January 26, 2013 by David A. Brown
DEL RIO, Texas - One fish does not win a tournament. However, the right one can certainly bring you closer to the quest. Just ask Kevin Gressett of Tioga, Texas, who topped the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series Texas Division event on Lake Amistad.
Gressett got off to strong start with a second-place day-one bag of 17 pounds anchored by a 9-pound, 15-ounce whopper that took Big Bass honors. Gressett lost a spot on day two as his productivity slipped to 10-9, but when the final round delivered another 17-pound sack, he rose to claim the victory with 44-9.
"I caught my fish in multiple ways," Gressett said. "The first day I had four fish, but I was able to catch that 9-15 in 38 feet of water. We fished deep all day and the boat sat in probably 100 feet of water all day. The next day was a grind, but I ended up catching 10 pounds and I was a proud of that as I was of that (9-15).
"Today, I fished in the grass with a good friend of mine (sixth-place pro Shane Moore). When he pulled into the first spot, my eyes lit up because, in practice, I got them in the grass, so I just thought 'Here we go.'"
In the final round, Gressett caught his fish by ripping a red Xcalibur lipless crankbait over hydrilla. The bites, he said were spread throughout the day.
Mathews finishes second
Johnny Matthews of Laguna Park, Texas, made a big day-two move - up 20 spots to second place. At the end of day three, he maintained that second-place position with a three-day weight of 42-14.
Matthews employed a mix of Strike King 6XD crankbaits and Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hogs and Lake Fork Ring Fry. The key to his success, Matthews said, was remaining focused.
"All three days, I had five bites each day and I caught all five of them," he said. "That was the deal. If I'd missed one, I wouldn't be here. I didn't lose a fish; I caught everything that bit."
Daren Scott of Fort Worth, Texas, led the Co-angler Division for two days, but slipped to third in the final round with a three-day weight of 42-8. Scott caught his fish on a swim jig and a jerkbait.
In fourth place Dan Wilson, of Pilot Point, Texas, had 37-10, while Justin Cogburn, of Eastland, Texas, placed fifth with 37-1.
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Lake Amistad event:
6th: Brendan Kennell, of Del Rio, Texas, 36-2
7th: Kerry Barnett, of Waldron, Ark., 36-1
8th: James Lynn, of Georgetown, Texas, 35-14
9th: David Wharton, of Del Rio, Texas, 31-7
10th: Justin Lampier, of San Angelo, Texas, 31-6