UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Brown beats the odds, bags co-angler title on Lake Ferguson

Brown beats the odds, bags co-angler title on Lake Ferguson
Jimmy Brown of Little Rock, Ark., took home $6,000 and the co-angler title at the EverStart tour event at Lake Ferguson.

Wins first EverStart tournament of career

GREENVILLE, Miss. - By most accounts, Jimmy Brown was lucky to be fishing at all. However, a last-minute angler change at registration, a battle with Tropical Storm Allison and a highly competitive field of anglers were still not enough to prevent Brown from winning the first EverStart title of his career.

"It feels wonderful. This is a dream come true," said Brown, who had never fished an EverStart tournament before last Tuesday. "This is the best win of my career. I can't tell you how happy I am."

And to think how easily it could have all slipped away.

"When I showed up at registration, a woman told me that I wasn't going to be able to fish because a few of the boaters had dropped out and I wasn't going to have a partner," said Brown, a native of Little Rock, Ark. "But at the last minute, two co-anglers agreed to switch over to the pro side and I was allowed back in the tournament. I was so close to not fishing at all. I was inches away from going home."

Then, on the first day of the tournament, Tropical Storm Allison wreaked havoc on the weather, making for some of the most difficult fishing conditions of the season. If that wasn't a difficult enough start for the rookie angler, Brown said he thought for sure he was going to be eliminated after yesterday's competition. But once again, fate intervened.

"Yesterday, I really struggled. I didn't think I had enough fish to get me into the next round," he said. "But then, at the last minute, I caught one more fish. It was just enough to put me over the top and allow me to fish today. I was pretty lucky."

Although Brown did have his fair share of luck, he also managed to make the most of every opportunity. And today was no exception.

"Everything worked out well today," said Brown, who landed a 9-pound, 4-ounce stringer to claim the top prize of $6,000 in the Co-Angler Division. "I was catching fish one right after another this morning. And once I got that fourth fish in the boat, I told my partner that I thought I had enough to win."

In a tremendous show of sportsmanship, Brown put down his rod and tried to help his pro partner, Roger Stegall, catch some more fish. But there was one more problem.

"I only had four fish when I put down my rod. And then I lost track of time trying to help Roger out," said Brown, who pitched a jig and pig combination in about 7 feet of water for most of the tournament. "I thought I still had a few hours to fish, but when I looked at my watch, I only had one-half an hour left. I caught one more fish, but it got off."
,
Luckily enough for Brown, it was enough to win the tournament.
"I'm so happy," he said. "I have been telling my wife for years that I know I can win. I just needed to be given a chance."

Today, Brown got that chance. And he made the most of it.

Mr. Second Place

John Ballard of Parkville, Mo., finished in second place after recording a catch of 8 pounds, 1 ounce. But although Ballard took home a nice runner-up check totaling $4,000, he said that he couldn't help feeling a little bit disappointed.

"It seems like I come in second place all the time. I'm starting to get used to it," said Ballard. "I took second place at a Wal-Mart BLF tournament last month and I finished in second place in a bunch of tournaments the last few years. I can knock on the door, but I can't ever seem to get it open. Eventually, I want to finish first."

While Ballard would have liked to have finished in the top spot, he said he had no regrets regarding his fishing strategy.

"I've been fortunate all week. I landed every fish that bit my line, so I can't really complain," he said. "But one of the days, I'd like to come out on top."

Charlie Carlile of Tulsa, Okla., took home third place and a check for $3,500. Carlile said he was pleased with his performance.

"I had a great week. I had a great day. And I had a great partner today in Harmon Davis," said Carlile, who landed a total catch of 6 pounds, 9 ounces. "It's just been a wonderful experience."

Mike Jones of Lebanon, Mo., finished in fourth place after landing a stringer weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces. Jones won $3,000 for his efforts.

Smith survives scare

Don Smith of Belton, Ky., finished in fifth place with a catch of 2 pounds, 15 ounces. However, he was lucky he finished at all.

"We were coming up the river and I got thrown out my boat," said Smith. "I rolled down the river like a great big soccer ball. I thought I was going to drown. But luckily for me, I had my helmet on and everything worked out all right."

Although Smith was a little wet and a tad shaken up, he managed to walk away unscathed. He also walked away with a check for $2,500.

Best of the rest

Chuck Lawless of Park Hill, Okla., finished in sixth place with a catch of 1 pound, 4 ounces. Guy Lindstrom of Horseshoe Bend, Ark., came in seventh with a catch of 1 pound, 4 ounces.

Chris Darby (eighth) of Mount Ida, Ark., Dennis Huggins (ninth) of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Gary Clark (tenth) of Sheridan, Ark., all failed to catch a fish. As a result, the final three places were decided by tie-breaking procedures.

The next and final EverStart Central Division tour event of the season is scheduled to take place at Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Okla., from Sept. 19-22.

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Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2001-06-06-ferguson 

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