Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the EverStart Series Southeast Division event presented by Mercury on Pickwick Lake with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Pickett earned $34,783 and a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor.
“I kind of figured out that all the boat pressure from the last three weeks had pushed the fish down,” Pickett said. “And then the water temperature came up about 18 degrees a couple of weeks ago and it kind of clued me in that the fish had gone really deep. A lot of the guys had their boats sitting on top of where the fish were holding.”
Pickett said many competitors were sitting in 20 to 25 feet of water and casting to a depth of 12 to 15 feet, but Pickett did the exact opposite. Pickett said he relied on a Carolina rig tipped with a creature bait or a worm 95 percent of the time during the tournament and targeted deep tree stumps and pea gravel beds. Pickett said he also employed a Strike King 6XD Sexy Shad deep-diving crankbait to catch his fish.
Pickett led the tournament the first two days of competition and had almost a 13 ½-pound lead going into the final day of competition but felt no comfort in that fact.
“I’ve fished enough of these to know with a big lead like that anything can go wrong,” Pickett said. “You can go out and zero or you can go out and have boat problems, so I was nervous the whole day. I had a 29-pound bag yesterday. This is one of those lakes where anybody can pull up to the right set of boulders or right set of deep stumps and walk away with a 30-pound bag.
“You never can count any one of these guys out,” Pickett continued. “I was nervous. My strategy was to go out and catch 16 or 17 pounds and make someone bring in 29 to 30 pounds.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros were:
2nd: Anthony Goggins, Auburn, Ala., 15 bass, 59-1, $11,926
3rd: Bobby Padgett, LaGrange, Ga., 15 bass, 56-11, $9,938
4th: Scott Mansfield, McKenzie, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-12, $8,944
5th: Matt Ferguson, Pontotoc, Miss., 15 bass, 50-8, $7,950
6th: Curt McGuire, Paris, Tenn., 15 bass, 49-14, $6,957
7th: William Davis, Sheffield, Ala., 15 bass, 48-14, $5,963
8th: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 15 bass, 48-2, $4,969
9th: Jeremy Utley, Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 46-0, $3,975
10th: Donny Beck, Killen, Ala., 15 bass, 39-13, $2,981
Pickett caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – an 8-pound, 5-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $296.
Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., won the Co-angler Division and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 58 pounds, 10 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers were:
2nd: Tim Cummings, Waynesboro, Tenn., 15 bass, 49-8, $4,458
3rd: Lyn Melton, Florence, Ala., 15 bass, 47-2, $3,987
4th: Daniel Hinkelman, Conyers, Ga., 15 bass, 43-1, $3,488
5th: T.J. Smith, Richmond, Ky., 15 bass, 42-11, $2,990
6th: Jason Smith, Killen, Ala., 15 bass, 41-14, $2,492
7th: Daniel Costley, Memphis, Tenn., 15 bass, 40-1, $1,993
8th: Justin Jones, Apex, N.C., 15 bass, 38-7, $1,495
9th: Robert Russell, Smyrna, Tenn., 15 bass, 35-4, $997
10th: Greg Sorrell, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 33-3, $797
Costley caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Thursday – an 8-pound, 7-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s EverStart Series Big Bass award of $197.
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.
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