UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Adams leads opening day of EverStart Series event on Guntersville Lake

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Pro Travis Adams of Danielsville, Ga., caught five bass weighing 23 pounds on Guntersville Lake Wednesday to lead 200 Pro Division competitors after opening day of the four-day, $256,825 EverStart Series Eastern Division event. The event, the fourth and final regular-season Eastern Division event of the season, will award the winning pro up to $61,900 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger 519VS Comanche. The winning co-angler could earn up to $27,800 in cash and prizes.

Anglers are also in the hunt for valuable angler points, as the top 40 pros and 40 co-anglers in points standings after the Guntersville Lake event will earn entry into the 2003 EverStart Series Championship. Currently, All-American champion Tony Christian of Hull, Ga., sits atop the Pro Division standings, closely followed by Fujifilm pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., and recent Wal-Mart FLW Tour winner Steve Kennedy of Auburn.

Due to recent floods in the Guntersville area, much of the lake's cover was washed away, leaving bass with few places to hide. Coupled with heavy thunderstorms Wednesday, Guntersville provided quite a challenge to competitors on opening day. Nevertheless, the top 25 pros each hauled in sacks in excess of 15 pounds. Adams used a Blademaster buzzbait and soft plastics to catch his limit Wednesday.

"It was thundering, lightning and hailing really bad around lunchtime," Adams said. "The weather didn't affect me as far as rain; I think the clouds actually helped. I caught all my bass in one big area - they were scattered and not bunched up. I honestly believe I have enough fish to last me through the tournament. I'm just going to lay off (Thursday) and try to make the cut. As far as trying to catch another big bag, I'm not going to do that. It feels good to be able to compete with the other anglers."

Rounding out the top five pros are Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn. (five bass, 20 pounds, 14 ounces); Phillip Nunnelley of Cullman (five bass, 20 pounds, 13 ounces); Tommy Chumley of Jasper, Ga. (five bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces); and Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn. (five bass, 19 pounds, 12 ounces).

Richard Angel of Surf City, N.C., leads the 200-competitor Co-angler Division after day one thanks to five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 7 ounces. This is Angel's first season in the EverStart Series and his first EverStart lead.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Reginald Pickett of Greensboro, N.C. (five bass, 16 pounds, 12 ounces); Steve Poland of West Palm Beach, Fla. (five bass, 15 pounds, 13 ounces); Teddie Harrison of Clewiston, Fla. (four bass, 14 pounds, 13 ounces); and Andy Allison of Woodbridge, Va. (five bass, 13 pounds, 15 ounces).

Adams earned $750 Wednesday as the Pro Division big-bass award winner thanks to a 7-pound, 14-ounce bass. William Young Jr. of Eutawville, S.C., claimed co-angler big-bass honors and $250 with a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass.

A total of 1,039 bass were caught Wednesday, including 92 five-bass limits.

Anglers take off each morning at 6 a.m. from the Guntersville State Park Pier in Guntersville. Thursday's weigh-in will also be held there beginning at 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 11697 U.S. Highway 431 in Guntersville beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.

Following Thursday's conclusion of the opening round, the top 20 pros and 20 co-anglers based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Friday's semifinal round. Weights are cleared for Friday's competition, and the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers advance to Saturday's final round based on Friday's total weight. Weights are again cleared for Saturday's competition, and anglers compete for the heaviest one-day weight.

The winning pro will take home a guaranteed cash award of $10,000 plus a new Ranger 519VS Comanche equipped with Garmin electronics and powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard. If the winner is the original owner of a Ranger boat, he will receive an additional $10,000 cash bonus from Ranger for a total of $61,900 in cash and prizes. Ranger will also award an additional $3,000 to the winner if he is a Ranger Cup participant, and Garmin will award $1,000 to the winner if his boat is equipped with a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/Sounder.

The winning co-angler is guaranteed $5,000 cash. If the winning co-angler is a registered Ranger owner, he will also receive a new Ranger 519VS Comanche for a total of $27,800 in cash and prizes.

Four divisions - Eastern, Central, Northern and Western - comprise the 2003 EverStart Series. Each division stages four regular-season tournaments leading up to the no-entry-fee $335,975 EverStart Series Championship, which will be held on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., Oct. 29-Nov. 1.

In EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, control boat movement and fish from the front of each boat against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back of each boat and compete against other co-anglers.

Tags: press-release  2003-06-11-guntersville-lake 

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