“I am physically and mentally worn out,” Peek said. “Everyday I worried, ‘Are the fish going to be there?’ But every morning I went to one spot 3 minutes from the ramp and caught a limit within 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then I’d leave that area and try to cull a few fish. I had a good practice and found fish in a lot of different areas.
“My primary bait this week was an FLW Rabbit Dog spinnerbait. I also swam a jig a little and caught a few on a buzzbait, but I caught most of the fish on the spinnerbait.”
Even more impressive, Peek was paired with co-angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., for days three and four. Thrift won the Co-angler Division by nearly 7 pounds, indicating how productive Peek’s areas were. Peek is also currently in ninth place in the co-angler points standings on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour.
Rounding out the top-five pros were Patrick Pierce of Jacksonville, Fla. (10 bass, 33 pounds, 5 ounces); Snickers pro Pat Fisher of Danielsville, Ga. (10 bass, 31 pounds, 4 ounces); Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla. (10 bass, 26 pounds, 5 ounces); and Jim Murray Jr. of Arabia, Ga. (10 bass, 25 pounds, 2 ounces).
Thrift – who earned $5,000 – caught a two-day total of seven bass weighing 22 pounds, 11 ounces. He won the last EverStart Series Southeast Division event on Santee Cooper and finished 11th at the division’s first event on the season on Lake Okeechobee.
“Since I had such a big lead yesterday, Tim (Peek) and I agreed that I would quit fishing in his first spot after I caught my first keeper,” Thrift said. “I caught a keeper on my fourth cast and put the rod down and quit fishing for an hour or two. After he caught his limit, I started fishing again.
“Tim was throwing the a spinnerbait every day, so I wanted to do something a little different. The shad were up spawning, so I swam a white 3/8-ounce jig. It worked out pretty good.”
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers were Arch Cornett of Huntsville (six bass, 15 pounds, 14 ounces); Jerry Goble of Sherrills Ford, N.C. (six bass, 15 pounds, 3 ounces); Brian Davis of Leesburg, Ga. (six bass, 14 pounds, 2 ounces); and Matthew Parker of Whitesburg, Ga. (five bass, 12 pounds, 11 ounces).
Anglers caught 64 bass Saturday, including 8 limits, weighing 177 pounds, 11 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.