Pegram wins co-angler title, $35,000
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (Feb. 3, 2007) – Team Pedigree pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., caught a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the $275,225 Stren Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Seminole with a four-day total of 17 bass weighing 53-9. For his victory, Pugh earned $25,000 cash and a $40,000 519VX Ranger boat powered by Evinrude for a total of $65,000 in winnings.
“Everybody here couldn’t believe I was flipping,” said Pugh, who is not known as an angler who typically flips while fishing. “But I just went flipping. I was fishing in 3 to 4 feet of water in thick hyacinths. It was like the fish were just loaded up in there. You’d drop a bait in there and there would be a fish on.
“I was fishing the baits with a pegged ¾-ounce tungsten weight, a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook and Berkley 60-pound braid,” Pugh added. “If I hadn’t had the braid, I wouldn’t have been able to feel the fish bite.”
Pugh opened the tournament Wednesday in 52nd place with two bass weighing 4-12. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 10-9 to jump to 21st place. He then caught five bass weighing 26-10 on junebug, black and blue and Bowen’s silver Gambler Ugly Otters and Little Otters as well as a NetBait Paca Craw Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place.
Rounding out the top five pros are Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala. (14 bass, 48-15, $10,000); Tony Davis of Williston, Fla. (15 bass, 35-10, $9,000); Mike Cox of Huntsville, Ala. (nine bass, 35-6, $8,000); and Lonnie Oneal of Valdosta, Ga. (11 bass, 33-9, $7,000).
Pugh caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $295.
Lonnie Oneal also earned Ranger Cup and Powered by Yamaha bonuses of $2,250 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Overall there were 17 bass weighing 44 pounds, 13 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included two five-bass limits.
Brad Pegram of Henderson, N.C., won the Co-angler Division and $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger boat, with a four-day total of eight bass weighing 31-4.
“This is my first win and it’s just awesome,” said Pegram, who had notched six top-10 finishes prior to Saturday’s win. “I had come close in the BFL events before, but to win a Stren Series event is just awesome – the live weigh-in on the Internet and the high-profile media exposure it receives is just awesome.”
Pegram caught two bass weighing 9-7 Wednesday while fishing with pro Frank Jordan, Jr. of Bainbridge, Ga., to open the tournament in fourth place. He then caught one bass weighing 1-0 and slid to 13th place Thursday while fishing with pro Morris Nix of Marietta, Ga. On Friday he added four more bass weighing 14-5 to make the top 10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Gary Thompson of Hiram, Ga. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with one bass weighing 6-8 while fishing with pro Pugh.
The majority of Pegram’s fish the first three days of competition came on a Rat-L-Trap fished over grass. However, fishing with Pugh, Pegram had to change tactics Saturday. Pugh was flipping, and Pegram rigged a Gambler BB Cricket with a 1-ounce weight.
“I was flipping that Cricket up high and punching it through the mat,” Pegram said. “I watched Greg for a minute or two and figured out how to do it and quickly got the hang of it.”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Donald Roberts of Riverside, Ala. (14 bass, 26-9, $4,000); Gene Crossway of Callahan, Fla. (nine bass, 22-2, $3,250); Jimmy Anderson of Davie, Fla. (six bass, 22-0, $2,500); and Reginald Pickett of Greensboro, N.C. (six bass, 17-13, $2,000).
Pegram caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday – a 6-pound, 9-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $148.
Overall there were 12 bass weighing 36 pounds, 10 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included no five-bass limits.
The next Stren Series Southeast Division event, hosted by the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, will be held March 7-10 on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala. Boats will launch from Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula, Ala., and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 1252 S. Eufaula Ave. in Eufaula, Ala.
After four qualifying events are complete in each of the Stren Series’ five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 for a shot at $140,000. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 238 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.