Sunny skies and mild temperatures on the Delta were replaced Friday by overcast skies and cooler temperatures, but the stellar fishing remained unchanged as anglers continued to parade hefty limits across the weigh-in stage. The competition will only get tougher, as only the top 10 advanced to Saturday’s final round, where weights are cleared and anglers compete for one day for position and prize money. Dobyns seems to have the Delta dialed in, however, catching his bass Friday on a Snag Proof top water frog covering a lot of water.
“I made some really good decisions [Friday],” said Dobyns, who finished in seventh place at Clear Lake. “I plan on having fun [Saturday] and to look for good opportunities.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Bruce Harris of Oakdale (five bass, 18 pounds, 13 ounces); Zack Thompson of Orinda (five bass, 16 pounds, 4 ounces); Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz. (five bass, 15 pounds, 13 ounces); and Phil Strader of Glide, Ore. (five bass, 14 pounds, 7 ounces).
Louis Fernandes of Nipomo heads the list of 10 final-round co-anglers thanks to his catch Friday of five bass weighing 19 pounds, 6 ounces. He used flipping a Zipper Worm in top water Friday to haul in his limit.
“The wind has really helped my style of fishing,” said Fernandes, who is fishing in the final round for the first time. “This is an awesome feeling and I hope it continues [Saturday].”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Keith Reed of Napa (five bass, 15 pounds, 8 ounces); Robert Urchike of Chandler, Ariz. (five bass, 13 pounds, 13 ounces); Gary Morris of Tracy (five bass, 13 pounds, 3 ounces); and Gary Pardini of Pleasanton (five bass, 12 pounds, 12 ounces).
Big Break Marina in Oakley will host the final takeoff at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend the final takeoff and weigh-in.
The winning pro will take home a guaranteed cash award of $7,000 plus a new Ranger 519VS Comanche equipped with Garmin electronics and powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard. If the winner is the original owner of a Ranger boat, he will receive an additional $10,000 cash bonus from Ranger for a total of $58,900 in cash and prizes. Ranger will also award an additional $3,000 to the winner if he is a Ranger Cup participant, and Garmin will award $1,000 to the winner if his boat is equipped with a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/Sounder. The winning co-angler is guaranteed $3,600 cash. If the winning co-angler is a registered Ranger owner, he will also receive a new Ranger 519VS Comanche for a total of $26,400 in cash and prizes.
Four divisions – Eastern, Central, Northern and Western – comprise the 2003 EverStart Series. Each division stages four regular-season tournaments leading up to the no-entry-fee $335,975 EverStart Series Championship, which will be held on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
In EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, control boat movement and fish from the front of each boat against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back of each boat and compete against other co-anglers.
FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing, administers the EverStart Series. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour and the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League. FLW Outdoors will award as much as $20 million through 175 tournaments in 2003.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.