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Trinity,Tx angler wins pro division of Toledo Bend Everstart
By Ed Snyder

Ed Snyder

"Thank God and Stanley Baits", exhaled the Trinity TX, pro/angler, as his bass-weight of 16.10 lbs. just "re-digitized" a Jasper TX proís 15.10 catch to a 2nd place notch.

David Curtis, your Toledo Bend Pro-winner folks," announced the tournament director as with raised clenched fists, the native East Texan did a quick winner's dance. David Curtis expressed it all in just a few heartfelt words, as four days of grueling competitive bass fishing had suddenly come to an end. It was finally over.

The building blocks for making it as a National Touring Pro/Bass Angler were laid out for the 300 plus anglers who chose to fish and compete in this Toledo Bend event of the Everstart Central Division tournament. Whether they were finesse fishing from the front of the boat as a pro, or slip-slide casting from the back of the boat as an amateur, all of the contestants were given even chances for making it to the winner's circle on the final day of competition. Luck? Well yes, to an extent. But the people who make it to the top donít rely on luck alone, as they in-put the learning process for providing their own luck. And that is what this tournament tour, as well as all others, provide, a vehicle for those learning techniques that are so important for making it to the top of the leader board. Of those over 300 anglers who didnít make the final cut, some will return to try and try again, until they too can finally make it to the winners circle.

Of those top 10 Pro-Boaterís and top 10 Co-Boaterís who arrived at the Wal-Mart parking lot, in Many LA, to weigh-in their final day catches, only two would be able to make it to the top as the #1 Pro and the #1 Amateur of this prestigious event. But, accolades are merited for those other anglers who made the final cut, as we need to pay our respects to their abilities for making it as a top ì10î angler. But for now, the applauds were for the two anglers, a pro and an amateur, who managed to put a consistent catch on the scales to best all the other anglers for the most prized first place position.

ìWell, basically I practiced some on the north end of the lake, flipped bushes, but I didnít do any good, so I ended up going south," informed David Curtis, as he told his winnerís tale. He explained how he slow-rolled 3/4 oz. white/chartreuse Stanley spinner baits over 7'-8' humps, while Carolina rigging black neon Zoom lizards along 4'-5' secondary points. "And thatís it," David stressed. "I want to thank my sponsors, Stanley Jigs and Castaway Rods, and I really want to thank God and Jesus Christ from the bottom of my heart because without Jesus, I would never have been able to get here in the first place."

I'm like Minnie Pearl," grinned the lady angler who had just won 1st place for the Co-Boaterís position, "Iím just so proud to be here." And with that country chuckle tucked away in my notebook, Nobie Jo LeBert, of Brookeland TX, began to explain her steady pattern of catching 4 days of full limits which would finalize with a 5 bass/14.30 lb. weight for her win. ìWell I didnít get to practice fish much," Nobie informed, because I had to spend some time on Rayburn, getting ready for another tournament. But a combination of Mr. Blitz spinner baits, Zoom brush-hogs and Fin-Aícky hooks helped me to put my fish in the boat. I was also very lucky to have drawn Paul Eason my final day pro/angler," Nobie informed, as she told of having been able to pre-fish some with her Brookeland TX, neighbor, so she already knew where he was going and what he was going to do, which prepared her for the final day of competition.

So there you have it folks, four days of competition edited down to just a few paragraphs, and a couple of photos. Hardly seems like it really happened at all, but, believe me, it did, and what a heck of a happening it was, as the anglers, starting with 330 of them on day one, had to endure extreme weather changes and high competitive pressures to make a top 30 angler cut after two days, then again for a third day of competition and a top 10 cut, before they could even think about fishing and competing in the final day for the top winner positions. Believe me folks, the two anglers who made it to the top of this leaderboard, earned that position the hard way as they worked for every ìdigitalî of their four days of tournament weigh-ins.

All final day bass were live released by the Shimano/ SRA-LA fish recovery Krewe and Everstartís Operation Bass recovery crew for a 99% successful release rating.

The Next Everstart Central Division tournament will be held on March 10-13 at Lake of the Ozarks MO. For more information on these tournaments contact Operation Bass at 502-362-4880.

Bass Tally - (day one & two)-for co-boater division-485 bass/1,017 lbs on the scale-(day three)-415 bass/920 lbs-(day four)-27 bass/60 lbs.

Bass Tally-(day one & two)-for Pro-boater division-707 bass/1,669 lbs on the scale-(day three)-641 bass/1,466 lbs-(day four)-39 bass/106 lbs.

Overall Pro-Big Bass came in on the 1st day with Durant OK, angler, Edwin Evers, for his 6.7 lb bass worth $500

Overall Co-Big Bass came in on the 2nd day with Elkins AR, angler, Frank Divis SR, for his 5.12 lb bass worth $200

TOP PRO -BOATER FINAL
1 - DAVID CURTIS, TRINITY, TX 5 bass / 16.10- $10,000 - Ranger Bass Boat
2 - TODD FAIRCLOTH, JASPER, TX - 5 bass / 15.10 - $10,000
3-RANDY MILLENDER,TEAGUE,TX - 5 bass / 14.50 - $9,000
4 - MARK PACK,MINEOLA, TX - 5 bass / 14.30 - $8000
5 - PAUL EASON, BROOKELAND, TX - 5 bass / 13.90 - $7,000
6 -TOMMY ELLIS, PARIS, TN - 3 bass / 8.80 - $6,000
7 - SLADE DEARMAN, ONALASKA, TX - 4 bass / 8.20 - $5,000
8 - KYLE MCDONALD, RUSTON, LA - 3 bass / 8.00 - $4,500
9 - STEPHEN JOHNSTON, HEMPHILL, TX - 3 bass / 5.14 - $4,000
10 - BRAD DOWNEY, SHAWNEE,OK - 1 bass / 2.00 - $3,500

TOP 10 CO-BOATER FINAL
1-Nobie Jo LeBert, Brookeland TX...... 14.3 lbs-$5,000
2-Mark King, Booneville AR................... 11.0 lbs-$2,750
3-Frank Divis, Elkins AR. ........................9.14 lbs-$2,250
4-Clay West, Lochbuie CO. ......................7.2 lbs-$2,000
5-Joel James, Orange TX. ........................6.6 lbs-1,800
6-Dave Settle, Mineola TX. ......................4.3 lbs-$1,600
7-Bobby Parrish, Nacogdoches TX. .......3.6 lbs-$1,500
8-Douglas Bailey, Jasper TX. ..................3.2 lbs-$1,400
9-Aaron Joliff, Rogers AR. .......................1.9 lbs-$1,300
10-Gene Miller, San Antonio TX. .............0.0 lbs-$1,200

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