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Slow-Rolled TrapTakes Rayburn EverStart
By Ed Snyder

-Texas Pro Weighs Back-to-Back 20 Lb Sacks-

Wal-Mart/Operation Bass EverStart Tournament Series/Central Division
Saturday, February 9, 2002, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.
In an exciting finish to this four day-long Rayburn EverStart event, Jim Tutt of Longview, TX, managed to out-catch, and out-weigh a pro/angler tournament field of 360 pro's to win the Wal-Mart EverStart Central Division event on Lake Sam Rayburn. Tutt managed to best his peers by coming from a 65th position on day-1 to take the win with a top-20 cut-day weight with 5 bass/23 lbs- 7 ozs, then coming back with a 5 bass/20 lb- 11 oz catch on final top-10 cut-day to win this prestigious national tournament. Tutt's method for achieving such a feat was none other than "slow-rolling" a red Rattle Trap.

Day-1 ReCap: Frigid weather conditions greeted the 360 Pro/Boater & Co/Boater teams who launched into first day competition as Oklahoma Pro, Tim Carroll, took the early lead with his 5 bass/21 lb-11 -oz catch, and Arkansas angler, W.D. "Hoot" Gibson, taking the Co/Boater lead with his 5 bass/15 lb- 10-oz catch.

Day-2-ReCap: Chilly cut-day conditions as the top twenty Co/Boaters and Pro/Boaters qualified to advance to day-3 competition. Top Pro/lead was maintained by the 10 bass/37 lb- 4 -oz- catch of Tim Carroll of Owasso, OK, and the top Co-Boater weight went to the 10 bass/21 lb- 14 -oz catch by Stephen Francis of Brookeland TX.

Day-3-ReCap: The frost was on the pumpkinseed early but shifting skies and sunny blue-birds helped warm the 3 rd day anglers and bassitudes somewhat. Top Pro/Boater lead went to the 5 bass/23 lb- 7 oz "wow-sack" of Jim Tutt of Longview, TX, and top Co-Boater slot went to the 2 bass/10 lb 5 oz catch by Gerald Andrews of Benton AR. Both anglers qualified at the top of the top-10 cut of anglers who launched for final day competition to fish for the winner's portion of this $210,000 event being held at the Wal-Mart Super Store in Jasper, TX.

Day-4 Finals: The warming trend continued for the top-10 pro/boater and co/boater teams as they fished the 4 th and final day of this "grueling" four day long bass tournament event. And due to the fact that the top-ten pro/boater and co/boater anglers fishing today represented the top of their field from the original 720 anglers who launched on day-1, It can safely be viewed that these anglers were already the champions of their league. The only item left now was to see how they would position for the final payday after arriving with their final 5 bass weigh-in at the Super Wal-Mart Store in Jasper, TX.

1st place Pro/Boater-(5 bass/20 lbs-11 ozs)- Jim Tutt of Longview, TX, put his "Snap-Crackle-Pop" Kellogg's Ranger Bass-Rig up above the 147 bridge each day to work Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 17 and 12 lb test Triple-Fish line. The Kellogg Bass pro fished a 3 / 4 oz red/black Rattle Trap around 6' to 10' grass-flats that had drains winding through them. The Longview TX pro fished a spot that he and his dad once fished over 10 years ago by catching all of his bass on a "slow-rolled" Rattle Trap worked along the bottom of the grass-edges.

2nd place Pro/Boater-(5 bass/17 lbs- 10 ozs)- Dicky Newberry of Houston TX, fished HARD to try and win this event by working a grass-n-trap tech till 1:30 pm, which only produced one small keeper. "I then switched to a jig, Dicky stated, and started flipping the willows and bushes that finally started landing me my tournament bass. "But, twas a bit late for me to start building a winning sack as I needed a "kicker" but didn't get one.

1st place Co/Boater-(12 lbs- 13 ozs)- Charles Carlisle of Tulsa OK, fished four different lures with four different Pro's to catch his winning weight. "I used wacky worms, Carolina rigged lizards, crank-baits, and Rattle Traps, stated the excited co-angler, "and let me tell ya, he pointed out to the Super-Walmart crowd, "it definitely pays to listen to those who do this for a living!

