Philip Crelia of Center, Texas, weighed only two bass on Saturday that weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces but it was enough to win the EverStart Series Texas Division on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. His three-day total of 12 bass weighing 47 pounds, 4 ounces earned him $32,189 for his victory.
“I covered a lot of water this week,” said Crelia. “I had about 20 spots that I was running to and keying in on shallow grassy points using Spro Frogs. The wind and cloud cover were big factors in my success this week. The wind would push the shad into these grassy points positioning the bass so that I could catch them. Luckily I had the wind all three days, today it was a little too much but I was still lucky enough to get two nice sized bass.
“With the big wind I had to change my game plan today,” Crelia continued. “All week I was trying to catch my limit first and then go for the big ones later. Today I had to go for the big bass first. We got to my first area and I caught two within the first 20 minutes and I thought I was going to have a heck of a day. But then the wind forced us to leave the area and I knew I couldn’t get to my other spots so we spent the rest of the day fishing new water and as you can see it didn’t pan out.
Crelia believed that all his fish were post spawn. He said that he was lucky enough to figure out where the big ones were pulling up to and that he could see large schools of smaller bass behind them.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Kris Wilson, Montgomery, Texas, 15 bass, 44-1, $11,036
3rd: Lamonte Loyd, Gilmer, Texas, 13 bass, 41-13, $9,197
4th: Phil Marks, Dallas, Texas, 15 bass, 38-15, $8,277
5th: Justin Morton, Etoile, Texas, 15 bass, 38-2, $7,357
6th: Patrick Fuller, Tyler, Texas, 14 bass, 36-14, $6,438
7th: Timothy Griffin, Zapata, Texas, nine bass, 36-8, $5,518
8th: Austin Terry, San Angelo, Texas, 15 bass, 34-0, $4,598
9th: Shane Hilton, Alexandria, La., 15 bass, 33-2, $3,679
10th: John Tanner, Quitman, Texas, 15 bass, 33-0, $2,759
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Crelia caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $264.
Co-angler David Kayda of Crosby, Texas, got his first win in EverStart competition with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 36 pound, 15 ounces. For his efforts he won a Ranger 177TR with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
“You don’t know what’s going through my mind,” said an exuberant Kayda. “I have been fishing with FLW since 1997 and I wanted this win real bad.
“Yesterday I caught that 10 pound, 6 ounce monster, the biggest fish I have ever caught, and man what a feeling,” Kayda continued. “He almost gave me a heart attack. It flopped out of the net and jumped about 2 feet in the air. I had to jump on top of it to make sure it made it in the live well. I caught that bass using a Strike King 6 XD in blue back chartreuse.
“Any time you catch a fish that big you know it’s a game changer but I had some incredible partners all week who were all on some really nice fish. They really were dream partners and I have to thank them otherwise I wouldn’t be standing here now.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Neil Herline, Silsbee, Texas, 13 bass, 30-9, $4,214
3rd: Chad McClendon, North Richland Hills, Texas, 15 bass, 29-10, $3,746
4th: Dan Wilson, Pilot Point, Texas, 15 bass, 29-8, $3,278
5th: James Bartlett of Crowley, La., 11 bass, 27-12, $2,809
6th: Howard Hartley, Berwick, La., 12 bass, 25-13, $2,341
7th: Buddy Hicks, Port Neches, Texas, 12 bass, 25-13, $1,873
8th: Brent Broussard, Rosenberg, Texas, 14 bass, 24-13, $1,405
9th: Randy Hicks, Lumberton, Texas, 10 bass, 22-6, $936
10th: Taylor Brooks, Edgewood, Texas, five bass, 18-15, $749
Kayda caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 10-pound, 6-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $176.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.
The next EverStart Series Texas Division tournament will be May 31-June 2 at Toledo Bend in Many, La., and is being hosted by the Sabine-Parish Tourism Commission and Sabine River Authority.