in an EverStart Series final-round pro weight record of 28 pounds, 2 ounces to take home the win, $15,000, a new Ranger boat and a lot of bragging rights from the Eastern Division tournament on Lake Santee Cooper.

Shumpert, a native of nearby Lexington, S.C., didn't just break the record. He demolished it by almost 7 pounds. The previous final-round weight record - 21 pounds, 3 ounces - stood for just one year. It was caught last March - maybe not so coincidentally - at Lake Santee Cooper by another South Carolina angler, William Smith of Moncks Corner.

But Shumpert, who just came off a stellar fourth-place performance at last week's Wal-Mart FLW tournament at Lake Martin, Ala., was less concerned about breaking records and more concerned about just dialing in a strong performance here on his home waters. Last year at this same tournament, he fished a strong final round but ended up taking second place after Smith reeled in his record-breaking stringer.

"I had 19 pounds, 15 ounces last year on the final day," he said. "I really thought I had it won."

So it was poetic justice that Shumpert returned to this lake at this event and successfully pried that second-place monkey off his back by crushing the record that beat him last year. After a handful of top-10 finishes, it was the first major-tournament victory in the 40-year-old's career. And it was indeed satisfying.

"I'd love to win anywhere," he said, "but it means a lot to beat a lot of my local friends that were here."

And it was no surprise. Shumpert's no stranger to lakes Marion and Moultrie, the two water bodies that comprise Lake Santee Cooper. He was able to bring in consistently heavy stringers all week despite having fished four different locations in variable conditions all four days. Many people who followed this EverStart event picked him as the one angler to watch this week.

And so did he. Confident about his familiarity with the lake, Shumpert knew his chances were good.

"I knew I'd make the top-30 cut," he said. "After that, it was just a matter of making the top 10. The only thing I was worried about was if (the other finalists) got on a big spinnerbait bite."

Some did find a big bite, like pro runner-up Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., but just not big enough. Kreiger, who - like Shumpert before today - has a mantle full of EverStart and FLW top-10 trophies but no blue ribbons, caught five fish weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces. However, he lost one big fish and knew that would be the deciding factor.

"I broke that one off and I'm just sick about it," Kreiger said. "I think I've finished in every place except for first, so maybe one of these days I'll win one of these things."

Kreiger would have needed the lost fish to be a veritable monster to beat Shumpert's record weight. While Shumpert only caught six fish in all today, they were all heavy. It was his patience with a lunker-lure buzzbait and a little trick he used on a bedding female bass - his fifth fish - that eventually led him to victory.

With four fish in his livewell by late morning, he approached a big female that was up on the spawning bed.

"I pulled back up in there, but the fish ran off because it was scared of the boat," he said. "So I dropped my bait down on the bed and let the boat drift back away, feeding line out with my hand, for about 40 feet. I kept the boat still and held the line tight for about three minutes. It came back and bit my lure. I set the hook and caught it. The thing weighed 5 pounds."

At that point, he thought he had close to 26 pounds of bass in his livewell, so he quit fishing. It was still only 10:45 in the morning.

"I said to my partner, `If I can't win with this, I don't know what I need,'" Shumpert said.

While he might not have needed it, he finally got his due victory and some well-earned headlines today. He won the Eastern Division standings race in 1999 without taking a single tournament win. On the FLW Tour, he's currently sitting in second place in the pro standings, behind the powerful Rick Clunn by only a single point. This year in the EverStart Eastern Division standings, he's in 12th place after today.

And that's not all. Shumpert made news at an EverStart Series event last year for something that had nothing at all to do with fishing. In March he and fellow EverStart angler Alan Walls of Boca Raton, Fla., found and helped rescue an injured runaway teenager who had fallen down a cliff on Lake Cumberland, Ky. They saved the boy's life.

While not as valiant as that, today's victory was certainly a fitting one for the hometown hero.

