GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Paul Palmer of Madisonville, Tenn., fished his first EverStart Series event this week and emerged victorious, taking home a new Ranger Z117 for a three-day total of 38 pounds, 10 ounces.
On day one, things were not looking so great for Palmer. He caught a single keeper weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces, which put him in 103rd place.
But on day two, Palmer drew out local pro Johnny Patterson and with that his luck changed, substantially, as Palmer wrestled in 26 pounds, 6 ounces of Guntersville bass to rocket into 7th place.
On the final day, Palmer fished with pro Rick Williams and caught four bass for 9 pounds, 12 ounces, not exactly the blistering bag needed to light up the weigh-in stage at Guntersville, but good enough to take the lead. And as each co-angler mounted the stage to try to dethrone him, no one had enough weight to do so and Palmer nabbed victory.
“This is my first FLW event,” Palmer said. “I’ve never won one like this before so I really don’t know how to feel. All I know is I can’t wait to call my family and tell them about it.”
Palmer struck Guntersville gold on day two with two swimbaits: a 5-1/2-inch Shadalicious rigged on a ¾-ounce jighead and a Zoom Swimming Fluke rigged on a ½-ounce jighead.
“I really have to thank Johnny for that day and putting me in the right area,” Palmer said. “He is a great guy and he certainly had found a pile of fish.”
When things got tough on day three, Palmer resorted to his “goto” lure: a ½-ounce All Terrain Tackle football jig teamed with a Zoom Swimming chunk.
“I caught the first two today on the Shadalicious,” he said. “Things got slow so I pulled out the tried and true All Terrain jig and caught two more, which put me over the top.”
Scott Ostmann of Cincinnati, Ohio, finished second with a three-day total of 38 pounds, 7 ounces worth $5,000.
Ostmann got a Guntersville thrill on day one when he caught a 9-pound, 2-ounce brute to get things started right. That fish was fooled by a ½-ounce football jig in a color called “Guntersville Special” teamed with an Okeechobee craw.
On day two he fished an XR-50 One-Knocker lipless bait in Rayburn Red to accumulate 16 pounds, 2 ounces.
Today he caught two bass weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces on a Buckeye Hand-poured swimbait on a 1-ounce jighead.
Jim Austin of Lithonia, Ga., finished third with three-day total of 36 pounds, 6 ounces for $4,000.
Clay, Boyd round out the top five
Matthew Clay of Madisonville, Tenn., finished fourth with a three-day total of 35-12 worth $3,500.
Wayne Boyd of Rome, Ga., rounded out the top five with a three-day total of 34 pounds, worth $3,000.
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the EverStart Series event on Lake Guntersville:
6th: Darren Jeter of Marshall, N.C., three-day total of 32-13 $2,500
7th: Scott Towry of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., three-day total of 31-9 $2,000
8th: Nick Cupps of Decatur, Ala., three-day total of 28-12, $1,500
9th: Ethan Cox of West End, N.C., three-day total of 26-11, $1,000
10th: Austin Spurlin of Hogansville, Ga., three-day total of 26-8, $800