BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. (May 4, 2005) – Pro Dewayne Bonham of Brentwood caught a huge four-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces to lead day one of the EverStart Series Western Division event on the California Delta presented by Garmin. A field of 159 pros is competing for a Ranger 519VX powered by a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and Everstart Batteries plus $9,200 cash. Ranger also awards an additional $10,000 to the winner if he is a qualified Ranger owner. This tournament is the fourth and final Western Division event of the season, and the top-40 pros and co-angler in the season-ending points standings advance to the $1 million EverStart Series Championship on Pickwick Lake Nov. 2-5.

As usual, the California Delta did not disappoint anglers Wednesday. Numerous four-bass limits weighing in excessive of 20 pounds were weighed. The big bass in both the Pro Division and Co-angler Division broke 10 pounds. Dozens and dozens of bass weighing between 6 and 10 pounds were weighed, and the average weight per angler almost equaled that of the record-setting Clear Lake EverStart Series event in March.

“I went straight to two beds I found in practice,” Bonham said. “On the first bed, I caught a small keeper. Then I went to the second bed and caught an 8-9. Then I went back to the first bed and caught a 7 1/2-pounder. At 7:30 a.m. I had three bass in the boat that weighed nearly 20 pounds, so I knew it was going to be a good day.

“A lot of guys are power fishing since this is the Delta, but I’m taking a chance and finesse fishing. I’m throwing a drop-shot with a 6-inch worm. I don’t think I have enough sight fish to last four days, but a lot of fish are moving up. If I make the cut, I’ll take Friday to look for more beds.”

Rounding out the top-five pros are James Scott of Carson (four bass, 22 pounds, 13 ounces); Thahn Le of El Cajon (four bass, 22 pounds, 8 ounces); Jeff Lamy of San Jose (four bass, 21 pounds, 14 ounces); and Wayne Henrichs of Navato (four bass, 21 pounds, 12 ounces).

Le – winner of the last Western Division event on Lake Mead and current leader in the points standings – caught a 10-pound, 2-ounce lunker largemouth to win the day’s Snickers Big Bass award for the Pro Division and earn $625.

Leroy Bertolero of El Macero caught an impressive four-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 10 ounces to lead the Co-angler Division. Bertolero’s weight would place third in the Pro Division and leads the nearest co-angler by more than 2 pounds.

Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Ryan Brown of Orting, Wash. (four bass, 20 pounds, 7 ounces); Steve Hayashi of Tracy (four bass, 15 pounds, 8 ounces); Tony Matuska of Ripon (four bass, 14 pounds, 15 ounces); and Tom Schutz of Foster City (three bass, 13 pounds, 9 ounces).

Brown caught the Snickers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division – a 10-pound, 13-ounce monster largemouth worth $205.

Anglers caught 1,128 bass Wednesday weighing 2,982 pounds, 15 ounces. Just as a comparison, anglers at the EverStart Series Lake Eufaula event last week caught 723 bass for 1,830 pounds, 13 ounces on day one with more anglers and a five-bass limit.

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.