After Shumpert and Kreiger, who won $10,000 for second place, rounding out the rest of the Pro Division top five finishers were Billy Bowen Jr. (third place, $9,000) of Ocala, Fla., with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces; David Dudley (fourth, $8,000) of Manteo, N.C., with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces; and Greg Pugh (fifth, $7,500) of Cullman, Ala., with four bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces.

Kerr Lake near Henderson, N.C., will be the fourth and final regular-season Eastern Division EverStart Series stop. The tournament will be held May 30-June 2.

Day-four related links:

Burks wins Co-Angler Division at Lake Santee Cooper
Photos
Results
Press release
Rescue on the Cumberland
(first published 26.Apr.2000)

Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2001-03-28-santee-cooper 

/news/2016-02-10-dudley-links-up-with-livingston-lures

Dudley Links Up with Livingston Lures

Livingston Lures has added three-time Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year David Dudley to its pro-staff. The Virginia pro joins two-time FLW AOY Andy Morgan and former FLW Rookie of the Year Stetson Blaylock on the Team Livingston roster. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-10-power-pole-extends-partnership-with-flw

Power-Pole Extends Partnership with FLW

FLW announced yesterday that JL Marine Systems, manufacturer of Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems, has signed a sponsorship extension for the 2016 season. This will be the sixth consecutive season that the two organizations have partnered. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-flw-college-fishing-western-conference-opens-season-on-shasta-lake

FLW College Fishing Western Conference Opens Season on Shasta Lake

REDDING, Calif. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 20 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-lake-shasta-set-to-host-costa-flw-series-opener-presented-by-minn-kota

Lake Shasta Set to Host Costa FLW Series Opener Presented by Minn Kota

REDDING, Calif. – The Costa FLW Series is headed to Lake Shasta Feb. 18-20 for a tournament presented by Minn Kota when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the first stop of 2016 in the Western Division. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-montgomery-targets-prespawn-bass-for-win

Montgomery Targets Prespawn Bass for Win

Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, Ala., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-09-top-10-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee

Oklahoma’s Bradley Hallman sewed up his first Walmart FLW Tour victory at the season-opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats by pitching and punching reed heads in the South Bay area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver. Hallman stuck with his program despite up-and-down air temperatures, high winds and all the curveballs Mother Nature could throw at him. Here's how the rest of the top 10 got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-08-top-10-baits-from-lake-okeechobee

Top 10 Baits from Lake Okeechobee

The Walmart FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee went from a tight race to a runaway in a hurry when Bradley Hallman just wouldn’t stop catching the big ones. As for the lures he used, and those put to work by the rest of the top 10, some Okeechobee staples were applied as well as a few oddball baits. If you’re thinking of heading down to the Big O or anywhere else in Florida soon, you might want to acquire a few of the lures they fished. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-hallman-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Wins Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought just two bass to the scale Sunday totaling 6 pounds, 8 ounces, but it was still enough to earn the win at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s four-day cumulative total of 16 bass weighing 71 pounds, 2 ounces earned him the win by an impressive 14-pound, 14-ounce margin over second-place pro Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, and $100,000 in the tournament that featured 169 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing in the first FLW Tour event of the regular season. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-big-hall-man-on-okeechobee

Big (Hall)Man on Okeechobee

It was the Bradley Hallman show all week long at Lake Okeechobee at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. Though, the Norman, Okla., pro struggled on day four and brought in only two fish for 6 pounds, 8 ounces, he pulled off the wire-to-wire victory in his first event on Tour. The 13-pound, 9-ounce lead that Hallman built up through the first three days of competition was enough that he didn't actually have to weigh his fish today. Hallman's tournament total of 71 pounds, 2 ounces far exceeded the 56-04 caught by runner-up Alex Davis. For the win, Hallman earned $100,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-07-lake-okeechobee-day-4-coverage

Lake Okeechobee Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-montgomery-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-bulldog-division-opener-on-lake-eufaula

Montgomery Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division Opener on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – Local angler Scott Montgomery of Eufaula, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Eufaula. For his victory, Montgomery took home a check for $4,127. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »