May 22, 2004 by Rob Newell
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - At the final weigh-in of the EverStart Eastern event on Guntersville Lake, Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., and Greg Coots of Fyffe, Ala., proved that being a local has its advantages.
Both anglers are well-known local fishermen on Guntersville and both dominated the competition in their respective divisions Saturday.
Gettys left no doubt about his knowledge of Guntersville when he turned in a 20-pound, 6-ounce sack of bass to distance himself from the competition by nearly 8 pounds with a two-day total of 44 pounds, 15 ounces.
Coots crushed the co-angler field by bringing in 18 pounds, 11 ounces for a two-day total of 38 pounds - almost a 15-pound margin of victory (click for co-angler story).
Big win for Gettys
Gettys is a full-time biology teacher and coach at a local school, but his part-time job could be considered winning tournaments on Guntersville Lake. This was his second EverStart Series victory on the lake.
"It's been a great week," said Gettys, who won a total of $23,000 plus a fully rigged Ranger Boat. "I'd like to fish more of these events, but I don't want to give up coaching just yet - I've been coaching girls basketball and softball for 27 years."
Gettys used a V&M 11-inch worm in red bug to catch most of his fish this week. He rigged the worm both Texas and Carolina style, depending on where he was fishing.
"In the mornings, I'd Texas rig the worm with a 3/16-ounce weight and swim it in 4 to 5 feet of water in scattered grass," he said. "In the afternoons, I'd Carolina rig it out on deeper river ledges in about 10 feet of water."
The local angler surmised that the fish moved deeper as the tournament progressed.
"I had been catching a few shallow, but today that bite died and I caught most everything out deep," he added.
Lamb climbed to second
Mark Lamb of West Palm Beach, Fla., steadily climbed up through the field during the week and eventually finished second with a two-day total of 37 pounds.
Lamb weighed in 20 pounds, 15 ounces today, the heaviest stringer of the day.
His weights got better each day because he was fishing an area where a wave of new bass were moving up to spawn despite the 81-degree water temperature.
"I've caught nearly 40 pounds of bass the last four days out of one little spawning area," Lamb said. "Each day it got a little better, and today the big ones moved up. There were hundreds of beds in there, and at times I watched groups of bass swimming into the area."
Lamb pitched a Gambler Bacon Rind in watermelon with a 1/2-ounce Gambler screw-in rattling weight to holes in the grass that were beds.
"I could see fish cruising everywhere, but I wasn't sight-fishing," he said. "I'd just pitch into a hole, shake that rattling weight and the line would tighten up."
Lamb added that he was fishing 1 to 3 feet of water in Town Creek.
Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn., finished third with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 6 ounces.
"I was really lucky to catch what I caught this week," he said. "The fish weren't really stacked up on the types of places that I like to fish, so I just ran around fishing different spots that I know."
Deakins caught his fish on a combination of Carolina-rigged Zoom Ol' Monster worms and a deep-diving shad-colored crankbait.
Fisher finishes fourth
Snickers pro Pat Fisher of Dacula, Ga., finished fourth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce.
Each day Fisher started on a deep hump where he Carolina-rigged a Zoom Ol' Monster worm.
Later in the day he would run up the river to a stretch of matted hydrilla where he pitched a 1 1/2-ounce tungsten weight on a Zoom Critter craw in black and blue.
Dwayne Horton of Knoxville, Tenn., finished fifth with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 15 ounces by fishing a jig in grass.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 pros were Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., in sixth place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 7 ounces; Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., seventh place with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 14 ounces; Micah Bennett of Summerville, S.C., eighth place with a two-day total of 23 pounds; Jason Graham of Sanford, Mich., ninth place with a two-day total of 19 pounds, 8 ounces; and Larry Inman of Greensboro, N.C., 10th place with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 2 ounces.
2004 EverStart Series Eastern Pro Division points leaders
With this being the final event of the EverStart Series Eastern Division, special recognition goes out to Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., and Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., for tying in the points lead with 717 points apiece.
The top 40 in the points race have now qualified for the EverStart Championship in November.