Live now : HIGH SCHOOL FISHING 2020 Clear Lake

Kreiger claims EverStart Series Championship

Kreiger claims EverStart Series Championship
Koby “Mr. EverStart” Kreiger wins his fifth EverStart event and second Championship with a four-day total of 38-5.

MONROE, La. - It's official: Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., is now Koby "Mr. EverStart" Kreiger.

Today Kreiger won the fifth EverStart tournament of his career and his second EverStart Championship. He now holds the record for most EverStart wins in FLW Outdoors history.

Kreiger's first EverStart Championship win came in 2002 on Lake Martin in Alabama. And how fitting is it for "Mr. EverStart" to win the final EverStart Championship, as it will not be held in 2013.

"This means a lot to me," said an emotional Kreiger after accepting the trophy. "There is a lot of work that goes into fishing these events. When I won my first Championship in 2002, I had an undeniable feeling during practice that I was going to win that tournament. I have not had that feeling again in a long time. And on the third day of practice here, I had that feeling again. And it felt just like it did in 2002. It just comes over you...its kind of unexplainable, really."Koby Kreiger seals his fifth EverStart win with a final-day catch of 9 pounds, 5 ounces.

Kreiger relishes his Mr. EverStart title even more as he has always been a big participant and strong supporter of the EverStart Series. Even with a full FLW Tour schedule, Kreiger always finds time for the EverStart events and thoroughly enjoys them.

"The EverStarts are important to me," Kreiger said. "It's where I cut my teeth in professional fishing and found early success. It's a great place for people to discover tournament fishing - a true gateway to the sport. So to be kind of a leader in this Series is special to me. I like to see the new guys come into the sport. I enjoy helping them and seeing them succeed. There's no doubt that the EverStart Series is critical to the growth of this sport, so to win this means more than most can imagine."

Another reason Kreiger enjoys EverStart competition is because it starts in the spring and ends in the fall, complimenting his fishing strengths.

"There are two things I like to do - fish in the spring when the fish are first moving up and fish in the fall when they get around bait," the RMC Boatworks pro explained. "Admittedly, I'm not that great in the summer events. But when the bait starts balling up in the fall and the bass follow those bait schools - I love it. It's how I won my first Championship and it's how I won this one."
Koby Kreiger accepts the winner's trophy from long-time EverStart tournament director Ron Lappin.
Indeed, Kreiger was on the bait-pod pattern from day one of the tournament. In the evenings during practice he noticed the hoards of bait that would come to the surface in the fertile Ouachita system. Once he saw that behavior of the shad in the lower end of the river near the Columbia lock, he immediately found his comfort zone.

Each day of the event he targeted the banks of the river early with a CP1 - a homemade flatside crankbait made by Craig Powers. Once the sun would get up higher, the shad would gather up in huge schools around any object that stuck out over deep water, most notably big lay-downs or the ends of pole timber leaning out over the channel. He did most of his damage from noon until 2 o'clock in the afternoon when the bait began to rise from it's suspended locations to the surface.

"In the mornings, the bait was deep, like 15 to 17 feet, I could see them all over the graph," he detailed. "Starting about 11 they would begin to come up and get around any object on the surface. From noon to 2, it was game on. The bass would suspend under the bait; I'd catch in them in 2 feet of water fishing over 40 or 50 feet of water."
A look at Kreiger's winning lures. Front: CP1. Middle: Mini Frenzy. Back: War Eagle spinnerbait.
Once the bait came to the surface, Kreiger went to work with a Mini-Frenzy umbrella rig (three- and four-wire, tipped with Zoom Swimming Fluke Jr.'s) and a War Eagle spinnerbait.

"I think the daylight savings time change may have really helped me today," Kreiger said. "The best part of the day was later in the afternoons. And that time change gave me an extra hour of fishing today in the afternoon, which was crucial."

Kreiger's daily weights were 12-5, 9-2, 7-5 and 9-5 for a three-day winning total of 38 pounds, 5 ounces, nearly 4 pounds heavier than the runner-up. For his win, Kreiger collected $50,000 cash and a Ranger Cup Bonus of a fully-rigged Ranger boat - not a bad payday for Mr. EverStart.


