Kreiger claims EverStart lead on Guntersville Lake - Major League Fishing

Kreiger claims EverStart lead on Guntersville Lake

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Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., used a 16-pound, 7-ounce catch to grab the lead in the Pro Division heading into the final round of competition. Photo by Gary Mortenson. Angler: Koby Kreiger.
June 7, 2002 • Gary Mortenson • Toyota Series

Taylor takes top spot in Co-angler Division

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – With 10 EverStart top-10 finishes, four FLW top-10 finishes, three BFL top-10 finishes and one Ranger M1 top-10 finish to his credit since 1997, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Koby Kreiger found himself atop the leaderboard in this week’s EverStart tournament on Guntersville Lake. Well, today was that day. Using a catch of 16 pounds, 7 ounces, Kreiger grabbed the lead and the No. 1 qualifying position heading into tomorrow’s finals – giving him yet another top-10 berth to go with his previous 18 final-day appearances.

And, as usual, he did it with relative ease.

“I had a limit by 9:30 a.m., and I knew I had enough to make the cut, so I just went practicing for the rest of the day,” said Kreiger, a resident of Osceola, Ind. “Over the course of the afternoon, I found another three or four spots that I didn’t have before. Now whether or not they’ll produce tomorrow, I don’t know. But at least I have some more water to fish.”

Despite his past accomplishments, Kreiger said that it’s always a huge bonus to qualify for the finals.

“It’s always a great feeling to make it to the last day because that’s what you’re fishing for,” he said. “My goal each day is just to make it to the next day. And if you’re lucky, you make the finals and give yourself a chance to win it all. That’s all you can ask for.”

Kreiger said he has fished the same strategy virtually every day – using top-water baits in the early morning hours and then switching over to a flipping bite, targeting largemouth bass in grass with a Zoom Dead-ringer Junebug worm in about 6 feet of water. It is a strategy that has paid big dividends so far.

“I’m just going to go out there and go fishing tomorrow,” he said. “But if the conditions are right, I could have a pretty good stringer pretty quick. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

If Kreiger’s track record is any indication, we might already know the answer.

Captain Morgan sails into second place

For the third day in a row, Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., demonstrated why consistency – and not flashy one-day stringers – is the key to winning professional bass fishing tournaments. While Morgan has failed to finish atop the leaderboard so far this week, his weights over the last three days – 17 pounds, 10 ounces; 17 pounds, 9 ounces; and 15 pounds, 8 ounces – were strong enough on average to propel him to second place in the Pro Division heading into the final round of competition.

However, now that he’s reached the finals, Morgan said it’s finally time to crank it up a few notches.

“Consistency is really important in bass fishing. That’s what got me here,” said Morgan. “But now that I’m in the top 10, I’m going for broke tomorrow. Because you don’t get too many chances to win one of these things. And when you do, you have to go for it.”

Morgan, who is targeting grass in about 8 to 12 feet of water with spinner baits and 10-inch worms, said he is optimistic about his chances of walking away with the title.

“It’s just been an awesome week for me.” said Morgan. “I’ve saved two of my good spots all week and hopefully they’ll pan out tomorrow. I really feel good about my chances.”

However, no matter what happens tomorrow, Morgan said he wouldn’t forget his experience on Guntersville Lake anytime soon.

“This is the best lake in the country right now, bar none,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of fun so far.”

Best of the rest

In third place at the end of today’s events was EverStart pro rookie Michael Brown of Chatsworth, Ga., who turned in a catch of 13 pounds, 14 ounces.

Fourth place belonged to Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., who recorded a catch of 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Amazingly, over the past three days, Gettys has finished no lower than fifth place and no higher than fourth place.

Rick Couch of Ocala, Fla., finished the day in the fifth qualifying position after landing a 12-pound, 9-ounce catch.

Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers were: Pat Fisher of Stone Mountain, Ga., in sixth place with a catch of 12 pounds, 8 ounces; Tommy Chumley of Jasper, Ga., in seventh with a catch of 11 pounds, 5 ounces; Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., in eighth with a catch of 10 pounds, 14 ounces; Scott Sills of Dahlonega, Ga., in ninght with a catch of 10 pounds, 11 ounces; and Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., in tenth with a catch of 10 pounds, 10 ounces.

Co-angler lead is Taylor made for Alabama native

Apparently, second place in the year-end Eastern Division points race isn’t good enough for Jeff Taylor. Using a 13-pound, 15-ounce catch, Taylor not only took over the lead in the Co-angler Division heading into tomorrow’s final round of competition, but he also put himself in perfect position to make a run at the points title. Although Ken Karoll finished the tournament in 17th place and still has the inside track to the year-end title with 726 points, a win tomorrow would give Taylor 727 points. A second-place finish would allow Taylor to tie Karrol for the title as well.

“I had a great day,” said Taylor. “I was catching fish in flurries all day. I knew coming back to weigh in that I’d make the cut, but I really didn’t think I’d finish in first place.”

With the top prize of $6,000 and an Eastern Division point’s title on the line during tomorrow’s competition, Taylor undoubtedly will have a lot on his mind for the remainder of the tournament.

“Winning that title would definitely be a pat on the back for me,” said Taylor. “It’s something you can carry with you forever. And that’s nice.”

For now, however, Taylor said he is concentrating on one thing: coming in first place in tomorrow’s competition.

“I’m glad I’m leading the tournament right now, but the most important thing is that I get to fish tomorrow,” he said. “I know what the fish are biting on and I’m going to stick with that game plan tomorrow. And as long as you’re out there with your bait in the water, you have a chance to win.”

For the record, Taylor said he has been targeting grass beds in 6 to 10 feet of water with a combination of top-water baits and Texas-rigged worms.

Best of the rest

Finishing the day in second place was Alan Paczkowski of Henrico, N.C., with a catch of 10 pounds, 1 ounce. Taking third place was Ron Figueroa of Appling, Ga., with a catch of 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

Harry Cowley of Birmingham, Ala., used a 9-pound, 2-ounce catch to grab the fourth qualifying position while David Parks of Decatur, Ala., took the fifth spot with an 8-pound, 15-ounce catch.

Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers were: Legrant Scott of Tucker, Ga., in sixth place with a catch of 8 pounds, 7 ounces; Joshua Vest of Okeechobee, Fla., in seventh with a catch of 8 pounds, 6 ounces; Lance Henderson of Fort Ogden, Fla., in eighth with a catch of 7 pounds, 3 ounces; Brad May of Regina, Ky., in ninght with a catch of 6 pounds, 14 ounces; and Roy Altman Jr. of Augusta, Ga., in tenth with a catch of 6 pounds, 12 ounces.

Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled to take place at 5:30 a.m. at Guntersville State Park, located at 1155 Lodge Drive in Guntersville, Ala.

Related links:

Results of day-three pairings
Day-four pairings
Press release