Top-10 Pro/Boaters:
1-(20 lbs-11 ozs)- Jim Tutt/Longview TX-$35,000 Ranger/Mercury-$15,000 cash
2-(17 lbs- 10 ozs)- Dicky Newberry/Houston TX-$10,000
3-(14 lbs- 12 ozs)- David Curtis/Trinity TX-$9,000
4-(11 lbs-15 ozs)- Jeff Ransom/Muldrow OK-$8,000
5-(11 lbs- 2 ozs)- Jeremiah Kindy/Benton AR-$7,500
6-(11 lbs- 1 oz)- Ernie Hillebrandt/Sam Rayburn TX-$6,500
7-(5 lbs- 8 ozs)- Jim Eakins/Nixa MO-$5,500
8-(4 lbs- 3 ozs)- Greg Korschot/Lafayette IN-$5,000
9-(3 lbs- 11 ozs)- Tim Carroll/Owasso OK-$4,500
10-(1 lb- 13 ozs)- Wesley Burnett/Hot Springs AR-$4,000

-NO BIG BASS RECORDED- "BUT" Pro/Angler David Curtis of Trinity TX, put what would've been the 2nd largest bass on the scale that weighed-in at 9 lbs- 4 ozs.

Top-10 Co/Boaters:
1-(12 lbs- 13 ozs)- Charles Carlile/Tulsa OK-$6,000
2-(10 lbs- 13 ozs0- Stephen Francis/Brookeland TX-$4,000
3-(10 lbs- 1 oz)- Gerald Andrews/Benton KY-$3,500
4-(6 lbs- 1 oz)- Lonnie Fuller JR/Hemphill TX-$3,000
5-(5 lbs- 11 ozs)- Gary Clark/Sheridan AR-$2,500
6-(4 lbs- 15 ozs)- Eric Ambort/Mableville AR-$1,900
7-(3 lbs- 10 ozs)- Billy Yelverton/Baton Rouge LA-$1,800
8-(3 lbs- 8 ozs)- Justin Hale/Nacogdoches TX-$1,700
9-(1 lb- 10 ozs)- Hubert Allred/Granby MO-$1,600
10-(0-0)- Chris Darby/Mount Ida AR-$1,500


All bass were recovered and live released by the EverStart fish recovery team:
Day-1 Pro/Boater Tally- 343 bass weighing 894 lbs-
Day-1 Co/Boater Tally- 199 bass weighing 520 lbs-
Day-2 Pro/Boater Tally- 303 bass weighing 820 lbs
Day-2 Co/Boater Tally- 191 bass weighing 494 lbs-
Day-3-Pro/Boater Tally- 58 bass weighing 164 lbs-
Day-3-Co/Boater Tally-27 bass weighing 74 lbs-
Day-4-Pro/Boater Tally- 33 bass weighing 103 lbs-
Day-4-Co/Boater Tally-23 bass weighing 59 lbs-
Overall Tournament Pro/Big Bass(9 lbs- 6 ozs)-Terry V. Butcher/Talala, OK-
Overall Tournament Co/Big Bass-(7 lbs- 2 ozs)- Sharon Stone/Coldspring, TX-

Now in its fifth season, the EverStart Series features three divisions- Eastern, Central and Northern - with four events each plus the $325,000 EverStart Series Championship. The top 50 pros and co-anglers from each division will be invited to the Championship for a shot at top pro awards of more than $60,000 in cash and prizes and top co-angler awards of more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. The top 10 pros and co-anglers from each division also receive priority entry into the 2003 Wal-Mart FLW Tour where they could win up to $260,000 and $40,000 in cash respectively.

More than $2.8 million will be awarded to bass anglers through the 2002 EverStart Series. The series also provides a pathway to the $5.1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series.

Sponsors of the 2002 EverStart Series are Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Coleman, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, Fujifilm, GARMIN, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Minn Kota, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards. Associate sponsors are Abu Garcia, Berkley, Eagle Claw, Laker, Plano, Solar Bat, and the 2002 EverStart Anglers.

Pro/Boater Jim Tutt and Co/Boater Charles Carlile heft their Championship trophies

EverStart Director, Jerry Stakely applauding Jim Tutt's Championship Pro/Win
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Kellogg's Pro/Angler Jim Tutt with 4 reps to his final Championship 20 lb- 11 oz win

Dicky Newberry with his 2nd place Pro/Angler win

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