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I just fished the Everstart as a co-angler and it was quite an adventure.

The Pre-meeting was held at Elizabeth Park. Lots of displays and even some freebies. I met my partner for the first day. Christian Romans from Kentucky. He had already qualified for the Everstart Championship through the central division, so he was here for the money. ( his quote ).

Day 1.

Up at 3:30 a.m. Stop at the local doughnut shop for coffee and food. Christian had gotten a slip at the marina so the boat was already in the water. After boat check we tied up and got acquainted. He had been here all week and figured he had a good plan. We were boat 158 so we had a little wait after the start. Off we went East 38 miles into Lake Erie in 1-3 foot waves. His Ranger 520 rode like a Cadillac. First stop was a rock pile. There were already a couple of boats there. Lots of Sheep Head, not to many bass. After an hour we were off to the east side of Peele Island. Another 20 some miles in rough water. By now I was beginning to like the new Ranger seats. A couple of Advill and I am ready to go. We hit a few spots and Christian picked up 2 keepers. That was it for the day. We headed back stopping on the way but did not get a bite. Total for the day. Christian 2, me 0.
I met Ted Angers my boater for day 2. Long ride home in traffic. Sunburned and a little woozy from the rocking all day.

Day 2.

Up at 3:00 since we were in the second flight. Stop at the doughnut shop for more coffee for the ride there. Meet Ted in the lot and got the boat in the water. We were boat 44 so off we go. The fist stop Ted lands 3 keepers right off the bat. I get some good net practice, but that is about it. The waves were still big in the morning. We make a short run but nothing there. He decides to make a little longer run to a new spot. We have a few bites and catch a sheep head. My fun meter is on low so it is time for something different. I dig in my bag and get out a tube I used last year. It is a Yamamoto green with gold flake A few casts and I hook one. It is a keeper. A few casts later I get a nice one. Then right after that I snag up, pop it loose and wham a 3 ¾ grabs on. Ted is about to toss me out of the boat. He does catch another keeper to give him 4 fish. I finish out my limit about 1:00. Since he needed one more fish for a limit I switched to crank baits and casted straight off the back of the boat. We figured how long the run back would be so he could max fish time. We started back and stopped at a spot for a few minutes. He worked hard to get the last one with no luck. The weigh in is very well run. You still have to wait for bags, but the tank line is covered and they have cold drinks in coolers even bleacher for the spectators.
I weigh 12lb 13 oz. Which is a lot better than day one.

Looking at my map I figured I traveled about 150 miles for the 2 days.

Overall it was a great week. Both boaters were great partners. lots of laughs.
 

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Yeah Erie was a tough bite. I mainly fished the North shore from Colchester to Lemmington and had only 1 keep and 3 shorts to show for it by 2pm. Stopped a few miles outside the Detroit River with 20mins to go on day 1 and nailed 2 more keeps and 2 more shorts. Partner also got 2 keepers. 3 fish and 7lbs was my day 1 score.

Day 2 I planned on running to my home waters of St. Clair, I just could not bare the Erie bite for another day. After meeting my co-angler in the moring I changed my mind. He was an ex-Vietnam war vet with a prostectic leg. He could barely move around. He was also sitting in 10th place on the co side after day 1. I knew if I went where I wanted to go to get a big bag on Clair he would have no chance. The the wind was blowing pretty good in the morning and didn't want to beat him up on a long ride. I had no chance of making the cut and would need a solid day to cash a check. While he was sitting in a good position. So turned my focus on my co and at the last minuted I pointed the boat South again and headed to where we got the quick bites late yesterday. I figured we could at least get 12lb limits pretty quick. Which would keep him in the top 20. First 2 drifts and we had 3 keepers and 3 shorts to show for our efforts. I was very pleased with my decision at that point. I just wanted my co to stay in the top 20. After that we the well went dry. Wind laid down in the afternoon and I managed just 2 more shorts the rest of the day. By far the toughest tournament I've ever fished. Just glad it is over.
 

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ALEX:

"He was an ex-Vietnam war vet with a prostectic leg".

"So turned my focus on my co and at the last minuted I pointed the boat South again and headed to where we got the quick bites late yesterday. I figured we could at least get 12lb limits pretty quick. Which would keep him in the top 20".

Great , just great man. I'm sure he thanked you. I hope lots of folks read this.
 

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Alex,

I had a similar situation with my Co on day-2, not as good as your story but worth sharing.

Day-1 was brutal, the south wind killed my river spots so I made the long run to Pelee to no avail. Ran back to the North shore for the last hour and picked up a small limit 10-3. My day-2 partner was sitting in 27th position so my main goal was to get him into the semi-finals. We hit a few spots along the way but made it to my North shore spot by 8:00 AM. At 12:30 PM I had 5 and my Co had 4. I asked him nicely to catch his 5th fish so we could try some river spots for the last hour
. I told him if he caught 1 more he'd be in the top 20 for sure, at 1:00 PM he hooked up with a 3 1/2 pounder and started getting all religious, Lord, Lord, Lord please don't come off!!!
. After netting his fish the only way I can describe his reaction is a cross between Mike Iaconelli and the funky chicken, it was awesome! His 5 went 14-9 and my 5 went 11-14, needless to say he got the bigger bites.

My co didn't make the top 10 but I did receive a call from him today thanking me for a good day on the water. I missed a check by 10 oz, a 1-pound dead fish penalty cost me big time.

Lastly I just wanted to congratulation Jim & Trevor, great job! With all the kicker money Jim really cleaned up, good day at the office!
 

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I had a good first day on St. Clair with a very nice guy, Tony Difilipo. Weighed 11.13 with only 4 fish. He had 15.1. I believe. I was sitting in 20th place. Alas my second day partner was not on fish. A friend of his gave him some LM locations we could try. I managed 3 fish for 7.5lbs. He had 2. I did cash a nice check for 31st place. Better than a sharp stick.
 

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Alex you are "da man"!! I want to be a non-boater with you.

I wanted to make the weigh-in on Saturday, but couldn't due to a family obligation. Do they do the weigh-in, shoot out style like an FLW outdoors event? Is it in a tent with the guys in the boats?
 

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I went to the weigh-in and was disappointed. Maybe I was thinking of the FLW weigh-in from a few years ago.

They brought the co-anglers up from 10 to first place and weighed there fish. The leader would then stay on stage until they were bumped off. Each person would then get a chance to say something about their day. Basically the same for the boaters.

If you figure that they had to check in by 2:30, then trailer to the weigh-in which began at 3:30. That is one hour that the fish sat in the livewells with no new water. Now add another hour for the weigh-in that is two hours until they were put back into the release boat. Who knows how long it took them to get the fish back to the water. Good thing there is only 20 anglers at this as I would suspect many of these fish don't make it back alive.

I ran into Tony D. at the gas station by my house Thursday evening. I think he said that he was 1 pound from making the cut and needed a good day.
 
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