"I finally got it right," Bolton said of his first major win in 13 years as a touring professional angler in front of his hometown crowd. He caught not only one bass that broke the 5-pound mark, but also a behemoth that weighed more than 8 pounds. His final day limit of 21 pounds, 5 ounces was the second heaviest limit of the entire event.
"That 8 pounder was the fourth bass I caught Saturday morning," he said. "You just don't catch bass like that on this lake in the summer. When I put her in the livewell, I knew it was going to be a special day." While all nine of the other competitors weighed in smaller limits on day four, Bolton improved his catch by more than 5 pounds from the previous day.
Bolton made a key adjustment on Saturday that meant the tournament for him. He marked fish on his depth finder suspended off the bottom and realized he would have to hop his jig up to them to catch the better bass. He used a brown 5/8-ounce homemade jig to catch his final-day limit.
Rounding out the top-five pros are Curt McGuire of Lawrenceburg, Tenn. (10 bass, 33 pounds, 2 ounces); Larry Frasier of Owensboro (10 bass, 29 pounds, 2 ounces); Shawn Penn of Eddyville (10 bass, 285 pounds, 6 ounces); and William M. Davis of Russellville, Ala. (10 bass, 28 pounds).
David Curtis of Trinity, Texas finished in 8th place but locked up the points title in the EverStart Series Central Division. His points title is a major accomplishment considering it's his second points title this year after winning the points standings in the Wal-Mart FLW Texas Tournament Trail earlier this year. Curtis had three top-10 finishes in four events in the Central Division and two top-10 finishes in four events in TTT competition.
Chuck Rounds of Benton caught 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Co-angler Division and a fully rigged Ranger plus $5,000 cash. The win was Rounds second EverStart Series win on Kentucky Lake. His last win came in 2000. He's also won three Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League tournaments on Kentucky Lake since 2002.
"Everyone was dragging their jigs," Rounds said, "but I like to hop my jig." Rounds ties his own jigs and favored black and blue and brown crawfish patterns in this tournament.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Brad Taylor of Catlettsburg, Ky. (10 bass, 22 pounds, 15 ounces); Emmet Barnett of Waldron, Ark. (10 bass, 22 pounds, 7 ounces); Gilbert Herald of Pittsburg, Texas (10 bass, 22 pounds, 3 ounces); and Melinda Mize of Ben Lomond, Ark. (10 bass, 22 pounds, 2 ounces).
Mark King of Gurdon, Ark. won the points title in the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series Central Division
EverStart Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 10 pros and co-anglers - based on two-day accumulated weights - advance to the final round. Anglers start at zero Friday, and pro and co-angler winners are determined Saturday based on two-day accumulated weights.
For more information on the EverStart Series or any of FLW Outdoors' eight tournament trails, visit FLWOutdoors.com.