Ware rises to second

Kent Ware of Wadmalaw Island, S.C., the EverStart Series Southeast Division Angler of the Year, finished second with a four-day total of 34 pounds, 6 ounces worth $16,500.
Kent Ware of Wadmalaw Island, S.C., the EverStart Series Southeast Division Angler of the Year, finished second with a four-day total of 34 pounds, 6 ounces.
Over the last three days, Ware steadily climbed the leaderboard from 20th to 4th to second.

Like Kreiger, Ware realized the baitfish were rising up towards the surface everyday from mid-morning on through the afternoon. But instead of targeting laydowns, Ware found the shad moving to the dark protection of docks in the main river and Moon Lake area.

"The shad would get around the docks pretty thick in the afternoons," Ware explained. "And the bass would set up on the corner pilings to ambush those suspended shad."

Ware noted that reaction baits were certainly a key to catching the shad-related fish.

"I'm normally a jig and worm man," he said. "And I never caught a fish all week on a jig or a worm. Each day I threw a different reaction bait around those pilings to get the fish to bite."

On day one he used a ChatterBait, on day two he went to a Rat-L-Trap, on day three he opted for a Redeye Shad with no rattles and today he went to a War Eagle spinnerbait.

Stricklin jumps to third

James Stricklin, Jr., of Texarkana, Texas, finished third with a four-day total of 32 pounds, 8 ounces worth $8,500.
James Stricklin, Jr., of Texarkana, Texas, finished third with a four-day total of 32 pounds, 8 ounces.
Stricklin started the event with a bang, leading the Championship on day one and holding onto second on day two. On day three he took a tumble to the 8th spot with just two keepers but rumbled back to third today with four fish weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

Stricklin's bread and butter all week was the infamous D'Arbonne spillway, noted as a productive area for other tournament wins on the Ouachita River. Stricklin located an underwater rockpile near the spillway that topped out to 6 feet on the top and fell to 20 feet on one side and 9 feet on the other side.

He grinded the rockpile all week with a Strike King Series 5 crankbait in sexy shad color. Today he switched to a Strike King 2.5 square-bill in a chartreuse color with a black back.


Kremer fourth
Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla. finished fourth with a four-day total of 32 pounds even.
Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla. finished fourth with a four-day total of 32 pounds even worth $7,500.

Upon arriving to the Ouachita River, Kremer noticed something that made him feel at least a little more comfortable with being in Louisiana.

"This river lays out a lot like the tidal St. Johns River in Florida where I grew up fishing," Kremer said. "Obviously the St. Johns has a lot more vegetation in it, but there are sections of that river that are like this, just straight river with sand banks and laydowns. And the thing I've learned to look for from the St. Johns is anywhere the bank has `fallen off' into the river, usually on the deeper bends. Wherever the bank falls off from erosion, there is usually an underwater ridge or hump formed by that chunk of land that fell into the river. And the fish here seemed to set up on those underwater ridges just like on the St. Johns."

When targeting the "fall offs" Kremer relied on an old Florida standard - a Bomber 7A - to crank the tops of the humps. His best color was sexy shad type hue that resembled the shad that were moving up on the humps in the afternoon.

Martin fifth

Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., rounded out the top five with a four-day total of 31 pounds, 13 ounces worth $6,600.

Martin was less than confident when the Championship began. He started the event on the "biggest community hole" on the river - where the D'Arbonne dumps out into the main river and received a pleasant surprise. Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., rounded out the top five with a four-day total 31 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I wacked them on an umbrella rig - a Picasso Bait Ball with four blades and five swimmers," Martin said. "There were a lot of boats fishing there but I caught fish after fish on the Bait Ball."

With the good start, Martin proceeded to build on his momentum, "junk fishing" the river to the north in the following days with a Boing Lures topwater walker, a drop-shot and a jerkbait.


Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the EverStart Series Championship on the Ouachita River:

6th: Bill Chapman of Salt Rock, W.V., four-day total of 31-11, $5,700
7th: Larry Jones of Acworth, Ga., four-day total of 31-4, $4,900
8th: Brandon Medlock of Lake Placid, Fla., four-day total of 30-14, $4,100
9th: Robbie Dodson of Harrison, Ark., four-day total of 30-14, $3,300
10th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., four-day total of 30-9, $2,500

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2012-11-01-ouachita-river 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »