Texas angler leads field into second round - Major League Fishing

Texas angler leads field into second round

March 9, 2000 • MLF • Archives

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JASPER, Texas – Stephen Johnston, 29, of Hemphill, Texas, will lead 30 of the nation’s top professional bass anglers into Friday’s second round of competition at the EverStart Batteries Series tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 39 pounds, 12 ounces.

Johnston, who had two top-10 EverStart finishes in 1999, caught five bass weighing 20-1 Thursday on a Rat-L-Trap in the Black Forrest area of the lake. His creel included the day’s biggest bass, a 7-pound, 11-ounce largemouth worth $500.

“Everyone’s back to zero tomorrow,” Johnston said after securing the lead over runner-up Shane Allman of Sam Rayburn, Texas, who caught 37 pounds, 5 ounces over two days. “The whole key is getting a big bite. If I can catch about 15 pounds tomorrow, I’ll be taking another ride back to Wal-Mart, and that’s about the best feeling you could ever have.”

In the Co-Angler Division, Jeff Scrimager of Mattoon, Ill., leads the field with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31-5. Big bass honors in the Co-Angler Division and $300 went to Mark Klein of Lawrenceville, Ill., for an 8-pound, 2-ounce largemouth.

Rounding out the top five spots in the Pro Division were: Jim Carnell of Muskogee, Okla., with 34-9; Carl Svebeck of Sam Rayburn, Texas, with 33-15; and James Stricklin Jr. of Alexander, Ark., with 33-10

Finishing round one in second through fifth place in the Co-Angler Division were: Melvin Henslee of Beaumont, Texas, with 31-4; Bo Standley of Silsbee, Texas, with 25-4; Mike Lancaster of Waxahachie, Texas, with 25-4; and Ken Koosman of Coon Rapids, Minn., with 24-11.

Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla., who won $600,000 in November at the Ranger M1 Millennium, the richest bass tournament in history, missed the top 30 cut by 6 ounces. He finished the tournament in 33rd place with a two-day total of 25-10.

On Friday, anglers will start over and fish for one day to determine the top 10 pros and co-anglers who will compete in Saturday’s final round. The winning pro will receive $10,000 cash and an Evinrude- or Johnson-powered Ranger bass boat. The winning co-angler will collect $6,000.

Competition begins at 7 a.m. each day at Twin Dykes Marina on Highway 255 two miles east of the Sam Rayburn Dam. Friday’s weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. at same location, and Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on located at 800 West Gibson in Jasper at 4 p.m.

The three-year-old EverStart Series is comprised of two divisions, Eastern and Central, with four multi-day events per division. The top 75 pros and co-anglers from each division will advance to the year-end EverStart Invitational Challenge at Cypress Gardens, Fla., which features a $360,000 purse.

Over the course of the season, the EverStart Series awards anglers up to $1.7 million in cash and prizes. It also provides a pathway to the prestigious Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the richest tournament series in history. Winning anglers in the Pro and Co-Angler Divisions of each EverStart tournament, as well as the overall top 10 anglers, based on a system of points and pounds, receive automatic berths in the 2001 FLW Tour.

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