UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Pro Shumpert takes early lead at Lake Martin tourney

Pro Shumpert takes early lead at Lake Martin tourney
Ricky Shumpert of Lexington, S.C., shows off part of his 16-pound, 8-ounce catch. Shumpert finished in first place in the Pro Division after day one.

Arkansas native grabs co-angler lead

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - Despite frigid temperatures and gusting winds, Ricky Shumpert of Lexington, S.C., successfully battled the elements while turning in a 16-pound, 8-ounce catch to take the overall lead on day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Lake Martin.

However, while Shumpert ultimately recorded the best performance of the tournament to date, he said that the day couldn't have started off much worse.

"I missed a big fish right off the bat early this morning," said Shumpert. "And to tell you the truth, I thought I was going to be in real trouble. But then things seemed to turn around as the day warmed up. I found a pretty good area and the fish starting hitting really well. I'm pretty excited right now."

While some anglers were stumped by the unseasonably cool conditions - the temperature at takeoff was 43 degrees with winds gusting up to 18 mph - Shumpert said he is at his best when conditions take a turn for the worse.

"I'm hoping it snows tonight," he said. "I really wouldn't mind if the weather doesn't get much better. I seem to do pretty well when the conditions get nasty out there."

Shumpert said that his confidence level is pretty high right now, given the fact that the extended forecast calls for cool temperatures throughout the week.

"I think I should be able to catch enough fish to make the top 10 tomorrow," he said. "I have a good spot and I probably only need 6 or 7 pounds of fish to make it to the next round. I'm going to fish pretty hard, but if I catch a 5-pounder early, I'm probably going to move out and try to find a couple of new locations."

Rounding out the top five performances in the Pro Division were Greg Carpenter (second) of Royal, Ark., with a catch of 14 pounds, 1 ounce; Bobby E. Smith (third) of Box Springs, Ga., with a catch of 12 pounds, 5 ounces; Terry Baksay (fourth) of Monroe, Conn., with a catch of 11 pounds, 8 ounces; and Mike Wurm (fifth) of Hot Springs, Ark., with a catch of 11 pounds, 7 ounces.

Johnny McCombs of Morris, Ala., took home the Big Bass award in the Pro Division with a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces. McCombs won $750 for his catch.

Other notables in the Pro Division were McCombs (17th place); Rick Clunn (19th place); Bernie Schultz (30th place); Denny Brauer (47th place); Darrel Robertson (58th place); 2001 FLW points leader Dale Teaney (64th place); Gary Klein (87th place); Steve Daniel (109th place); David Walker (109th place); Tommy Biffle (118th place); Larry Nixon (129th place); Scott Martin (130th place); and Marty Stone (135th place).

King of the hill

Mark King of Gurdon, Ark., used a catch of 11 pounds, 6 ounces to take the top spot on the Co-Angler Division leaderboard after Wednesday's competition. Although King was happy with his finish, he said that he was wary of getting too excited given the fact that there are three more important days of tournament fishing remaining.

"I've been on top of the leaderboard after the first day several times so I'm trying to keep everything in perspective," he said. "But it does feel good to be on top, at least for today."

King, who only weighed in four fish on Wednesday, said he hopes to keep the pressure on tomorrow.

"I think if I catch 3 or 4 pounds tomorrow, I should be in good shape to make the top-10 cut," he said. "But I'll tell you, I would be feeling a lot better right now if I had landed that fifth fish today."

Like Shumpert, King said he thrives in difficult fishing conditions.

"I love any kind of cloud cover," said King, who caught all four of his fish today before 11 a.m. "I don't know what it is, but I usually do better when the conditions are really tough. From a competition standpoint, I really like the weather we're having. I'm feeling pretty confident right now."

Rounding out the top 5 anglers in the Co-Angler Division were Quinten Stacy (second) of Bassett, Va., with a catch of 10 pounds, 10 ounces; James Green (third) of Lincoln, Ala., with a catch of 10 pounds, 3 ounces; Chris Rand (fourth) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a catch of 10 pounds; and Tom Spiker (fifth) of Fairmont, W.V., with a catch of 9 pounds, 12 ounces.

Darrell Stevens of Roseland, Va., won the Big Bass award in the Co-Angler Division with a catch of 5 pounds, 3 ounces. Stevens, who was in ninth place, won $500 for his efforts.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. at Wind Creek State Park marina located one mile east of Highway 63.

Day-one related links:
Quick Bites
Photos
Results
Press release


Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2001-03-21-lake-martin 

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