EUFAULA, Ala.–April 25, 1998–Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Virginia, took
first place in the third Eastern Division event of Operation Bass’ new EverStart Series, with a catch weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces, to capture the $35,000 first prize in the event concluded Saturday on Lake Eufaula.
Poirier 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. The winner received $10,000 and a fully-rigged Ranger boat.
John Mccombs of Morris, Alabama, took the runner-up spot with a championship round tally weighing 12 pounds, 11 ounces, good for $10,000.
Rounding out the top 10 in the professional division of the EverStart Series’ Eastern Division were: (3)Chris Daniels, Clayton, NC, 8-3, $9000; (4) Jerry Skinner, Lynchburg, VA, 7-2, $8000; (5) Craig Powers, Rockwood, TN, 6-15, $7000; (6) Alvin Shaw, State Road, NC, 6-3, $6000; (7) Jeff Coble, Henderson, NC, 2-12, $5000; (8) Jim Taylor, Orange Park, FL, 2-7, $4500; (9) Mike Balon, Belle Glade, FL, 0-0, $4000; (10) Jim Blanchard, Albany, GA, 0-0, $3500.
The winner of the amateur division was Jon Jezierski of Troy, Michigan, who had a winning weight of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. Jezierski collected $5,000 for his amateur division victory.
Rounding out the top 10 in the amateur division were: (2) Terry Watson, Warrior, AL, 9-15, $2000; (3) James Pierce, Wendell, NC, 9-4, $1500; (4) Audie Aultman, Seminary, MS, 2-13, $1250; (5) Barry Lawrence, Hoover, AL, 2-8, $1000; (6) Charles Nails, Rainbow City, AL, 0-0, $700; (7) Murvin Berry, Anderson, IN, 0-0, $650; (8) Bill Heath, Tifton, GA, 0-0, $600; (9) Fred Hill, Gibsonville, NC, 0-0, $550; (10) Ben Bradley, Chattanooga, TN, 0-0, $500.
The win gives Poirier and Jezierski priority entry into the lucrative Wal-Mart FLW Tour professional bass tournaments in 1999. The total purse for the Santee Cooper 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 segment that will air on ESPN 2.