UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Quick Bites: Chevy Open, FLW Tour Detroit River – Day 4

Quick Bites: Chevy Open, FLW Tour Detroit River – Day 4
Steve Clapper and his wife, Linda, will certainly enjoy his $200,000 payday.

2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Chevy Open
Detroit River, Detroit, Mich.
Final round, Sunday

Anybody got a reading list? ... Steve Clapper earned $200,000 today as winner of the Chevy Open, and that money may have just bought his wife a ticket out of the workforce. Linda Clapper is a hardworking administrative assistant at St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, and allowing her to stay home is something she and Steve had discussed if he won this week's big-money event. "It was not really an agreement; it's something we've talked about. If it got to the point where he won a lot, I might," she said. "We'll have to see!" Linda said if she were able to quit her job, she would spend more time with her grandchildren and her mother, as well as read and travel. Considering Steve mentioned this onstage and he's in a great mood after winning $200,000, we think now would be the time for Linda to milk it for all it's worth. "I hope so!" she said.

Josh Myers enjoyed the spotlight of his first FLW Tour top-10 performance.First time for everything ... Four of this week's top-10 pros - Clapper, Thomas Moleski, Josh Myers and Christopher King - are competing in their first-ever Wal-Mart FLW Tour event, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. They should be - they won a combined $294,000 among the four of them. Myers, an angler from Chatham, Ontario, is only 24 years old and finished seventh this week, earning $28,000 in the process. "It's overwhelming," he said of the pomp and circumstance surrounding a top-10 finish. "I can't really describe how it feels - you either get really nervous or you get relaxed to the point where you feel like you're dead. It's like you're numb." Myers said this week's tournament was definitely the biggest event he has ever fished, and he said he'd like to compete in a whole FLW Tour season should finances and circumstances allow it. "The coolest thing was competing against guys I've looked up to," he said. "You read articles about them and watch fishing seminars with them in it, and here they are. Plus, being able to reach the top 10 is so rewarding." ... This was not only Myers' first FLW Tour event but was also just his second FLW Outdoors event. He finished 58th at a 2005 Stren Series tournament right here on the Detroit River.

Thomas Moleski took fourth place with 39-1 over the final two days. The ambulance manufacturer earned $40,000 as the No. 4 pro.Chasing ambulances ... Like Myers, Moleski too was enchanted by the experience of being a top-10 FLW Tour pro, likening it to being a rock star. With the size of the crowd today at Detroit's Cobo Center, that description may not be too off the mark. But unlike a lot of his fellow top-10 pros, Moleski will leave Detroit and go back home to a regular job. "I have to work for a living," he said. But that job is pretty unique too - Moleski owns a company called Medix Specialty Vehicles Inc. that makes ambulances. "I had been a business manager for years and years, and I decided to go out on my own in 2001," he said. "Now I'm a global builder." Global indeed - Moleski's ambulances are involved in saving lives as far away as South America and the Middle East. Located in Elkhart, Ind., where Moleski lives, the company is well-situated in an area he describes as "a bodybuilder's industry." "I had experience, and I got to be an old man, and I didn't want to work so hard," he said. "It worked out well." So did his fishing - he earned a $40,000 check for his fourth-place finish. We wonder, though - do ambulances make good tow vehicles for bass boats?

Trevor Jancasz caught bass on Erie this week in unusual fashion - he caught them shallow.He's so shallow ... Trevor Jancasz's sixth-place finish is remarkable not just because it marked the Wal-Mart team angler's first foray into the pro side of FLW Tour competition. Jancasz also earned a final-round slot doing something quite odd for Lake Erie - he caught his bass in shallow water. "Normally, when you come to Lake Erie, you fish deep structure," Jancasz said, having noted on stage that he was catching bass in 4 to 6 feet of water. "I went the opposite. I had one shallow spot with 40 waypoints on one reef. They were swimming everywhere." Jancasz said he hit the jackpot on day two and milked it for three days. But did going against the grain ever make him nervous, especially with so much money on the line? "That's the way I like to fish, shallow and jerking around," he said. "That's how I am confident. It was a no-brainer." ... Over the tournament's four days, Jancasz caught 75 pounds, 13 ounces of bass out of the shallow Erie water, earning himself a cool $29,000.

Shad Schenck turned to Steve Clapper to figure out how to beat the motion sickness brought on by big Lake Erie waves.Feeling green ... After yesterday's maddeningly rough seas, competitors were grateful that today brought calmer winds and much better fishing conditions. Gone were the 7-foot swells that rocked and rolled anglers all day long yesterday and even on day one. No. 5 pro Shad Schenck showed up at takeoff this morning sporting a small, round patch behind his ear that he says guarded against motion sickness, something he had battled on days one and three. "It's like the feeling of death," he said of navigating the big water when conditions are rough. "I was sweating, and I almost lost it. I was taking Dramamine, but I went to Steve Clapper and said, `I want your help with one thing - how to deal with the motion sickness.'" It was Clapper who told Schenck about the patches. "I don't even know what it is," Schenck said of the mystery patch. "I don't mind driving the boat in those waves, but getting sick, I don't like it. It was horrible."

Quick numbers:

600: Number of fish that No. 3 pro Terry Baksay estimates he caught in nine days off his hot spot on Lake St. Clair.

Christopher King zeroed yesterday after getting stuck in Canada,  but he brought in 18-6 today to ultimately finish ninth.9: Final finish of Christopher King, who did not come in last among the top-10 pros despite zeroing yesterday after getting stuck in Canada and not making it back to weigh-in.

18-6: King's day-four weight, in pounds and ounces.

1: Number of bass caught on day four by Clifford Pirch to take the 10th spot from King.

6-2: Clapper's margin of victory over No. 2 pro Kevin Long, in pounds and ounces.

Sound bites:

"I'm glad this isn't a five-day tournament." - Clapper, who could be considered an elder statesman of sorts, on the physical wear and tear of a rough Erie tournament.

"I used to think Lake Champlain had the best smallmouth fishing in the world ... uh-uh. This is the best smallmouth fishing I've ever done in my life." - Baksay, who caught his fish this week out of Lake St. Clair.

"I left no rock unturned." - Pirch, on his tough day four that brought him only one keeper.

"You can see I'm pretty awkward with that." - Clapper, on netting his fish himself today, when he had no co-angler partner. Clapper competed this week with a torn bicep in his left arm.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  quick-bites  2007-07-12-detroit-river 

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