UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Pro Scott David shrugs off penalty, grabs lead in $185,000 EverStart tourney

Pro Scott David shrugs off penalty, grabs lead in $185,000 EverStart tourney
Pro Scott David of Goodrich, Texas, shows off part of his 17-pound, 13-ounce catch. Despite 32 ounces in penalties for bringing in four dead fish, David went on to grab the overall lead in the Pro Division after day one of competition.

FLW tournament director Gale Stearns makes improbable run to top spot in Co-Angler Division

JASPER, Texas - Despite suffering a massive 32-ounce penalty for bringing in four fish that didn't make it, Scott David of Goodrich, Texas, managed to hold onto the lead in the Pro Division of the EverStart Series tourney at Sam Rayburn Reservoir with an adjusted total catch of 17 pounds, 13 ounces.

"We had a really good time out there today," said David, who is fishing in his first ever EverStart tournament. "It's really tough knowing that I had 20 pounds of fish but wasn't allowed to (register) the weight."

While the penalties put a slight damper on his first-place finish after day one of competition, David said he was primed to give it his all tomorrow.

"I'm pretty happy with the places I've been fishing," said David, who caught the majority of his fish using soft plastic baits. "I think I should be able to go out there every day and catch about 15 pounds of fish. Heck, I should be able to catch 15 pounds of fish just goofing off."

With a solid first day of fishing, David believes he should be able to make the top-30 cut with a 13-pound stringer.

"That's all it should take," said David. "And if I get 13 pounds, I'm probably going to quit and come in early tomorrow."

Jim Carnell of Muskogee, Okla., one of the hottest anglers in the Central Division in 2000, landed in second place with a 17-pound, 9-ounce stringer.

"I caught a lot of fish today, but I also lost a lot of fish," said Carnell, who finished in the top 30 three of four times on the Central Division circuit in 2000. "I think I probably lost eight fish total, but overall, I'm pretty happy with my performance."

Carnell said the key to his success was confining himself to a few highly productive areas instead of running all over the reservoir looking for new and "better" locations.

"I started out trying to find fish on the beds, but that wasn't really working with the water level being this high," said Carnell. "I wasn't catching anything early and that's when I decided to go back and start doing what I do best - and that's flipping."

After going back to his two prime locations and employing his flipping technique, Carnell landed a five-fish stringer with relative ease.

"I'm going to do the same thing tomorrow," said Carnell. "And if I can get 12 to 13 pounds, I should be able to make the top 30 easily. But then again, the fish need to keep biting for that to happen."

Rounding out the top-five place finishers were Billy Ficke (third) of Waco, Texas, with a catch of 16 pounds, 14 ounces; Harmon Davis (fourth) of Marlow, Okla., with a catch of 16 pounds, 9 ounces; and Cody Bird (fifth) of Granbury, Texas, with a catch of 16 pounds, 6 ounces.

Tommy Ellis of Paris, Tenn., took home the Big Bass award in the Pro Division after landing a 9-pound, 2-ounce bass. Ellis received a $750 check for his efforts.

From tournament director to surprise tournament leader

A familiar face was atop the leaderboard in the Co-Angler Division after the first day of competition. But to be sure, it was not the person most people expected to see. FLW tournament director Gale Stearns, filling in at the last minute for a co-angler who was called away for a personal emergency, recorded a catch of 12 pounds, 9 ounces to grab the overall lead. In what amounted to one of the more unusual and surprising stories of the day, Stearns, a native of Calvert City, Ky., beat out second-place finisher Byron Hilton of Humble, Texas, by a mere 1 ounce.

"He probably won't be in first place for long," joked Operation Bass official Gary Peck. "He must have had a really good partner."

In addition to Stearns and Hilton, the other top five finishers were Jake McKee (third) of Houston, Texas, with a catch of 12 pounds, 1 ounce; Robert Bogan (fourth) of Farmington, Ark., with a catch of 11 pounds, 11 ounces; and Anthony Cain (fifth) of Alexandria, La., with a catch of 11 pounds, 8 ounces.

In addition to coming in second place, Hilton also managed to grab the Big Bass award in the Co-Angler Division after landing a 9-pound, 11-ounce largemouth - the largest fish caught in the tournament to date. Hilton won a $250 check for his efforts.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. at the public boat ramp located approximately 1 mile west of Twin Dykes Park marina on Hwy 255.

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Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2001-04-04-sam-rayburn 

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