UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Quick Bites: EverStart Championship, Day 3

Quick Bites: EverStart Championship, Day 3
Craig Workman of Fort Worth, Texas, leads 10 Pro Division anglers who will fish Saturday for the top pro award of $60,000 in cash and prizes at the $325,000 EverStart Series Championship on Lake Martin near Alexander City, Ala. Workman caught five bass Friday weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces - including this 5 1/2-pounder - to survive another day.

2002 EverStart Series Championship
Lake Martin, Alexander City, Ala.
Friday, pro semifinals, co-angler finals

Workmanlike effort ... Semifinal-round pro leader Craig Workman became just the fourth angler all week to break the 11-pound barrier with his five-bass weight of 11-3 Friday. While he led second-place Jason Quinn by almost 3 1/2 pounds, he likely would have joined the rest of the field in the 6- to 7-pound range without the aid of his 5 1/2-pound kicker largemouth. It was the largest fish of the day and he was lucky to land it. "It felt great when I stuck the fish, and it felt great when I saw it come out of the bush, but it really felt great when my partner caught it in the air with the dip net," he said.

Tough set ... Workman wasn't the only angler having trouble landing hooked fish in the semifinals. Despite his second-place effort of 7 pounds, 13 ounces, Quinn lost a solid bass today when his line broke. "It's the first fish I've broken off in six months," he said. Sixth-place Mark Zona's largest bass, a nice Kentucky spot in the 2- to 3-pound range, also came unhooked, but not before he slid a net underneath it. Jason Graham, who missed the cut in 14th place with three bass weighing 3-14, said he had about 25 bites Friday. "But I think I forgot to put hooks on my Spook," he said. "One fish probably hit about eight times on the way to the boat."

Heading for the shallows ... According to consensus, Saturday's pro finals are wide open as far as who could win. Everybody, except Workman, was within 2 pounds of each other in the semis, and the pros expect that trend to continue. One reason could be that the fish are in transition, moving into shallower water as this week progresses. Quinn, who led the first two days fishing at about 25 to 30 feet, admitted that he is now catching his bigger fish in about 8 to 10 feet using a Hawg Caller finesse worm and a spinner bait. Zona said that he has gone from fishing in 50 feet of water to 3 feet. "A week ago, these guys would not have done that," he said. "But these fish are going shallower by the hour."

Steve Marler thrusts his arms high in victory. Thank you, Bob ... Co-angler winner Steve Marler gave most of the credit for his win to his pro partners throughout the week, especially day-two partner Bob Izumi. Izumi, who was essentially out of contention after Wednesday, spent the whole day Thursday trying to put Marler on fish. Marler had 7 pounds, 15 ounces after that first day and needed at least one more on day two to make the cut. And he got it, landing just one 15-ounce bass out of the back of Izumi's boat to squeak into today's finals with a combined weight of 8-14. The co-angler cut weight ended up at 8-7. "If it wasn't for Izumi, I wouldn't have made the cut," Marler said. "He just went out of his way, man."

Sound bites

"I knew if I just kept swinging, I'd eventually hit one."
- 2002 EverStart Series Championship co-angler winner Steve Marler, who began tournament fishing three years ago.

"This is my style of fishing. I love catching those spotted bass."
- Third-place pro Vince Ingle, who is fishing at Lake Martin for his first time.

Quick links, Day 3:

Workman-like effort pays off
Marler's magical moment
Photos
Results
Press release

Tags: jeff-schroeder  quick-bites  2002-11-06-championship 

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