April 29, 2011 by Rob Newell
EUFAULA, Ala. - There's an old saying in tournament bass fishing: You can't catch bass running 70 mph.
Don't tell Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., that. Running 70 mph for a better part of his fishing day has worked out just fine for the Straight Talk pro as he now leads the EverStart Series Southeast "on Eufaula" with a two-day total of 41 pounds, 10 ounces.
The preposition "on Eufaula" is in quotes because Canterbury is actually running to Seminole to catch his bass - as in Lake Seminole, 100 miles down the Chattahoochee River and through two locks.
Canterbury is actually logging about 240 miles (round trip) per day to fish one of his best spots that's in the Flint River, north of the legendary Jack Wingate's Lunker Lodge.
Locking in this particular EverStart event is perfectly legal and so far the monstrous run has paid off for Canterbury as he sacked 22 pounds, 14 ounces today.
"It's a wild ride!" Canterbury exclaimed. "It's 120 miles one way, I have to stop for gas once and I'm spending 360 dollars in fuel per day. I fish up here (Eufaula) a little bit waiting for the lock to open, then I make the run and I make my first cast down there at about 9:15. If all goes well I have about 3 hours to fish down there, maybe a little more."
The main reason Canterbury is running so far: Seminole's healthy, green hydrilla growing in about 8 feet of water that's loaded with post-spawn bass.
"It's classic post-spawn fishing," Canterbury said. "They're coming out to the grass edges down there. Yesterday I caught them on a shad spawn deal and found a couple still on the bed. But today, the shad spawn was over when I got down there and I caught them all ripping a crankbait through the grass and on a big Berkley Power Worm."
As for tomorrow, Canterbury says he plans to return to Seminole.
Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala., holds fast to the second place position with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 10 ounces.
Ingram continues to work offshore shallow ridges lined with stumps with a ¾-ounce LedgeBuster Spinnerbait and a ¼-ounce perfect jig.
As for his thoughts on Canterbury going to Seminole and opening up a 10-pound lead, Ingram says he's not giving up.
"On one hand if a tournament is held on Eufaula, I think it should be restricted to Eufaula," said the well-known local. "But I knew going into it that locking would be allowed and that somebody might try to do it - it's not like I'm surprised by that. Plus, he's assuming a lot of risk making such a long run - equipment, barges in locks, other anglers fishing those areas by the time he gets down there - a lot has to go right to make that work. So I'm going out tomorrow and fishing as hard as I possibly can, just like I would any other tournament."
JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., brought in 17 pounds, 7 ounces today to move to third with a two-day total of 29 pounds, 4 ounces.
Some might assume that Kenney, known for flipping, caught his fish shallow. But it seems this week the flipping king has traded his flipping sticks for cranking sticks, reeling in all his fish today on a Strike King 6XD deep diving crankbait.
"I'm not claiming to be a cranking expert," Kenney said. "But I will say this, when you get into a wad of them on that deep plug, they are a blast to catch. Four times today I had on doubles, and every time it would be like a 4- or 5-pounder with a 2-pounder and every time the big one would come off right at the boat and the little one would stay on. So it's fun, but frustrating."
Kenney said he found his four primary areas with his Lowrance StructureScan.
"Each one has hard bottom with stumps and sit in about 12 to 13 feet of water," Kenney said. "I dredge the plug across the bottom until it hits something and triggers a bite. And once the school gets fired up, I can catch four or five in a row before it's over."
Clayton Batts of Macon, Ga., moved into fourth place with a two-day total of 29 pounds.
Batts is going after Eufaula bass with a one-two punch. He starts each morning on shallower shad spawn spots, cranking with a Spro Little John crankbait.
After securing a limit, he moves offshore into the 10- to 12-foot range with a Spro Little John DD to cull up his catch.
"I've got a bunch of brushpiles I've been saving for tomorrow," Batts said. "I have not made a cast in them yet this week, so hopefully they'll pay off tomorrow."
Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla., rounds out the top five with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 14 ounces.
Kremer is the only one in the top five who has made the shallow bite work all day without retreating to deeper water.
He is swimming worms and Skinny Dippers in shallow water where shad are spawning.
"Each day the shad have kind of moved around on me," Kremer said. "Today they were in a different place than yesterday and this afternoon I moved around and found another place that was just popping with shad and that's where I finished my limit."
Drew Benton of Panama City, Fla., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day two weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series event on Lake Eufaula after day two:
6th: Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., two-day total of 24-7
7th: Troy Gibson of Eufaula, Ala., two-day total of 24-1
8th: Curt McGuire of Paris, Tenn., two-day total of 24-1
9th: Monte Knight of Quitman, Miss., two-day total of 24-0
10th: Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tenn., two-day total of 23-3
Richardson leads co-anglers
In the Co-angler Division Aaron Richardson of Destin, Fla., took over the lead with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 3 ounces.
Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with 16 pounds, 12 ounces.
Trathen Dollar of West Jefferson, N.C., is in third place with 15 pounds, 5 ounces.
Hale White of Thompsons Station, Tenn., is in fourth place with 14 pounds, 4 ounces.
Blaine Bucy of Follansbee, W.V., rounds out the top five co-anglers with 14 pounds, 3 ounces.
Maurice Cobb of caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day two weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Lake Eufaula after day two:
6th: James Richardson, Sr., of Harrison, Ohio, two-day total of 13-15
7th: Joey Aderhold of Birmingham, Ala., two-day total of 13-10
8th: Jeffrey Hankins of Dothan, Ala., two-day total of 13-8
9th: Charles Stevenson of Albany, Ga., two-day total of 13-5
10th: Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn., two-day total of 12-10
Day three of the EverStart Series Southeast on Lake Eufaula will begin at 6:00 a.m. at Lakepoint State Park.