Three-bass limit at the EverStart Series Central Division tournament on the Mississippi River turned into a real shoot-out as pro Paul Malone of Pleasant Valley, Iowa had three bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the event. His three day total of nine bass totaling 30-5 beat pro Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., by a mere 6 ounces and earned him $31,194.
Fishing in his first FLW EverStart event Malone said that he came to the Mississippi River for practice a few weeks ago to scout the area and see what he could find. What he found was a honey hole about 40 yards in length in Pool 7 that produced all his quality fish on days one and three of the tournament. Struggling on Friday, Malone said that his sweet spot shut down due to the cold front that rolled through and he had to fall back on Pool 8 where he had at least 15 spots he knew he could catch fish to stay in the game. Praying for sun and heat to return on Saturday he knew his spot would turn on again and produce the fish he needed to win.
“Froggin’ is my deal,” said Malone. “I used about five different frogs mostly in black and white to get all my fish this week. The Spro Popping Frog and River 2 Sea Frog were my main two frogs, but I got all my fish on frogs, even yesterday when I struggled.
“I found this spot in practice about two weeks ago that I knew had the quality fish,” Malone continued. “I wasn’t catching a lot of fish there, I only got about seven fish each day but I knew they were the ones I needed to win. Most guys would have given up on the spot but I had confidence in the area and knew that it would produce the big bass. It was an area that had lily pads and duckweed with a little bit of current. The duckweed would blow into the pads keeping the water clean and position the fish where they needed to be to catch.
“I came to this tournament to win.” And win he did.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Zach King, Clarksville, Ark., nine bass, 29-15, $10,695
3rd: Dan McGarry, Tomah, Wis., nine bass, 28-14, $8,913
4th: Dan Thill, La Crosse, Wis., nine bass, 28-1, $8,021
5th: Kevin Johnson, Sparta, Wis., nine bass, 27-14, $7,130
6th: Dennis Rhead, Elmwood, Wis., nine bass, 27-11, $6,239
7th: Richie Eaves, Nauvoo, Ill., nine bass, 26-15, $5,348
8th: Shane Long, Springfield, Mo., nine bass, 26-5, $4,456
9th: Doug Stanton, Winona, Minn., nine bass, 26-0, $3,565
10th: Dave Parsons, Yantis, Texas, nine bass, 25-7, $2,926
Parsons caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $252.
Rex McTier of Endeavor, Wis., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 26 pound, 2 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Randy Warner, Elmwood, Ill., nine bass, 25-10, $4,110
3rd: Richard Conrad, Hudson, Wis., nine bass, 25-8, $3,654
4th: Jamie Gomez, Onalaska, Wis., nine bass, 25-0, $3,197
5th: Rick Krassinger, House Springs, Mo., nine bass, 24-12, $2,740
6th: Greg Halleland, Rochester, Minn., nine bass, 24-10, $2,283
7th: Jason Ferge, Markesan, Wis., nine bass, 24-1, $1,827
8th: Paul Nogalski, Germantown, Wis., nine bass, 23-4, $1,370
9th: Eric Boberg, Arcadia, Wis., eight bass, 21-1, $913
10th: Terry Sportsman, Sycamore, Ill., eight bass, 19-15, $731
Matthew Derr of Osage Beach, Mo., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $168.
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, 2012.