UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Morris snags California Delta title in Co-angler Division

Morris snags California Delta title in Co-angler Division
Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., shows off his first-place trophy after winning the Co-angler Divison on the California Delta.

California native nets $3,600 in prize money

OAKLEY, Calif. - Bolstered by a catch of 13 pounds, 7 ounces, Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif., won the first EverStart title of his career. And he couldn't have been happier. After recently returning from a vacation in Hawaii with his wife, Morris turned right around and headed to the California Delta. And if truth be told, he wasn't expecting much.

"This is definitely one of the better days of my career," said Morris, who had only fished in one EverStart tournament heading into the Delta. "I've had a pretty good week as well. First, I went to Hawaii and now this. It's just a great feeling. Coming back from vacation I was so relaxed. I didn't put any pressure on myself. And maybe that's the reason that I did so well."

Morris - who used a combination of Robo Worms and Senko baits in a "margarita mutilator" color to land the majority of his catch - said he had a pretty good idea that he was in the running for a top spot heading back to weigh-in. However, he never expected outright victory.

"I felt really good coming back in today, but I also knew that there were some really good fishermen here," he said. "I thought I'd probably wind up in second or third place. But to win, it's just amazing. I'm so exhausted right now. I should probably go home and go to bed."

What made Morris' victory even more amazing is that he won the title with only four fish.

"Usually when you don't get that fifth fish, you don't win the tournament," said Morris. "It's a great feeling."

Wickman nets more than second-place finish

Jim Wickham of Morristown, Ariz., did more than just win a second place check for $2,400 after recording a total catch of 12 pounds, 4 ounces. Wickham also walked away with the 2003 EverStart Angler-of-the-year award in the Co-angler Division, an automatic berth into the 2003 EverStart Championship as well as a an invite to the 2004 FLW Tour.

Not bad for four days of fishing.

"I really had a blast this week," said Wickham. "I made the (final) cut by 1 ounce and I had to weigh-in a dead fish (with an 8-ounce penalty) on Friday. I honestly didn't expect to even make it to the finals. "Overall, it was a great tournament. I caught a lot of fish. And now I'm going to the championship."

Barrett grabs third place

Tim Barrett of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., finished the day in third place after recording a total catch of 11 pounds, 8 ounces.

"It was tough out there today," said Barrett, who walked away with $1,950 in winnings. "But it was a good tournament even though I struggled a little bit today."

Fourth place belonged to James Gross of Kingman, Ariz. Gross, who turned in a total catch of 9 pounds, 2 ounces, won $1,660 for his efforts.

Day-three leader Louis Fernandes of Nipomo, Calif., took home fifth place and a check for $1,520 after recording an 8-pound, 12-ounce stringer.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finalists were: Gary Pardini (sixth) of Pleasanton, Calif., with a catch of 6 pounds, 7 ounces; Keith Reed (seventh) of Napa, Calif., with a catch of 5 pounds, 1 ounce; John Kort (eighth) of Roseville, Calif., with a catch of 4 pounds, 13 ounces; Bart Corrie (ninth) of Brentwood, Calif., with a catch of 3 pounds, 4 ounces; and Robert Urchike (tenth) of Chandler, Ariz., with a catch of 2-pounds, 13 ounces.

This Calfornia Delta event concludes the regular-season tournament schedule for the EverStart Western Division. Anglers who finished the year in the top 30 in the year-end standings will be invited to the 2003 EverStart Championship - slated for Oct. 29-Nov. 1 on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn.

Related links:
Photos
Co-angler results
Results of day-four pairings
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2003-05-28-california-delta 

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