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: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-04-18-hallman-prevails-on-grand

Hallman Prevails On Grand

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-gamecocks-win-national-title

Gamecocks Win National Title

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-18-lake-murray-midday-update-day-3

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 2

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-college-championship-race-tightens

College Championship Race Tightens

READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-hallman-out-front

Hallman Out Front

Spawning bite continues to produce for the anglers in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-17-lake-murray-midday-update-day-2

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 2

The air temperature reached a high of 53 degrees here yesterday, which tied a record for the coolest high temperature for that date. Apparently, the short-lived cold snap also had a chilling effect on the fishing at Lake Murray this morning, as several competitors in the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup reported meager results. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-liberty-leads-college-championship

Liberty Leads College Championship

A 22-pound, 2-ounce stringer anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth boosted Liberty University’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler into the opening-round lead of the FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. Rulle and Eppler were the last anglers to weigh in on day one, and their five-fish limit gave them a lead of more than 3 pounds ahead of Eastern Kentucky University veterans Kyler Raymer and Ethan Snyder, who had 18-15. The surprise team of the tournament so far is Colorado Mesa University’s Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, who brought in 18-10 despite never having fished east of the Mississippi River before. Worth and Kinkade are in third place, followed by Cade Laufenberg and Wyatt Stout of Winona State University, and Benn Curry and Tim Ward of Auburn University, both teams with 17-8. Lamar University’s Cameron Lafleur and Justin Royal in 10th place set the cut mark at 16-8. The entire field will fish again tomorrow, and only the top 10 based on two-day cumulative weight will fish in Saturday’s final round. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-castledine-stands-tall-on-grand

Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

Day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Power-Pole on Grand Lake produced stunning weights. With “thousands” of bass on the beds, the pros brought in a total of exactly 2,240 pounds and it took 16 pounds to make the top 60. Rising above the crowd was Nacogdoches, Texas, pro Todd Castledine, renowned for his prowess in Texas, the sight-fishing master cracked 23 pounds, 13 ounces and leads second-place pro Jonathan Henry by 1 pound, 6 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-top-5-patterns-from-grand-lake-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-16-lake-murray-midday-update-day-1

Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hanselman-wins-back-to-back

Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

Once you get Ray Hanselman going, just get out of his way. The Del Rio, Texas, pro is riding an incredible high right now after sewing up his second consecutive Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division win. Hanselman won the opener on Lake Amistad in February, then backed it up this week with a win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in an event presented by Mercury. For his final-day limit, Hanselman plowed deep into Rayburn’s flooded cover to track down a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 10 ounces, raising his three-day total to 60-08 for a win by more than 7 pounds. For his efforts, Hanselman earned a cool $35,815 check and another trophy to add to his mantle. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-white-takes-bragging-rights-on-kentucky-lake-

White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Joe White of Princeton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, White earned $5,014. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-taylor-targets-bluebacks-for-hartwell-win

Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

ANDERSON, S.C. – Brock Taylor of Pendleton, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Hartwell. For his victory, Taylor earned $4,830. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-chenoweth-wins-on-kerr

Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

HENDERSON, N.C. – Rick Chenoweth of Fredericksburg, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament of 2015 on Kerr Lake. For his victory, Chenoweth earned $5,241. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-rayburn-day-3-midday-update

Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

A chilly morning greeted the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury, but a warm sunrise filtered by scattered clouds bespoke the gorgeous conditions forthcoming. Winds have dropped off to barely a breeze, main-lake running is easy, and the coves and creeks where most anglers are fishing are glassy smooth. Fish surely pulled tighter to cover with the sunny conditions, but that probably makes little difference, as the majority of anglers have been flipping close to trees and into dense buck brush since day one. The heavy, tangled spots with vines seem to be the prime targets again today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-hansen-holds-lake-of-the-ozarks-title

Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. – Brian Hansen of Fenton, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake of the Ozarks. For his victory, Hansen earned $4,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-frog-carries-lowery-to-victory

Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – David Lowery of Phenix City, Alabama, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Martin. For his victory, Lowery earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-11-gordon-grabs-title-on-dardanelle

Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Shawn Gordon of Russellville, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Dardanelle. For his victory, Gordon earned $7,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-04-10-hanselmania-returns

Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »