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Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon
Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., shows off his winning catch after capturing the co-angler crown at the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell.

ANDERSON, S.C. – Fishing in the first FLW Tour event of his career, Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., was determined not to waste the opportunity. Heading into the final day of competition, Gordon was sitting in second place overall, nearly 2 full pounds off the lead. Shaking off a boatload of rookie jitters, Gordon hit the open waters of Lake Hartwell on the final day and turned in a performance of the ages – netting a day-three stringer weighing in at 18 pounds, 1 ounce.

Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., waves to the crowd with trophy in hand after capturing the co-angler crown at the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell.The end result was that Gordon steamrolled the rest of the competition en route to the single greatest victory of his young career. "This is just awesome. I’m tickled,” said Gordon, who ultimately recorded a three-day total weighing in at 43 pounds, 3 ounces, a full 7 pounds greater than his next closest competitor.

“I’m excited. It was just a blessed week for me.” Gordon, who out-fished nine of the top-20 pros during this week’s competition, said his success hinged on being versatile all week. “I really used a mixed bag out there,” he said. “I fished jigs, drop-shots, spoons and Shaky Head worms in deeper water. And I fished crankbaits, worms and jigs in shallow water. But I have to credit my partner (Brett Ehrler). He was really on them today.” However, Gordon acknowledged that he had some doubts about how his first major tournament experience would go during the first day of competition. “I had been looking forward to this tournament for a real long time,” he said. “But on the first day we had engine problems and I wound up getting a penalty for coming in late.” Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., proudly displays his first-place check after capturing the co-angler crown at the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell.

While this incident alone would have derailed the confidence of most rookies, Gordon found himself taking his fishing to a new level. “I just can’t say enough about this experience,” he said. “I caught a big fish yesterday and fished with great guys all week. It’s definitely the pinnacle of my career.” For his efforts, Gordon took home more than $25,000 in winnings. “And I’m going to leave it up to my wife on how to spend it.”

Kuykendall nets second place Second-place co-angler finisher David Kuykendall of Fletcher, N.C., waves to the crowd during final weigh-in. Kuykendall used a total catch of 35 pounds, 12 ounces to net $7,500 in winnings at the FLW Tour event at Lake Hartwell.

Bolstered by a total catch of 35 pounds, 13 ounces, David Kuykendall of Fletcher, N.C., finished the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell in the runner-up position. And he couldn’t have been happier. “I’ve had the time of my life,” said Kuykendall. “Every pro I fished with was a first-class gentleman.” Kuykendall said that he targeted bass on road beds using a Shaky Head equipped with a giant 7-inch worm in 22 feet of water to land the majority of his catch. “Coming back to weigh-in I was really excited,” he said. “I knew that I did all I could do today to win this. I didn’t lose a fish so I was comfortable just letting the chips fall where they may. But honestly, an 18-pound bag is really impressive. Kevin Gordon really deserved to win this.”

For his efforts, Kuykendall took home $7,500 in winnings.

Peek scores top-three finish Co-angler Richard Peek (left) of Centre, Ala., carefully checks out the scales en route to a third place finish at Lake Hartwell.

In 2010, Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., was busy finishing up a sixth-place finish at the FLW College Fishing National Championship as part of the highly regarded Auburn University team. Cut to 2012 and Mr. Peek already boasts seven top-10 finishes on the EverStart Series and FLW Tour as a co-angler – an impressive feat to say the least. Those results include a victory at an EverStart event on Pickwick Lake in 2011, an FLW Tour victory on Kentucky Lake that same year and now, a third-place finish at Lake Hartwell. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited,” said Peek, who turned in a total catch of 34 pounds, 3 ounces to net $5,000 in prize money. “I lost a 4- or 5-pounder today and that would have helped. But that’s just fishing.” Peek said that he threw a Rapala Shad Rap “behind the boat all day” because he pro partner was fishing pretty close to the bank and there were few other options. “It’s a little tough to fish under those conditions, but I had a good week overall,” he said. “Whenever you make a top-10, you have to be pretty happy about that. It’s my first tournament of the year so it’s a great way to start off.”

Lauer drops to fourth

After boating an amazing 20-pound catch in yesterday’s competition and grabbing the overall lead, David Lauer of Loxahatchee, Fla., couldn’t quite pull off a victory in today’s final round of tournament action. In the end, Lauer was forced to settle for fourth place overall. “Today was much tougher,” he said. “Yesterday I had one of the most awesome half hours of my life, but today I was never able to get those same quality bites. But I went from 61st place after day one to first on day two so it’s pretty much a miracle to be standing here right now.” Lauer said that he targeted “the middle of pockets” with jerkbaits and Shaky Head worms to land the majority of his catch. “It was tougher today and I may not have won,” said Lauer, who ultimately recorded a total catch of 32 pounds, 9 ounces. “But I’ll be back.” In the end, Lauer netted $4,000 in winnings. Co-angler Rich Dalbey (left) of Greenville, Texas, finished the FLW Tour event at Lake Hartwell in fifth place.Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas parlayed a three-day catch of 30 pounds, 6 ounces into a fifth-place finish and $3,000 in winnings. “I had an awesome week,” said Dalbey.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler finishers:

6th: Bryan Partak of Marseilles, Ill., 29-12

7th: J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif., 29-9

8th: Brant Grimm of Kingsport, Tenn., 29-6

9th: James Dixon of Southfield, Mich., 28-9

10th: Philip Jarabeck of Lynchburg, Va., 27-14

For a complete list of the day’s results, click here.

Bass-fishing fans take note

FLW Tour action in the Pro Division continues during Sunday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. at Portman Shoals Marina, located at 1629 Marina Road in Anderson, S.C. Daily on-the-water coverage will also be available online at FLWOutdoors.com beginning at takeoff.

To see up-to-the-minute tournament updates, click here.

In addition to takeoff and weigh-in action, fans in the Greenville, S.C., area will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the TD Convention Center o Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of The Greenville News. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of WESC 92.5. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.

Want to watch the weigh in live but can’t make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 4 p.m. Eastern Time to watch live streaming video and audio of Saturday’s weigh in.

Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs April 15 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide.

Tags: gary-mortenson  co-angler-headline  2012-03-08-lake-hartwell 

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