The weather took a turn for the worse on Friday, when a cold front blew into the area. Heavy winds and cooler temperatures slowed the fishing and shuffled the leader board. As is usually the case, however, a few anglers continued to catch quality bass under changing conditions.
“I’m making a 60-mile run up the river,” Burns said. “Everyone else has been fishing clear water, but my area has been stained or muddy. I couldn’t see the bass, but I knew they were spawning in these three pockets because of how they swim off with the bait. On Friday, after the heavy rains and wind, everyone else’s water got muddier, but mine was actually clearer. I actually caught three of my bass sight fishing.”
Burns was unsure about his first stop up river after he saw another boat fishing his productive spot. After the other boat said they were fishing a tournament this weekend, Burns explained that he was in the top 10 in an EverStart event. The other anglers explained they were preparing for a crappie tournament and invited him into the cove. Almost immediately Burns caught a 5-pound largemouth to start his day.
Rounding out the top-five pros are Troy Eakins of Nixa (five bass, 13 pounds, 9 ounces); Stratos pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky. (five bass, 13 pounds, 3 ounces); Eric Ambort of Mabelvale, Ark. (five bass, 11 pounds, 9 ounces); and Dave Donham of Highlandville (five bass, 11 pounds, 3 ounces).
Mark Taylor of Mansfield more than doubled the catch of his nearest competitor when he caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces to lead the final round of the Co-Angler Division.
“I’m still doing the same thing I’ve been doing all tournament,” Taylor said. He is throwing a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog to catch largemouths. “I had a few small Kentuckies this morning on a jerkbait, but I went back to the Brush Hog and culled them with largemouths.” He caught the only five-bass limit on Friday in the Co-angler Division and is more than 6 pounds ahead of his nearest competitor.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Brett Pinion of Webb City (one bass, 6 pounds, 1 ounce); Tom Medlock of Licking (two bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces); Jim Mcdevitt of Eldon (two bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces); and Mark King of Gurdon, Ark. (two bass, 3 pounds, 3 ounces).
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.