Dobson leads field into semifinal round of EverStart Series competition - Major League Fishing

Dobson leads field into semifinal round of EverStart Series competition

July 26, 2001 • MLF • Archives

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Amidst drastically changing weather conditions pro angler Scott Dobson of Waterford, Mich., managed to take the lead heading into Friday’s semifinal round at the $185,000 EverStart Series tournament on Lake Ontario with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 37 pounds, 1 ounce.

Dobson caught five smallmouth bass weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces on a relatively balmy opening day Wednesday to finish in second place then turned in five smallmouth bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces Thursday despite overcast skies and an east wind gusting over 20 mph.

“The wind totally shifted (Thursday),” said Dobson, who caught all of his bass on a jerkbait while fishing a flat spotted with chunk rocks, gravel and an occasional patch of grass. “It was really blowing out of the east, so the river was a mess. There were 2- and 3-foot waves and an occasional 4-footer. It took me an hour and a half to run to my spot today where it only took 45 minutes yesterday.”

Pro Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., caught 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 12 ounces over two days to secure the No. 2 spot in Friday’s competition. Rounding out the top five pros were Neil Vandebiezen of Portage, Mich., with 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces; Jimmi Leuthner of Vernon, Vt., with 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 3 ounces; and Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., with 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces.

In the Co-Angler Division, Rick Kazmierczak of Orchard Park, N.Y., retained the top spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 1 ounce. On opening day he caught exclusively smallmouth, but on day two, he caught all largemouth using a wacky worm, Berkley Power worm and Terminator spinnerbait.

Finishing in second and third place in the Co-Angler Division were Franklin Collins of Huntington, W.Va., with 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces and James Richardson Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, with eight bass weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces.

Big bass and $750 in the Pro Division went to Jack Gifford of Woodstock, Conn., for a 5-pound bass.

A total of 850 bass were caught Thursday, and more than 98 percent of the bass were released alive.

Friday the top 30 pros and co-anglers will start from zero and fish for one day to determine the top 10 anglers who will advance to Saturday’s final round for a shot at top awards of $15,000 cash and a Yamaha- or Mercury-powered Ranger boat with GARMIN electronics in the Pro Division and $6,000 cash in the Co-Angler Division.

Competition begins at approximately 6 a.m. each day at French Creek Marina in Clayton. Friday’s weigh-in begins at 2:30 p.m. at the marina, and Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Arsenal Street in Watertown, N.Y., at 4 p.m.

The 4-year-old EverStart Series now includes three divisions-Eastern, Central and Northern-with four events each plus a year-end championship presented by Conseco. Tournament winners and the top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers from each division will earn a spot in the championship, which will be held Nov. 7-10 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala.

More than $2.5 million will be awarded to bass fishing enthusiasts during the 2001 EverStart Series season. The series also provides a pathway to the $4.45 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour-bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament series. Top EverStart competitors may also qualify for the Ranger M1 tournament in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 27-March 2, 2002, where they can win up to $1 million in the world’s richest freshwater tournament.