Dan’s the man

Morehead lands biggest sack of the tournament, claims EverStart pro title at his old Kentucky home

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. - Dan Morehead says that it is extremely gratifying to win a bass-fishing tournament on his home lake. He would know. After weighing in a tournament-high catch of 21 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday, he won the Pro Division title at the EverStart Series Central Division contest at Kentucky and Barkley lakes. This marks the fifth time in his career that the Paducah, Ky., native has won an FLW Outdoors event on his home waters.

"This means so much," Morehead told the capacity crowd gathered at the Benton, Ky., Wal-Mart for the final weigh-in. "It means as much as the FLW win."

He's referring to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour victory he captured here in 1998 (the other three Kentucky Lake wins were BFL tournaments). Morehead capitalized on the knowledge - and acclaim - he gained from that FLW tournament four years ago to find the edge here this week. The 34-year-old collected $15,000 and a new Ranger boat for this week's victory.

Morehead didn't have time to practice much coming into this event, so in the opening round he went back to the same locations on the lower end of Lake Barkley that won it for him at the FLW tournament. The spots yielded good stringers, giving him the lead on Wednesday and advancing him past the opening round.

In the semifinals Friday, Morehead's reputation helped him grab the third spot heading into the finals. As he was fishing a cove on Barkley another boat came up on his spot. The angler, whom Morehead recognized but didn't know by name, saw that he was encroaching on Morehead's spot, apologized and left the area. It was an unnecessary but extremely generous gesture - and one that was not lost on the hometown hero.

"That really makes you feel good," he said.

Saturday the water on the lakes rose about a foot, and that had anglers scrambling to find the bass that would bite. Relying on his homegrown knowledge of the fishery, Morehead went to the upper end of Barkley where he knew the fish would be less pressured. He also changed tactics. He caught the majority of his bass in earlier rounds using a top-water bait, but decided to switch to flipping a jig, a 1/2-ounce brown-and-black Stone jig, into bushes.

"I was kind of excited when the sun came out," he said. "It helped me by concentrating the fish in the bushes. ... I was running memories. If I hadn't caught a big fish (in a spot) in the past, I wouldn't go there."

The tactical shift paid off. He caught four good keeper bass by 10:30 in the morning and looked solid. Later, with about 17 pounds of fish already in his livewell, he ran into another creek and caught his biggest bass of the day, a largemouth that he estimated weighed over 6 pounds. He was back to the check-in point at Moors Resort by 2 o'clock.

Though his 21-pound stringer didn't show it, the fishing was tougher for Morehead as well as the other competitors Saturday. "Today you had to be precise," he said. "You couldn't just throw the jig into the bushes. You had to pitch it into the heart of the bushes and hop it two or three times before they would hit."

Scheide shies away from the crowd for second

Following Morehead was Ray Scheide of Cookson, Okla., who collected $10,000 for second place. Scheide, the day-two leader, tried to target isolated areas throughout the week.

"I went into small pockets with isolated trees," he said. "If (the pockets) had four willow trees in it, I wouldn't stop. If they had one willow, I would."

He caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday using both a spinner bait and a jig, and wasn't sure where that would put him in the final standings.

"Last night I was feeling really confident and I thought I could win, but that rising water really killed everybody's bite," he said. "I was really just praying that I'd get a top-five (finish)."

Rest of the top five

Jeremiah Kindy, who led day three, finished third and collected $9,000 with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 12 ounces. The 24-year-old rookie from Benton, Ark., flipped a green-pumpkin brush hog most of the week and was happy with the results. It was his second top-five finish of the year on the EverStart Series.

"I've been so fortunate this week," he said.

Rounding out the top five in the Pro Division were two Tennessee anglers, both also former FLW Tour champions. Craig Powers of Rockwood claimed fourth place ($8,000) with three solid bass weighing 12 pounds and Wesley Strader of Spring City finished fifth ($7,500) with five bass weighing 11-1.

"When I caught those two good fish this morning, I thought I had a shot to win," said Powers. "But it just didn't work out."

"That's fishing, isn't it?" Strader said. "It's a puzzle, and you've got to figure the puzzle out."

There's no puzzle about what's next on the EverStart Series. The next tournament is an Eastern Division tournament - the last one of the year in that division - to be held June 5-8 at Guntersville Lake near Guntersville, Ala. The next and final Central Division event is a June 12-15 affair at the Red River in Shreveport, La.

Day-four links:

Caskey claims EverStart co-angler title
Photos
Final results
Press release

Tags: headline-story  jeff-schroeder 

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-gautney-under-pressure

Gautney Under Pressure

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville is just as misty and nasty as the first. Lucky for us, the first day of the Mercury-presented event featured huge catches throughout the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-college-open-day-1-midday-update

College Open Day 1 Midday Update

“You should have been here yesterday” might have been the motto for the first day of fishing in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. Though many of the 194 teams entered in the two-day event out of Moor’s Resort & Marina reported good to excellent practices, many of the same anglers were complaining about a lack of fish on opening morning of the competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-gautney-cranks-up-the-lead

Gautney Cranks Up The Lead

Gautney says he keyed on staging fish in several very specific locations and one specific depth. He and co-angler Antoni Bicy caught 59 pounds, 8 ounces off of his spots, and he seems confident about his ability to keep catching them the rest of the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Guntersville was a welcome departure from the grumblings of practice. Though fans weren’t treated to multiple 30-pound limits on the pro side, like at the Walmart Bass Fishing League event at Guntersville a couple of weekends ago, it still took more than 25 pounds to get into the top five on day one of this Mercury-presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-morrison-wins-on-dale-hollow

Morrison Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Charles Morrison of Georgetown, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Morrison earned $3,926. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-hughan-claims-arkie-division-title-on-greers-ferry

Hughan Claims Arkie Division Title on Greers Ferry

GREERS FERRY, Ark. – William Hughan of Little Rock, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Greers Ferry Lake. For his victory, Hughan earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-bridwell-takes-opener-on-cherokee

Bridwell Takes Opener on Cherokee

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Jason Bridwell of Gray, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division tournament of 2015 on Cherokee Lake. For his victory, Bridwell earned $5,127. READ MORE »