Couch seated in first at Guntersville - Major League Fishing

Couch seated in first at Guntersville

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Pro Tony Couch of Buckhead, Ga., leads the Eastern Division EverStart on Guntersville Lake after day one with 21 pounds, 5 ounces. Photo by Rob Newell. Angler: Tony Couch.
Tony Couch leads prolific EverStart Series Eastern Division event
May 19, 2004 • Rob Newell • Toyota Series

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Guntersville is full of green – green fish, that is.

At the day-one weigh-in of the EverStart Series Eastern Division event, hefty sacks of bass were plentiful in both the Pro and Co-angler divisions.

Leading the event is Tony Couch of Buckhead, Ga., with 21 pounds, 5 ounces.

Couch is known for his slow, methodical approach, and it was the right combination for Guntersville’s postspawn bass today.

“I caught 10 keepers today, which is amazing because I haven’t caught 10 keepers all week,” Coach said. “They are all postspawn bass, and I’m catching them pretty shallow on a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm.”

Couch scratched out a limit early, but it was his last stop that produced pay dirt.

“At the end of the day, I hit one little stretch and culled four times,” he added.

Pro George Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., is in second place with 20 pounds, 10 ounces.Alexander in second

George Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., holds down second place with 20 pounds, 10 ounces.

“Things started kind of slow for me this morning, and around noon I made a 20-mile run to a completely different area,” he said. “I could actually see these fish, but they weren’t spawning. They were just kind of cruising up and down a grass line, so I backed way off, made long casts and caught them.”

Pro Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., is in third place with 20 pounds, 4 ounces.Gettys in third

Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., is in third with 20 pounds, 4 ounces.

Gettys is a well-known local pro on Guntersville Lake who has won several national events here, including the 2002 EverStart event.

Fisher in fourth

Pat Fisher of Dacula, Ga., is in fourth place with 20 pounds, 3 ounces.Snickers pro Pat Fisher of Dacula, Ga., is in fourth with 20 pounds, 3 ounces.

Fisher says his fish depend on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s current-generation schedule.

“I can catch 12 to 15 pounds on top-water, but I need them to pull current to catch the big ones,” he said. “When they started pulling it at about noon today, I ran to my best spot and caught three 4-pounders. They are scheduled to pull more current tomorrow so the bite might be even better.”

Jones and Nunnelley tied for fifth

Joe Jones of Albertville, Ala., and Phillip Nunnelley of Cullman, Ala., are both in fifth place with 19 pounds, 14 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 after day one are Jim Short of Ocean Pines, Md., in seventh place with 19 pounds, 8 ounces; Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, in eighth place with 18 pounds, 15 ounces; Eric Jason Bailey of Robbins, N.C., with the day-one big bass in the Pro Division weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces.Wilborn of Boaz, Ala., in ninth place with 18 pounds, 11 ounces; and Micah Bennet of Summerville, S.C., in 10th place with 18 pounds, 10 ounces.

Big bass

Jason Bailey of Robbins, N.C., caught the biggest bass in the Pro Division on day one. His bass weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and netted him $750.

Pro stats

As an indicator off how good the fishing was on Guntersville Lake today, there were 93 limits caught (15-inch size limit), only 10 zeroes and the top-20 cut is 16 pounds, 10 ounces.

Michi Oba of Tokyo, Japan, leads the Co-angler Division of the Eastern Division EverStart on Guntersville Lake after day one with 18 pounds, 9 ounces.Oba leads co-anglers

Michi Oba of Tokyo, Japan, leads the Co-angler Division after day one with 18 pounds, 9 ounces.

Oba had a real treat today when he was paired with well-known local Edward Gettys, who is currently in third.

“We fished open water, mostly humps,” he said. “It was good because I could cast anywhere. I caught most of them on a Carolina rig.”

Co-angler Stephen Semelsberger of Mt. Airy, Md., is in second place with 17 pounds, 5 ounces. He also had the co-angler big bass on day one which weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces.Stephen Semelsberger of Mt. Airy, Md., is in second place with 17 pounds, 5 ounces. His stringer was anchored by the day-one big bass in the Co-angler Division, which weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces.

Roger Phillips of Delta, Ala., is in third place with 17 pounds, 3 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one are Jeff Taylor of Vernon, Ala., in fourth place with 15 pounds, 8 ounces; Darin Mitchell of Rutledge, Ga., in fifth place with 15 pounds, 4 ounces; Kelly Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., in sixth place with 15 pounds, 1 ounce; Kevin Wright of Andalusia, Ala., in seventh place with 14 pounds, 14 ounces; Mike Devere of Berea, Ky., in eighth place with 14 pounds, 12 ounces; Steve McKnabb of Bunnlevel, N.C., in ninth place with 13 pounds, 14 ounces; Tommy Carpenter of Senoia, Ga., in 10th place with 13 pounds, 11 ounces.

Co-angler stats

In the Co-angler Division there were 29 limits, and the top-20 cut is 12 pounds, 1 ounce.

Day-two action begins tomorrow at Lake Guntersville State Park at 6 a.m. Central.