Quick Bites: EverStart Championship, Day 4

2003 EverStart Series Championship
Old Hickory Lake, Gallatin, Tenn.
Saturday, final round

Good TV reception ... "FLW Outdoors" television viewers will once again be treated to an edge-of-the-seat tournament experience when they tune in to watch the drama of the 2003 EverStart Championship. The show - to air Nov. 8 and 9 on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) - packs plenty of suspense and bass action. But what about the main characters in this angling reality show who sit through the experience, many literally on the edges of their seats, as they alternately try to one-up each other at the scale? The pressure could rattle some of the steeliest competitors around, especially if you are one of the last two men standing in contention for a lucrative prize package. However, pro Tony Christian of Hull, Ga., took the emotional roller coaster in stride and even enjoyed the ride - one that ultimately dropped him off in second place. "It just keeps the suspense riding high," Christian said. "You want to win and you're always wondering, `What's he got? What's in my livewell compared to his?'" The "he" in this scenario was Dick Shaffer of Celina, Ohio, champion of this year's EverStart Series. The sweat running down each man's face in the final minutes of the program, before either one knew who would come out on top, was visible - and the tension, especially while they waited through commercial breaks, was palpable. But Christian said the anxious experience didn't provide unwelcome stress, even after a long week of fishing. "Really, (the outcome) was decided at 2:15 p.m. It wasn't decided here," he said. Christian said he enjoys the theatrical elements of the final showdown, even when he comes in second. However, the affably confident Christian has every reason to smile and enjoy the show. He's usually in the winner's circle or close to it when the lights go down; in the last year alone, he won the prestigious All-American championship, three other BFL tourneys and an EverStart Eastern event. So much for the agony of defeat.

Jumpin' black bass ... Nobody can blame the finalists in a professional fishing championship for being a bit jumpy during the last weigh-in. But the bass? Today's finale looked like a flying-fish convention when the first several pros weighed in their bass. First Scott Sills of Dahlonega, Ga., dropped a sizable catch behind the announcers' table and had some difficulty picking it back up to deposit on the scale. "FLW Outdoors" co-host Charlie Evans laughed and asked, "Was it that hard to catch them out on the lake, Scott?" Then Shaffer's second fish slipped out of his hands before he could drop it in the weigh-in bucket. After that, one of Erie, Pennsylvania-angler Dave Lefebre's bass got into the Halloween spirit, albeit a day late, and tried to pull a Houdini, jumping several inches above - and almost escaping from - the receptacle. Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo., brought a jumper to the scale as well.

Keeps going and going ... Sills lived up to the title of a contingency award he won today, presented by Energizer and titled the "Keeps going and going" award, the last time he fished Old Hickory Lake a couple years ago. He was fishing a tournament in another league with fellow pro Tim Horton when they ran aground on the morning of the first day of competition. Both men were hospitalized, and Sills was the recipient of 16 medical staples for his injuries. He said it was a bit difficult to get back in his boat and fish Old Hickory again this week, especially with the thick fog that delayed the first morning's takeoff. "It was kind of scary. That first day, it was a real foggy, eerie situation," he said. "I just kind of flashed back to (the accident)." But Sills kept on going, of course, and continued to fish competitively - all the way into the finals at this year's championship. The actual "Keeps going and going" award Sills won today was for coming from way behind after zeroing on day one to ultimately finish in seventh place, a truly remarkable feat.

Quick numbers

16-12: Weight in pounds and ounces of the heaviest stringer caught in the championship - pro Jim Tutt on day two.

14-8: Weight in pounds and ounces of the second-heaviest stringer caught in the championship - pro champion Shaffer during the final round.

Sound bites

"I thought I was learning to speak Eastern Bass, but apparently I wasn't understanding today."

- EverStart Western pro Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., explaining how he zeroed in Saturday's finals.

"Well yeah, I certainly am nervous."

- Championship winner Shaffer answering an essentially rhetorical question just seconds before he and Christian, each with one fish left, weighed in their last hopes.

Quick links:

Photos
Results
Press release
'Slam-dunk'

Tags: quick-bites  patrick-baker 

/news/2013-08-18-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-red-river-day-4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 4

In 2011, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., thought he had fished the perfect Forrest Wood Cup only to lose out at the very end to FLW Tour pro Scott Martin on Lake Ouachita. Although Tharp walked away from that tournament $100,000 richer, he couldn’t help but think of what might have been. READ MORE »

/news/2013-08-17-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-red-river-day-3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 3

A change at the top … For two straight days, EverStart team pro Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Fla., had led the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. Well today that all changed … just barely. READ MORE »

/news/2013-08-16-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-red-river-day-2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 2

By the start of day two, the new conventional wisdom was that the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup was now simply a two-man duel between Tharp and Thrift. While that narrative made perfect sense at the time, multiple-day, high-stakes bass-fishing tournaments sometimes have a tendency to veer off from a carefully written script. READ MORE »

/news/2013-08-15-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-red-river-day-1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 1

Heading into today’s competition, the conventional wisdom was that it would take anywhere from 11 to 12 pounds a day to win the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. However, apparently EverStart team pro Randall Tharp and Chevy team pro Bryan Thrift weren’t listening. READ MORE »

