JASPER, Texas–March 28, 1998–Carl Svebek III of Sam Rayburn, Texas,
took first place in the first Central Division event of Operation Bass’ new EverStart Series, with a five bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces, to capture the $35,000 first prize in the event concluded Saturday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
Svebek survived two earlier elimination rounds and 150 anglers enroute to the EverStart victory, edging out nine other finalists competing in Saturday’s final round of the professional division.
John McCombs of Morris, Alabama, took the runner-up spot with a championship round tally of five bass, weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces, good for $10,000.
Rounding out the top 10 in the professional division: (3) Larry Frasier, Hanson, Kentucky, 16 pounds, 14 ounces, $9,000; (4)Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 16 pounds, 5 ounces, $8,000; (5) Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 pounds, 5 ounces, $7,000; (6) Dale Epperson, Reed Springs, Missouri, 13
pounds, $6,000; (7) Slade Dearman, Onalaska, Texas, 12 pounds, 15 ounces, $5,000; (8) Dennis Griffith, Herod, Illinois, 12 pounds, 7 ounces, $4,500; (9) Jimmy Mize, Ben Lomond, Arkansas, 9 pounds, 11 ounces, $4,000; (10) David Curtis, Trinity, Texas, 9 pounds, $3,500.
The winner of the amateur division was Fred Estes of Hot Springs, Arkansas who weighed in 11 pounds, 6 ounces of bass for the win. Estes collected $5,000 for his amateur division victory.
Rounding out the top 10 in the amateur division: (2) Toby Wallace, Tolar, Texas, 10 pounds, 9 ounces, $2,000; (3) Alan Rhoden, Huntsville, Texas, 10 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,500;(4) Roger Bacon, Dallas, Texas, 6 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,250; (5) Thomas Hoehn, Golden, Missouri, 5 pounds, $1,000;
(6) Phil Hennigan, Center, Texas, 3 pounds, 13 ounces, $700; (7) Greg Dorris, Sand Springs, Oklahoma, 3 pounds, 10 ounces, $650; (8) Abbie Israel, Clewiston, Florida, 3 pounds, 8 ounces, $600; (9) Hinton Day, Laurel Hill, Florida, 3 pounds, 6 ounces, $550; (10) Carl Boatman, Jasper,Texas, 0 pounds, $500.
The win gives Svebek and Estes priority entry into the lucrative Wal-Mart FLW Tour professional bass tournaments in 1999.
The total purse for the Sam Rayburn tournament was $138,775 including a fully-rigged Ranger bass boat.
The EverStart Series consists of eight regular events, four in the Central and four in the Eastern Division, and two EverStart Challenge tournaments. The Challenge events, one per division, feature the same format as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour tournaments. The 150-man pro and amateur fields will be cut to the top 10 after two days. Amateur competition is ended at the conclusion of day three, with only the top five pros left to compete on the final day.
Each of the EverStart Challenge events will be filmed for a future television special that will air on ESPN 2.