MURRAY LEADS DAY ONE OF EVERSTART SERIES EVENT ON LAKE EUFAULA

EUFAULA, Ala. (April 27, 2005) – Pro Jim Murray Jr. of Arabia, Ga., caught a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces to lead day one of the EverStart Series Southeast Division event on Lake Eufaula. A field of 196 pros is competing for a Ranger 519 VX powered by a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and Everstart Batteries plus $10,000 cash. Ranger also awards an additional $10,000 to the winner if he is a qualified Ranger owner.

Lake Eufaula traditionally produces excellent weights in spring tournaments. Day one of the EverStart Series event was no exception. Bass are in postspawn mode and eager to feed. Although skies were clear, the wind really picked up after noon and made fishing a little tougher. Many anglers reported catching a majority of their fish before the windy conditions.

“I was just fishing along on windy banks in areas where shad are spawning,” said Murray, a former Bassmaster Tour pro. “In areas where I didn’t see any shad, I didn’t get any bites. The fishing was better before about 11 a.m., but I did catch about 12 keepers today.”

While Murray doesn’t consider Eufaula his home lake, he does live within a couple hours. “I probably fish the lake about 10 times per year, and I’ve been fishing it for years,” he said. “So I know the lake really well.”

Rounding out the top-five pros are 7 UP pro J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md. (five bass, 20 pounds, 9 ounces); Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga. (five bass, 18 pounds, 6 ounces); Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla. (five bass, 17 pounds, 6 ounces); and Stratos pro Ricky Shumpert of Lexington, S.C. (five bass, 16 pounds, 8 ounces).

Ron Wolfarth of Locust, N.C., caught a 7-pound largemouth to win the day’s Snickers Big Bass award for the Pro Division and earn $725.

Greg Wilson of Dothan caught five bass weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces to lead the Co-angler Division. Wilson leads by more than 5 pounds.

“I was just running a 3/8-ounce, tandem willow-leaf spinnerbait in shallow water,” Wilson said. “I think the bite will improve. I just hope the wind dies down a little.”

Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Bill Hulet of Broken Arrow, Okla. (five bass, 13 pounds, 3 ounces); Robert Horick of St. Petersburg, Fla. (five bass, 12 pounds, 8 ounces); Derek McAfee of La Grange, Ga. (five bass, 12 pounds, 7 ounces); and Arch Cornett of Huntsville (four bass, 12 pounds, 5 ounces).

Gary Thacker of Covington, Ga., caught the Snickers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division – a 6-pound, 11-ounce largemouth worth $245.

Anglers caught 723 bass Wednesday, including 46 limits, weighing 1,830 pounds, 13 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.