"I fished Lake Erie some in practice, but I found most of my fish up in the river," Vida said. "It was a 100-yard stretch of water with a few rock piles. I caught them on Berkley Frenzy lipless crankbaits and green-pumpkin tubes." All of Vida's fish were smallmouths.
Fishing the river shielded Vida somewhat from the pounding waves of Lake Erie that were common throughout the event, though he said he still got wet from 3- to 5-footers each day.
Rounding out the top five pros are David Reault of Livonia (10 bass, 35 pounds, 5 ounces, $8,400); Patrick Goodman of White Pigeon (nine bass, 34 pounds, 2 ounces, $8,000); Mark Dowd of Westland (10 bass, 32 pounds, 4 ounces, $7,350); and Art Ferguson III of St. Clair Shores (10 bass, 30 pounds, 11 ounces, $6,850).
Neil Heiden of Blissfield caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Co-angler Division. Heiden earned $4,400 for his win. Heiden fished with Vida on the last day, catching his bass on a prototype tube in watermelon gold-flake hologram color, rigged on a 3/8-ounce Bite Me jighead.
Anglers had cooler temperatures on the last day of the event, with highs in the low 70s and winds out of the southeast.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Jeff Harris of Grand Blanc (nine bass, 30 pounds, 5 ounces, $3,400); James Richardson Sr. of Harrison, Ohio (six bass, 25 pounds, 8 ounces, $3,125); Mark Myers of Minneapolis, Minn. (six bass, 21 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,240); and Nick Neves of Jerome (five bass, 20 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,740).
A narrowed field of 20 anglers caught 55 bass weighing 172 pounds, 14 ounces on the last day. Six of the anglers caught a limit.
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 http://www.FLWOutdoors.com.