Starting at zero - Major League Fishing

Starting at zero

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Yesterday's leaders, pro Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., and co-angler Gerald Smith of Louisville, Ky., are all smiles this morning. Photo by Rob Newell. Anglers: Chad Morgenthaler, Gerald Smith.
Top 20 starts from scratch on day three of EverStart Series Eastern event on Lake Okeechobee
January 9, 2004 • Rob Newell • Toyota Series

OKEECHOBEE CITY, Fla. – For 12 brief hours, Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., led the EverStart Eastern on Lake Okeechobee. Now he is back to zero like the other top 20 pros who will go out and try to make the top-10 cut today.

Today will be the nicest fishing day of the four-day event. Light winds and warm sunshine are in the forecast. Last-flight anglers at yesterday’s weigh-in reported a marked increase in fish activity towards the end of the day. The high pressure and cooler temperatures of the Tuesday’s frontal passage has worn off and chances are the fish are going to eat well before the next front passes through tomorrow.

The nice weather also brought whispers among the competitors about making long runs to the south end of the big lake. Anglers were confined by windy conditions on Wednesday, but were able to move around more yesterday.

Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., makes a few last minute adjustments before launch.Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., was one of those anglers able to move around yesterday and it aided him in catching nearly 20 pounds of bass.

“I’m going to make a long run and try to stay put today,” he said this morning. “The conditions should be better for sight-fishing.”

Today’s weigh-in for the top 20 pros and co-anglers starts at 4 p.m. at the Okeechobee City Wal-Mart Super Center.

Friday’s conditions

Sunrise: 6:50 a.m.

Air temperature: 50 degrees

Water temperature: 65 degrees

Relative humidity: 100 percent

Wind: from the southwest at 5 to 10 mph

Day’s outlook: sunny and 75 degrees