Koby Kreiger became the first two-time winner of the EverStart Championship on Sunday as he caught a 9-05 bag from the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. to prevail by nearly 4 pounds over runner-up Kent Ware. His 4-day total was 38-05.
The Floridian claimed a prize package that includes $50,000 plus a new Ranger boat. He also gained a berth in next year's Forrest Wood Cup.
"It took a lot of hard work to get here,” he said. “I was predominantly fishing the river for as many bites as I could get – it was tough catching anything big. I tried fishing the bayous a little bit but the quantity of bites was not there and knew I would be better off on the river.
“On the last day of practice my partner and I headed towards the Columbia Lock. You could see the shad on just about any piece of wood. When I figured that pattern out I pretty much had my game plan. I used War Eagle spinnerbaits, CP1 or CP2 crankbaits and a Mini-Frenzy umbrella rig to catch all my fish this week. The river was about 50 feet deep where I was fishing and the bass were suspending in about 7 or 8 feet of water.
“Making next year’s Forrest Wood Cup definitely takes a lot of pressure off,” he continued. “It’s a big feat; however, I won’t fish any differently than I normally would during the season.”
Brandon Medlock, who'd weighed sacks that climbed well into double digits on the previous 2 days to climb to 2nd place, managed just two fish for less than 2 1/2 pounds on day 4 and finished 8th.
Details of Kreiger's winning pattern will be posted soon. Here are the final totals for the Top 10:
1. Koby Kreiger: 38-05
2. Kent Ware: 34-06
3. James Stricklin Jr.: 32-08
4. Joseph Kremer: 32-00
5. Casey Martin: 31-13
6. Bill Chapman: 31-11
7. Larry Jones: 31-04
8. Brandon Medlock: 30-14
9. Robbie Dodson: 30-14
10. Dan Morehead: 30-09