LANETT, Ala. – Pedigree pro Steve Kennedy of Auburn caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces to lead day one of the EverStart Series Southeast Division event on West Point Lake presented by Yamaha.
A field of 185 pros is competing for a Ranger 519VX powered by a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and EverStart Batteries plus $10,000 cash. Ranger also awards an additional $10,000 to the winner if he is a qualified Ranger owner. This tournament is the fourth and final Southeast Division event of the season, and the top-40 pros and co-anglers in the season-ending points standings advance to the $1 million EverStart Series Championship on Pickwick Lake Nov. 2-5.
J.T. Kenney, a 7 UP pro from Frostburg, Md., currently leads the Southeast Division’s points standings – along with the Wal-Mart FLW Tour points standings. Kennedy, however, is second to Kenney in the division’s points standings – 30 pounds behind – and is in excellent position to win the points title. Kenney finished day one in 116th place with three bass weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces.
“I had a lucky day,” Kennedy said. “I thought I could go out and catch 15 pounds, but things happened a little differently than I planned. I went strait to a ledge this morning with a watermelon-colored Kinami Flash on a Carolina rig. I had caught some spotted bass there in practice and wanted to get a quick limit then go after largemouths.
“But my co-angler caught a 5-pound largemouth on his second cast. Then right after that I caught a 6-13. I ended up staying three hours and catching four keepers. Then I went to shallow water and caught another decent fish. It really was a tough day with bluebird skies. The bite was quick this morning. I’ll go try the same thing tomorrow.”
Rounding out the star-studded top-five pros are Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn. (five bass, 17 pounds, 12 ounces); Matt Herren of Trussville (five bass, 16 pounds, 9 ounces); Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C. (five bass, 15 pounds, 5 ounces); and Hoyt Ivie of Thomaston, Ga. (five bass, 15 pounds, 12 ounces).
Bernie Miller of North Vernon, Ind., caught a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth to win the day’s Snickers Big Bass award for the Pro Division and earn $675.
Tim Vanegmond of Gay, Ga., caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 15 ounces to lead the Co-angler Division.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Brad Knight of Wartburg, Tenn. (two bass, 10 pounds, 6 ounces); Richard Mitchell of Appling, Ga. (five bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces); Brian Davis of Leesburg, Ga. (five bass, 10 pounds); and James Barnick of Pembroke Pines, Fla. (five bass, 9 pounds, 1 ounces).
Knight caught the Snickers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division – a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass worth $235.
Anglers caught 949 bass Wednesday weighing 1,689 pounds, 11 ounces.
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.