Evinrude pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., and Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Mo., each caught a two-day limit weighing 29 pounds, 10 ounces, tying for the lead on the final day of competition Saturday. With the veteran pair of anglers dead-even, the rulebook would be the deciding factor.
"Ties on days 3 and 4 will be resolved by day 2 standings," according to FLW tournament rules.
King made the top-20 cut in 18th place with 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 15 ounces; Morehead finished in fourth place with 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 15 ounces.
Morehead gets the win, which includes a new 519VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude outboard and equipped with Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and EverStart batteries plus $10,000 cash.
"This is the second time this has happened to me and it's tough," said Morehead, who finished second to Ranger pro Scott Rook after a tiebreaker determined the winner of the 2004 Stren Series Central event on Alabama's Red River. "When I win, I like to win big like I did on Beaver Lake. This tying stuff is going to turn me gray."
Morehead caught his final-day limit of 14 pounds, 10 ounces fishing a new area he found Friday on his way back to ward the launch area.
"They told us a barge was going to go through the locks and that we better leave a little early to make sure we make it back on time," he said. "I was on the way back and stopped at this stretch near a backwater area. I caught a fish and started weighing my others to see which one I could cull. By the time I was done culling, my co-angler had caught four keepers. He only had one fish when we stopped."
Morehead used a Mann's 4-inch black with red flake tube bait Texas-rigged with a 5/16-ounce weight and 20-pound P-Line fluorocarbon line.
"The water has been falling for several days and I think the fish were pulling out of the backwater area to the main river. I found some rock where these fish were staging," he said. "I had a limit by 6:27 this morning. It was quick, fast and in a hurry."
Rounding out the top five pros are Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Mo. (10 bass, 29 pounds, 10 ounces, $10,000); Troy Eakins of Nixa, Mo. (10 bass, 27 pounds, 14 ounces, $9,000, plus $2,250 Ranger/Yamaha bonus); Robert Heilman of Dakota, Minn. (10 bass, 27 pounds, 1 ounce, $8,000); and Chris Cox of Belleville, Wis. (10 bass, 25 pounds, 14 ounces, $7,500).
Mark Myers of Minneapolis, Minn., won the Co-angler Division thanks to a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces. Myers earned a 519VX Ranger plus $5,000 cash for a total award of $35,000.
"I struggled in the morning," said Myers, who won the Co-angler Division at the FLW Tour stop on Lake Champlain in June. "My second fish was about a 4-pounder and it calmed me down. I knew all I needed was three decent keepers to do well."
Myers, who was paired with Morehead, said today's competition had a little added twist to it.
"We were in sight of Stacey (King) all day to day," he said. "I could see every time his co-angler caught a fish. There was definitely a psychological twist to it."
Myers made the cut fishing nine different styles of baits, refusing to commit to just one. Faced with tougher conditions today, he downsized to a 5-inch green pumpkin lizard on 8-pound test line.
"The was the most critical adjustment I made all week," he said. "The rest of the week I used a frog and eight other baits, but the lizard seem to trigger the bigger fish."
Myers made the top-20 cut Thursday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing, 25 pounds, 14 ounces. He then caught five bass weighing 12 pounds Friday to make the top-10 cut in third place. On Saturday, he caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces to earn his second Stren Series victory.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersberg, Ind., (10 bass, 24 pounds, $4,000); James Richardson Sr., of Harrison, Ohio (nine bass, 22 pounds, 6 ounces, $3,500); Jeff Taylor of Olmstead, Ky. (nine bass, 21 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,500); and Eric Boberg of Arcadia, Wis. (nine bass, 19 pounds, 9 ounces, $2,000).
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 20 pros and co-anglers - based on two-day accumulated weights - advance to Friday. Anglers start at zero Friday and compete for 10 spots in each division Saturday. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from Friday and Saturday.
The top 40 pros and top 40 co-anglers from each of the Stren Series' five divisions - Central, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western - following four tournaments in each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., Nov. 1-4 where they will fish for top awards of $140,000 and $70,000, respectively. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the Stren Series Championship will also earn a spot in the new $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Ranger owners' tournaments for bass fishing's first $1 million top award.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.