April 23, 2005 by Rob Newell
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., continues to build an impressive resume of tournament-fishing accomplishments. He is an FLW Tour Angler of the Year, a two-time FLW Tour winner, a two-time BASS winner and now a two-time EverStart Series winner.
Morehead started out 4 pounds off the lead Saturday morning in the EverStart Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks and sacked 19 pounds, 15 ounces of bass today to come back and win by 4 pounds with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 2 ounces.
Perhaps Danny Burns of Ozark, Mo., who graciously accepted defeat, summed it up best on the weigh-in stage Saturday afternoon: "What makes Dan so good is his ability to adjust quickly in changing conditions. That's what he did today that I didn't - and that's why he is your winner."
Indeed, "adjustment" was the key word for Morehead first thing Saturday morning.
"I had planned to go sight-fishing today," Morehead said. "But it doesn't get light enough to see beds until about 9 o' clock. So I just went fishing right close to the launch ramp. I started out throwing a spinnerbait, and then my co-angler caught a 4-pounder behind me on a soft plastic. I picked up a little 5/16-ounce Mann's finesse jig and caught 17 pounds in the next two hours.
"Needless to say, I never went sight-fishing," he chuckled. "I just kept throwing that little jig around points in 5 to 10 feet of water right there near the state park."
"It was just one of those blessed days of fishing," he added. "I had a great partner. Between us we culled through several limits of fish. It's been one of those days you dream about."
Morehead collected $10,000 cash and a fully rigged Ranger boat for his win.
Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., made a last-minute charge at the EverStart victory today, bringing in 15 pounds, 11 ounces to finish second with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 4 ounces.
Eakins stayed with his namesake 5/16-ounce Eakins' Jig (brown) paired with an Eakins' Craw in green pumpkin with purple flake. He cast the jig on 10-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon line.
"I was throwing to white spots (beds), brush piles, lay-downs - anything a fish might bed next to or behind," he said.
Burns' area gives out
After leading yesterday, Danny Burns of Ozark, Mo., fell to third with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 13 ounces.
"I worked those fish pretty hard for three days and there wasn't much left," Burns said. "In addition, that northeast blew into my three little pockets and just destroyed them with muddy water."
Burns was making a 55- to 60-mile run up the Osage River and pitching a Zoom Brush Hog in watermelon red to bedding fish he couldn't see.
"I had a great tournament, but it just wasn't meant to be," he added. "I have no regrets about going back up there. If I had it to do over, I don't think I would have done anything different."
Donham ends up fourth
Dave Donham of Highlandville, Mo., who led the tournament after day-two, finished up fourth with a two-day 25 pounds, 4 ounces.
Donham kept his fish-catching lures on the down low all week, but today he fessed up to his productive tactics.
"I was throwing a Rattlin' Rogue suspending jerkbait," Donham revealed. "I fished up in the Niangua and the Grand Glaize arms targeting rocky points for suspended prespawn fish."
Donham reported having five different colored Rogues tied on, and he switched colors according to the clouds and water color.
Paul Tormanen of Lees Summit, Mo., finished fifth with two-day total of 19 pounds, 1 ounce.
Tormanen reported catching his fish this week on a Moman tube in black with gold flake tied to a 3/16-ounce tungsten weight.
"I fished boat docks in 8 to 10 feet of water earlier in the week," he said. "But the last couple of days I had to fish shallower on rocky secondary points leading back into the creeks."
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 pros in the EverStart Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks:
6th: Eric Ambort of Mabelvale, Ark., two-day total of 17-9
7th: Kevin Lasyone of Dry Prong, La., two-day total of 14-2
8th: George Jeane of Evans, La., two-day total of 10-11
9th: David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, two-day total of 9-7
10: Gene Brown of West Point, Miss., two-day total of 1-12