/news/2012-08-12-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 4

In the end, the 21-year-old upstart from Indianapolis, Ind., was just too much for the rest of the field. Bolstered by an 11-pound, 15-ounce catch on the final day of competition, FLW Tour rookie Jacob Wheeler blew away four former Forrest Wood Cup champions, three FLW Tour Angler of the Year title holders as well as the rest of the top-10 field to claim the most prestigious title in bass fishing. READ MORE »

/news/2012-08-11-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 3

After three grueling days of Forrest Wood Cup competition, the top-10 pro qualifiers have been determined and will now get a chance to fish Sunday for the sport’s ultimate prize. The lineup includes: Fatheadz pro Jacob Wheeler (first), Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury (second), Chevy pro Bryan Thrift (third), National Guard pro and defending Forrest Wood Cup champion Scott Martin (fourth), Chevy pro Jay Yelas (fifth), Chevy pro Luke Clausen (sixth), Evinrude pro Andy Morgan (seventh), Troy Morrow (eighth), Castrol pro David Dudley (ninth) and Chevy pro Dion Hibdon (10th). READ MORE »

/news/2012-08-10-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 2

After stunning the field and electrifying bass-fishing fans everywhere with his amazing 21-pound, 15-ounce stringer during the opening round of 2012 Forrest Wood Cup competition, 21-year-old Jacob Wheeler found the going a lot tougher during Friday’s action. READ MORE »

/news/2012-08-09-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 1

With six returning Forrest Wood Cup champions, multiple FLW Tour Angler of the Year winners and a lethal group of veteran pros comprising the 46-member field, the day-one leader at the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup turned out to be none other than a 21-year-old rookie upstart named Jacob Wheeler. READ MORE »

/news/2011-09-23-skarlis-surges-ahead-on-missouri-river

Skarlis surges ahead on Missouri River

BISMARCK, N.D. — The community hole that powered most of the top-10 performances on day one of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship dried up for almost everyone Friday – everyone but Evinrude pro Tommy Skarlis, that is. The walleye veteran from Waukon, Iowa, brought an impressive 21 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale today for a two-day total of 40-14 and first place. READ MORE »

/news/2011-09-22-championship-begins-on-misty-missouri

Championship begins on misty Missouri

BISMARCK, N.D. — Though the FLW Walleye Tour has visited the Missouri River at Bismarck, N.D., for three championships in the past four seasons, the nation’s best marble-eye anglers will work a distinctly different fishery in 2011. To borrow a phrase, the playing field has been evened. READ MORE »

/news/2011-08-14-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita-day-4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Ouachita, Day 4

Although Scott Martin came into the finals with a nice 5-pound cushion, by 1 p.m. he only had three fish in the boat. It was at that time that Martin acknowledged that the nerves finally started to get to him. READ MORE »

/news/2011-08-13-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita-day-3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Ouachita, Day 3

After two days of intense competition on Lake Ouachita, the top-10 pro field was separated by just over 5 pounds. As a result, it appeared that it undoubtedly would be a wide open competition for the pro title heading into the final day of 2011 Forrest Wood Cup action. But then two things happened to dramatically change that outlook. READ MORE »

/news/2011-08-12-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita-day-2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Ouachita, Day 2

Although the top two spots on the pro leaderboard remained fairly stable after the second day of Forrest Wood Cup action, the story of the day was the dramatic movement of a handful of pros who rocketed up the standings with a series of stellar catches to remain in the hunt for a title. READ MORE »

/news/2011-08-11-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-ouachita-day-1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Ouachita, Day 1

So far at least, the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup competition has turned out to be a competition between the haves and have nots. With the day’s inclement weather throwing a monkey wrench into a good number of championship game plans, only five anglers managed to secure five-fish limits greater than 15 pounds. READ MORE »

/news/2011-02-12-rachal-tops-co-angler-division-on-sam-rayburn

Rachal tops Co-angler Division on Sam Rayburn

JASPER, Texas — Co-angler Brett Rachal fished his first-ever FLW Outdoors event this week in the EverStart Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. If he had any doubts about entering the tournament, they were surely erased Saturday when he won the event to collect a Ranger boat, motor and trailer valued at over $40,000. READ MORE »

/news/2010-09-11-smith-lands-wire-to-wire-win-on-erie

Smith lands wire-to-wire win on Erie

ERIE, Pa. — Consistency is a hallmark of a successful tournament angler. It’s how you win tournaments, points titles and the respect of your peers. But consistency is difficult to achieve from the back of the boat, where you have no control over where you fish and only some latitude regarding how. Don Smith of Brodhead, Ky., seemed to defy that logic this week, winning the FLW American Fishing Series event on Lake Erie wire to wire. READ MORE »

/news/2010-08-08-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-4

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 4

READ MORE »

/news/2010-08-07-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-3

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 3

READ MORE »

/news/2010-08-06-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-2

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 2

READ MORE »

/news/2010-08-05-quick-bites-forrest-wood-cup-lake-lanier-day-1

Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Lake Lanier, Day 1

READ MORE »