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

Folkestad dominates pro field at Lake Mead

Folkestad dominates pro field at Lake Mead
Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, Calif., fished atop the leaderboard in the Pro Division after netting an 11-pound, 15-ounce catch.

Merry makes his mark in Co-angler Division, grabs overall lead

HENDERSON, Nev. - With only three five-fish limits recorded in both divisions combined after the first day of EverStart Series action, frustrated Western Division anglers were left wondering whether they were actually fishing Lake Mead or Lake Mediocre.

To be sure, it was a brutal day of fishing for most. With a fickle bass bite and lower-than-normal water levels, most anglers were forced to scramble all day. In fact, out of the 238 anglers who took to the water this morning, more than half didn't even weigh in a fish. However, that was just fine with Mike Folkestad.

Using a catch of 11 pounds, 5 ounces, Folkestad crushed the rest of the pro field, cruising into first place by almost a 4-pound margin. But perhaps more importantly for Folkestad, today's results seemed to offset his frustrating finish at the first Western Division tournament earlier this year.

"I learned my lesson at the last tournament on Lake Pleasant," said Folkestad, a 28-year veteran of the professional fishing circuit and resident of Yorba Linda, Calif. "At that tournament, I fished way too conservatively and missed out on the cut by something like one-half of a pound. So I came out more aggressive today. My goal was to catch a big bag on the first day so I didn't have to catch a lot of fish tomorrow. Now, tomorrow, I can do a little practice fishing."

Fishing a Folkestad Special Robo worm in approximately 30 to 40 feet of water, the California native said that today's performance was exactly what he had hoped for.

"I'm in the lead and I didn't burn any of my fish either," he said. "You never know what people are going to catch, but today, everything worked out. But there is still a lot of fishing left. Hopefully, I'll be there on Saturday. That's what is important."

Best of the rest

Pro Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev., used a catch of 8 pounds, 4 ounces to grab second place overall heading into tomorrow (Photo by Gary Mortenson)" BORDER="1" ALIGN="left">Rounding out the top-four pro finishers were Tim Klinger (second) of Boulder City, Nev., with a catch of 8 pounds, 4 ounces; Clint Johanson (third) of Benton City, Wash., with a catch of 7 pounds, 15 ounces; and Marc Knudsen (fourth) of Henderson, Nev., with a catch of 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sean Minderman of Post Falls, Idaho, tied for fifth place with identical catches of 6 pounds, 5 ounces.

Ed Legan of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., won the day's big bass award after landing a 4-pound, 6-ounce largemouth. Legan won $500 for his efforts.

Merry has joyous day on Lake Mead

While the rest of the Co-angler Division struggled mightily on Lake Mead, Dale Merry of Phoenix, Ariz., eased atop the leaderboard with little trouble, besting his closest competitor by nearly 2 pounds.

"I'm pretty much shocked that I finished the day in first place," said Merry, who recorded a total catch of 7 pounds, 11 ounces while out-fishing more than 115 pros in today's competition. "It's really exciting. I figured for sure someone would have had 10 pounds. So, overall, I'm pretty happy. This is the first time I've done this well in any tournament."

Although Merry found himself in first place, he said the fishing on Lake Mead has been very difficult, to say the least.

"It was really slow out there today," he said. "But I got a 3 1/2-pounder fairly early on and that really helped. But, overall, it was tough out there."

Merry, who fished soft plastics in shallow water using a drop-shot technique to land the majority of his catch, said that he is already anticipating the start of tomorrow's competition.

"I'm absolutely looking forward to tomorrow," he said. "I get to fish with (third-place pro) Clint Johanson and I know he's on some fish. And what's really cool is that he's fishing in basically the same area that I fished today."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Ron Chambers (second) of Phoenix, Ariz., with a catch of 5 pounds, 12 ounces; Tim Barrett (third) of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with a catch of 5 pounds, 5 ounces; Robert Brondyke (fourth) of Las Vegas, Nev., with a catch of 4 pounds, 3 ounces; and Rusty Rath (fifth) of Page, Ariz., with a catch of 3 pounds, 14 ounces.

Phil Gangwer of Brentwood, Calif., won the day's big-bass award in the Co-angler Division after netting a 3-pound, 6-ounce largemouth. Gangwer won a $200 bonus for the fish.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Callville Bay Resort marina, located at 100 Callville Marina Road, Las Vegas, Nev.

Day-one links:

Photos
Results
Day-one pairings
Day-two pairings
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2003-03-05-lake-mead 

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