UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Blush bursts into lead of $185,000 EverStart tourney on Lake Ferguson

Blush bursts into lead of $185,000 EverStart tourney on Lake Ferguson
Herb Blush of Yazoo City, Miss., grabbed the overall lead in the Pro Division after recording a two-day catch of 25 pounds, 3 ounces.

Ray strengthens his grip on first place in Co-Angler Division

GREENVILLE, Miss. - Herb Blush of Yazoo City, Miss., used a 12-pound, 10-ounce stringer and some hometown fishing acumen to grab hold of first place in the Pro Division heading into tomorrow's semifinal round. Blush, who was in sixth place after yesterday's competition, said his knowledge of Lake Ferguson has allowed him to compete with the talented field.

"It's really tough fishing out there, but I was fortunate enough to do my homework and find enough fish to compete," said Blush, who recorded a two-day total of 25 pounds, 3 ounces. "I've fished this lake for the last 15 years, so I probably didn't have to do as much running around as the other guys. I was able to eliminate a lot of (non-productive) water and that has really helped me."

Blush said that unlike many past tournaments, he felt he had as good of a chance as anyone to make it to the semifinals.

"I really felt like this was going to be a good tournament for me," he said. "I did well in practice and I've had a lot of confidence all week. It feels good."

However, Blush was a little less certain when it came to analyzing his prospects for tomorrow.

"I think I've been a bit lucky so far and I know that every day is a crap shoot," he said. "I could do really well tomorrow or I could come up empty. I'm just going to take it one day at a time and see what happens."

Day-one leader Roger Stegall of Iuka, Miss., used a two-day catch of 24 pounds, 2 ounces to grab second place. Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., finished in third place for the second day in a row after registering a two-day total of 23 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rounding out the top five standings were David Seaton (fourth) of Buchanan, Tenn., with a total catch of 23 pounds, 3 ounces and Steve Floyd (fifth) of Sabina, Ohio, with a total two-day catch of 22 pounds, 5 ounces.

Mark Goines of Shady Point, Okla., won $750 and the Big Bass award of the day after landing a 5-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. And as it turned out, Goines needed virtually every ounce of that big bass as he squeaked into the top 30 in 29th place.

Ray holds off co-angler field for second straight day, doesn't hold onto favorite lure

Keith Ray of Florence, Ala., has a decidedly mixed day on the water today. Although Ray finished in first place yet again, recording a two-day catch of 19 pounds, he lost one of his most prized possessions - a ¾-ounce white buzzbait.

"It feels great to be here, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow because I lost my favorite lure," said Ray, who is fishing in the first EverStart tourney of his career. "I'm going to have to call my wife and tell here to come down here with some more of those buzzbaits. And if she can't come, I swear to you, I'm going to drive all night to Florence, Ala., and back. It's probably about a 6-hour drive, but I've got to do it."

Surely, the lure can't be that important?

"I'll tell you what, I threw an identical buzzbait except for the fact that it was only ¼-ounce and the fish wouldn't even touch it," he said. "I had a couple more with me, but I gave them to my partner yesterday. Maybe I can find him and get some back."

Despite the bait and tackle chaos, Ray said he was having a memorable experience on Lake Ferguson.

"I'm having a great time," he said. "This is my first EverStart tournament and I just wanted to make the top 30. And now I've done that. If I get a good partner tomorrow, I think everything will work out okay."

David Fontenot of Alexandria, La., finished right behind Ray in the standings for the second day in a row. Fontenot used a two-day catch of 14 pounds, 14 ounces to distance himself from third-place finisher, Terry Johnson of Cordova, Tenn. Johnson recorded a two-day catch of 13 pounds, 2 ounces.

Mike Jones of Lebanon, Mo., finished in fourth place with a total catch of 12 pounds, 1 ounce. Jones, who staged a dramatic rally after failing to catch a fish on Wednesday, also won the Big Bass award in the Co-Angler Division and a check for $250 after landing a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth.

Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark., finished in fifth place with a two-day catch of 11 pounds, 9 ounces.

All anglers will start from zero as they begin tomorrow's semifinal round of competition. Tomorrow's takeoff will take place at 6 a.m. at the Washington Street Boat Ramp just off Main Street in downtown Greenville, Miss.

Related links:
Photos
Results
Day-two pairings
Press releases

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2001-06-06-ferguson 

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