Lakecaster Online

Top 10 to advance to Final Round at Sam Rayburn Everstart
By Patty Lenderman

WalMart - Jasper, Lake Sam Rayburn
February 7, 2003

Starting out this four day tournament event, 400 total anglers, 200 Pro / 200 Co-Anglers, came to fish for their share in the $256,825.00 in cash and prizes to be given away. This is the first of four qualifying events in the Everstart Series Central Division. The first two days were fished by the entire field trying to tally enough in a two day total weight to make the first cut. At the end of day two only 20 anglers advanced to the third day of competition. The 20 qualifying anglers came to the scales at Walmart in Jasper, TX hoping to have enough weight for the next cut where only 10 anglers from each division would fish the final day.

It has been a grueling 3 days on Lake Sam Rayburn. Fishing in temps ranging from 30's to 40's, freezing rain and stiff winds giving swells 6' + in some areas, these anglers have had their strength, agility and stamina put to the test along with their angling skills.

Day 1 Opening round - Wednesday, Feb 5: Of the total field of four hundred, 343 anglers brought fish to the scales with the pro division number one slot at the end of day one weighing in at 24 lbs 5 oz by Trey Morgan of Goldanna, La.. The co-angler division day one top weight coming in at 15 lbs 9 oz by Randy Brewer of Southlake, TX. Big bass on the pro side was brought in by Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, AL at 8 lbs 9 oz, while in the co-angler division Jerry McKnight of Wells, TX brought in the 10 lb bass that shot him into second place day one with only 4 fish in his sack.

Day 2 Opening Round - Thursday, Feb 6: Coming into an even colder and wetter day two, this was the final day for the entire field to compete and try to make the cut of only 20 anglers in each division who are to advance to day 3 of competition. In the Pro Division, Trey Morgan maintained first place in a two day tally totalling 41-14 lbs. Pro big bass honors earned by David Cochran weighing in a nice 8-07 lb bass. In the co-angler division Jerry McKnight took the lead with a two day total weight of 29-08 lbs and the big bass for the co-angler division came in at an incredible 12-11 lbs by Jeary Wheeler. This Texas sized Sam Rayburn hawg just missed qualifying for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Share Lunker program by a mere 5 ounces. All of the competitors two day weights were added together to determine the top 20 to advance, with 21st-55th place receiving checks.

Semifinal Round - Friday, Feb 7: Stiff winds and cold temps made the anglers work harder than ever for their fish today. The dropping water temps making it very hard for the anglers to hold to any one fishing pattern, only praying that their fish will stay in the areas they found them in during practice while trying not to exhaust their "honey holes" and still have prime fish for the final day of competition. The anglers fished for the heaviest one-day weight to advance to the final round where only 10 Pro's and 10 Co-Anglers will fish on the final day of competition.

Top 10 Pro Qualifiers:
1st 17-08 lbs Jonathan Newton Rogersville, AL
2nd 15-06 lbs David Truax Beaumont, TX
3rd 14-05 lbs Dicky Newberry Houston, TX
4th 12-13 lbs Trey Morgan Goldonna, LA
5th 10-04 lbs Larry Sisk Evansville, IN
6th 9-07 lbs Bob Weaver Lawton, OK
7th 9-00 lbs Eric Holt Galena, MO
8th 8-06 lbs Alfred Williams Jackson, MS
9th 7-14 lbs David Junk Quincy, IL
10th 7-08 lbs Clark Reehm Russellville, AR

Top 10 Co-Anglers:
1st 11-12 lbs Barry Goen Hartsburg, MO
2nd 5-13 lbs Jeary Wheeler Batesville, AR
3rd 5-07 lbs Mike Neal Dexter, KS
4th 5-01 lbs Lonnie Fuller, Jr Hemphill, TX
5th 4-15 lbs Dean Morgan Port Arthur, TX
6th 4-01 lbs Joe Rasnick Brookville, TX
7th 3-11 lbs Bill Rogers Jasper, TX
8th 3-09 lbs Larry Regina South Bend, IN
9th 2-06 lbs Randy Brewer Southlake, TX
10th 2-05 lbs Brent Ausbrook Olney, IL

Going into the final day of competition, the weights are again cleared and the finalists will be fishing for top one day weights. All of the remaining anglers will receive a check, and the winning pro will collect as much as $61,900.00 in cash and prizes. That's quite a paycheck for fishing four days and consistently catching bass. Most of the fish brought to the scales so far have been caught on a variety of crank baits, rattle traps and spinnerbaits. The anglers are tired, sore, and have spent the last three days on the lake freezing cold and wet. The weather forecast for Saturday, the fourth and final day of competition calls for sleet and rain and another very cold day of fishing.

The next event for the Central Division will be at Pickwick Lake in Florence, AL March 26-29. For more information please visit their website at or call 270-252-1000.

Sponsors include: Walmart - EverStart Batteries - Conseco - Poulan - Garmin - Faded Glory - Land O Lakes - Lawry's Seasoning - Shop Vac - Field & Stream - Fuji Film - Banana Boat - Chevy Trucks - Snickers - Ranger Boats - Rubbermaid - US Bank - Yamaha - 7 UP - Kellogg's - Energizer - Evinrude - Castrol - Stanley - Weed Eater - Minn Kota - BF Goodrich - Frito Lat
Associate Sponsors: Abu Garcia/Berkley - Champion Boats - Dean Foods - Eagle Claw - Hellmann's - Hover-Lure - Lipton Side Dishes - Maxwell House - Palmer & Cay - Plano - Skippy Peanut Butter - Solar Bat - Stratos Boats

Contratulations for the top 10 qualifiers in each division to advance to the final round of competition. Top 10 Pro's 1st - 10th (Front, L-R) & Top 10 Co-Angler's 1st - 10th (Back, L-R)

< photos by Patty Lenderman >

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