GILBERTSVILLE, Ky., - Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., landed $50,000 in cash and prizes Saturday for winning the EverStart Series Central Division tournament on Kentucky Lake with 5 bass weighing 14 pounds, 1ounce. Kreiger survived four days of competition to claim victory over 165 competitors in the Pro Division.
During the final round, he successfully caught bass using an 8 inch Zoom lizard and a homemade plug given to him by fellow angler Craig Powers. He fished isolated, small pockets around willow trees close to buck brush to boat his winning limit. He made the semifinal round cut to the top 30 pros Thursday in fourth place with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces. Catch weights were cleared for all competitors at the start of the semifinal and final rounds.
"This has been an awesome week. My father passed away last week and I wasn't sure I could do this. This win, I am dedicating to him," Kreiger said after winning $15,000 cash and a new Mercury-or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat.
Second through fifth place in the Pro Division went to Shawn Penn of Benton, Ky., with 5 bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce worth $10,000; John Kramer of Labadie, Mo., with 5 bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces worth $9,000; Terry Bolton, of Paducah, Ky., with 5 bass weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces worth $8,000; and Bill Smith of Prestonburg, Ky., with 5 bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces worth $7,500.
Jerry Wade of Indianapolis, Ind., claimed first place in the 165-person Co-Angler Division and collected $6,000 with 4 bass weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces. Tony Mcmanus of Madisonville, Ky., finished second and collected $4,000 with 2 bass weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers were Scott Jones of Louisville, Ky., with 2 bass weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces worth $3,500; Ken Keys of Evansville, Ind., with 2 bass weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce worth $3,000; and Richard Rhodes of Calvert city, Ky., with 1 bass weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces worth $2,500.
A total of 49 bass were caught Saturday including six five-bass limits. One hundred percent of the bass were released alive.
The tournament began Wednesday with 330 anglers taking off from Moors Resort to claim a piece of the event's $185,000 purse. Lake Ferguson near Greenville, Miss., will be the fourth and final Central Division EverStart Series stop June 6-9.
The 4-year-old EverStart Series now includes three divisions-Eastern, Central and Northern-with four events each plus a year-end championship. Tournament winners and the top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers from each division will earn a spot in the championship, which will be held Nov. 7-10 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. There, the winning pro will receive a Mercury-or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat and $25,000 cash. The winning co-angler will receive a Mercury-or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat and $10,000 cash. More than $2.5 million will be awarded during the 2001 EverStart Series season. The series also provides a pathway to the $4.45 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour-bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series.