The longest fog delay in the history of FLW took place today at the EverStart Series Southeast Division event presented by Evinrude on Santee Cooper – nearly five hours. That only delayed Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C., from weighing in a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the Southeast Division event. Ellis finished with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 56 pounds, 5 ounces. For his victory, Ellis earned $32,913 and a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
“I think the fog delay really gave me an advantage today,” said Ellis. “I was able to hit a few key areas quickly that I knew from having fished this lake extensively. My local knowledge definitely helped me. A lot of these guys were making long hauls across the lake, but I was able to catch my limit within my first two hours on the lake today. We went out late, and when the storm rolled in around 11 a.m. it really slowed down out there.
“Earlier this week I caught fish using Senkos and Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers,” continued Ellis. “But today I only threw a watermelon-colored Zoom Trick Worm. You had to fish it real patiently, and I was fishing light too – only using eight-pound test line. I was fishing in 3 to 5 feet of water, and I believe all of my bass that I caught were post-spawn. I caught nine fish on the day today, and my total weight of 56 pounds for the tournament was pretty close to what I had expected coming in. I had told a friend that the winner was probably going to have just under 60 pounds – I was close.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Kent Ware, Wadmalaw Island, S.C., 15 bass, 55-14, $11,285
3rd: Mark Hutson, Moncks Corner, S.C., 10 bass, 51-9, $9,404
4th: Lex Costas, Daniel Island, S.C., 13 bass, 50-1, $8,463
5th: Brent Riley, Ridgeville, S.C., 11 bass, 49-1, $7,523
6th: Currey Holley, Pulaski, Tenn., 10 bass, 43-15, $6,583
7th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 13 bass, 42-13, $5,642
8th: Keith Pace, Monticello, Ark., 11 bass, 37-8, $4,702
9th: Jason Smith, Albany, Ga., 10 bass, 36-4, $3,762
10th: Troy Gibson, Eufaula, Ala., nine bass, 32-6, $2,821
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Hutson caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – an 8-pound, 10-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $274.
Cal Clark of Pulaski, Tenn, won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger 177TR with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Justin Sward, Birmingham, Ala., eight bass, 23-15, $4,282
3rd: Albert Pieper, Summerville, S.C., seven bass, 21-14, $3,806
4th: Joe Ventrello, Orlando, Fla., seven bass, 20-8, $3,331
5th: Ray Winans, Manning, S.C., seven bass, 20-5, $2,855
6th: Brent Chitty, Moultrie, Ga., seven bass, 20-2, $2,379
7th: Jeffrey Ware, Rixeyville, Va., seven bass, 17-13, $1,903
8th: David Alfonso, Valrico, Fla., five bass, 17-9, $1,427
9th: Don Ross, Lizella, Ga., seven bass, 16-13, $952
10th: Wayne Frierson, Manning, S.C., eight bass, 16-8, $761
Alfonso caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 9-pound, 1-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $182.
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 Southeast Division tournament will be May 3-5 at Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.