Ryan Scores EverStart Victory
Missouri pro David Ryan weighed the heaviest bag of the final round.David A. Brown
David Ryan of Levasy, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Ryan earned $32,917.
"I've fished tournaments a long time and had near-misses before at big events and this is really tremendous," said Ryan. "I'm super happy."
Ryan was on quality fish throughout the course of the tournament and said he caught 12 to 15 keepers the first day of competition and 20 on the second day and was fairly confident of his chances of nabbing a win on Saturday.
"I think I caught over 15 keepers today, and when I caught the 5-pounder I really thought that would solidify it," said Ryan. "I knew the (leaders) were going to have to catch them in order to win. I had put enough pressure on them in my mind that they were really going to have to catch them in order to beat me. But you always have that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you need one more. I was fortunate today, and what I caught today was enough."
Ryan said he was fishing a "classic staging-area pattern" over a 10- to 12-mile stretch of water and fished a custom-painted suspending jerkbait on steep banks to catch his limits during the tournament.
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
- 2nd: Dan Brueggemann, Antioch, Ill., 15 bass, 51-8, $11,286
- 3rd: Roy Hawk, Salt Lake City, Utah, 15 bass, 49-7, $9,405
- 4th: Matthew Jones, Spokane, Mo., 15 bass, 48-7, $8,464
- 5th: Peter Wenners, Galena, Mo., 15 bass, 45-13, $7,524
- 6th: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., 15 bass, 44-1, $6,583
- 7th: James Stamper, Montreal, Mo., 14 bass, 41-15, $5,643
- 8th: Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan, Rogers, Ark., 13 bass, 36-13, $4,702
- 9th: Randall Hutson, Washburn, Mo., 12 bass, 36-10, $3,762
- 10th: Earl Garrison, Bull Shoals, Ark., 12 bass, 36-4, $2,821
Jones caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday - a 6-pound, 13-ounce bass - that earned him the day's EverStart Series Big Bass award of $272.
Seventeen-year-old Kenny McGar of Crofton, Ky., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 31 pounds, 3 ounces.
"This is awesome," said McGar. "It feels great. I'm on top of the world right now.
"I've won a couple of small tournaments in the past, but this is my first big tournament," McGar added.
McGar said he caught his two keepers Saturday shallow cranking - the same method he employed on Friday. McGar began the tournament Thursday fishing a jerkbait. McGar said he had never fished a jerkbait before Saturday's competition.
"Those were my weapons of bass destruction for the weekend," said McGar.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
- 2nd: Rick Carden, Cuba, Mo., 13 bass, 30-6, $4,296
- 3rd: Marty Bohlke Jr., Nixa, Mo., nine bass, 26-9, $3,818
- 4th: John Kite, Festus, Mo., 10 bass, 26-4, $3,341
- 5th: Dave Epema, Jefferson City, Mo., nine bass, 25-7, $2,864
- 6th: Chris Gable, Eddyville, Ky., 11 bass, 25-2, $2,387
- 7th: Jim Banks, Lamar, Mo., 10 bass, 24-13, $1,909
- 8th: Ricky Watkins, Springdale, Ark., 11 bass, 24-12, $1,432
- 9th: Sunny Hawk, Salt Lake City, Utah, eight bass, 24-3, $955
- 10th: Gary Smith, South West City, Mo., 10 bass, 23-10, $764
Epema caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Friday - a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass - that earned him the day's EverStart Series Big Bass award of $181.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.
The next EverStart Series Central Division tournament will be March 31-April 2 at Kentucky/Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, Ky., and is hosted by the Marshall County Tourist Commission.