Davis Goes Wire to Wire on Day 3

by Dan O’Sullivan

Elimination Day 3 of the Jack Link’s Major League Fishing 2013 General Tire Summit Cup on Chautauqua Lake would prove to be one of the more dynamic of the first three days. While the first two days were contested on complete opposite ends of the lake, and featured opposite spectrums of weather, this round would feature the most diversity of fishing results.

Contested in Zone 5, an area that featured a vastness of shoreline docks, like most of Chautauqua Lake does, but also had its share of rock piles and inlets, mixed in with marinas. On its Eastern shore, the zone had a few coves that featured steeper banks with more flats and subtle depth changes on the Western shore.

As diverse as the fishery was for the day, the final elimination day would feature a wide variety of anglers, with much different technique specialties. It would prove to be a day that would show anglers fishing at opposite ends of the performance spectrum, all in the same day. But, that is fishing, one day you're the hero, and the next day, the zero.

Like the previous two elimination days, the final day would be a hard fought battle between some of the best competitors. Among the field would be Bassmaster and FLW Tour Champions. The field would consist of Mark Davis, from Mt. Ida, Ark., Boyd Duckett from Guntersville, Ala., Brent Ehrler from Redlands, Calif., Alton Jones from Lorena, Texas, Bobby Lane from Lakeland, Fla., Jason Quinn from York, S.C., Terry Scroggins from Palatka, Fla., and Byron Velvick from Del Rio, Tex.

Like the fields of Days 1 and 2, Elimination Day 3 held an impressive set of credentials. Among the field, they have registered 25 Bassmaster wins, three Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles, 55 Bassmaster Classic appearances and three Bassmaster Classic victories. They also had 10 FLW victories, an FLW Angler of the Year, 16 trips to the Forrest Wood Cup and one Forrest Wood Cup Championship. Altogether, the group had earned $8,632,985 in B.A.S.S. competition and another $3,067,839 in FLW events.

One interesting wrinkle to this round was that two anglers, Velvick and Ehrler would both be fishing injured. While Velvick was still in recovery from cervical surgery that had forced him to take 2011 off, he had also sustained a lower back injury that was proving to be less than comfortable. Ehrler was still recovering from an automobile accident that had left him with rib and forearm injuries. Both anglers would be performing at less than 100-percent capacity, but still vying to get through to the next round of the Summit Cup.

Period One

When the eight anglers in the field selected their fishing holes after their scouting period, it took 12 minutes for the first shot across the bow to be fired. Quinn decided to start his day on the Western shore with a spinnerbait, and posted a keeper to the leader board soon after. Surprisingly, it was the infirmed Velvick who would follow him three minutes later in the mouth of a marina with a small swimbait.

For the next 50 minutes, the pair would be the only anglers to post anything to the leader board until Davis broke through with his first keeper of the day. Davis, like Quinn, decided to start on the deeper docks on the Western side of the lake. He took a while to get started, but when he did, it was with authority. His first keeper all but erased the leads that Quinn and Velvick had established when it hit the scales at 3 pounds, 4 ounces, and he was on his way to a strong day.

Quinn would add a keeper then Jones would make his first appearance on the leader board. By the end of the period, only two more anglers, Scroggins and Ehrler would post keepers to the scoreboard. In all, 23 bass were posted to the leader board, most of them by Davis, who posted eight, and Quinn with five. With that in mind, Davis all but lapped the field with his 16-pound, 15-ounce, performance that nearly doubled Quinn at 9 pounds, 3 ounces. Scroggins, Velvick and Jones stood in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively, all with weights eclipsing 4 pounds. Ehrler landed in sixth place with 1 pound, 10 ounces. Duckett and Lane failed to post a keeper bass to the leader board.

Period Two

The second period began with Scroggins, who was fishing the event as a substitute, making his move on the field. While he started the period in third place, he quickly made his presence felt when he posted the first of six keepers for the period, six minutes after fishing began.

In fact, all of the anglers posted catches to the leader board in the second period. It seemed that the activity level of the fish had picked up, and with the anglers having the chance to begin to dial in to what the fish were doing, they managed to produce 32 keepers in the period.

While Scroggins managed to make a big move by adding 11 pounds, 6 ounces, to his total, he was not able to overcome Davis to take the lead. Davis fished steadily in the period, adding another 6 pounds, 8 ounces, to his total to hold the lead with 23 pounds, 7 ounces. He was followed by Scroggins with 16 pounds, 5 ounces, and Quinn stood in third with 15 pounds, 15 ounces. Battling the soreness of his injuries, Ehrler brought his total to 10 pounds even and stood in the fourth position. Jones was fifth with 8 pounds, 6 ounces; Duckett caught 7 pounds, 1 ounce, to land in sixth, followed by Velvick's 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and Lane with 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

Period Three

The final period would prove to be the busiest of the day, and would provide the most fireworks as well. While Lane was the first angler to post a small keeper Scroggins was once again the angler to light the fuse on the round when he slammed the day's biggest bass to the leader board like a bomb hitting a building. His 4-pound, 7-ounce largemouth seemingly sent a message that he was on the prowl for afternoon dominance.

He would prove to have a solid round, but three other anglers would set the pace for the afternoon. Davis would once again produce steadily enough to stay on top with a total of 28 pounds, 11 ounces. Quinn, and his 11-pound, 15-ounce third period performance would land him in second place with a total of 27 pounds, 14 ounces. Scroggins' total of 24 pounds, 8 ounces, would land him in third. The real fireworks would come from two anglers battling for the fourth and final qualifying position.

Jones and Lane would spend the afternoon leapfrogging each other in the standings. With both of them being in sight of each other for most of the final period, the pair proceeded to lob grenades at each other with scores being posted one after the other up until the final minute.

Lane had the best afternoon period when he posted 16 pounds, 7 ounces from 10 keepers, but was unable to overtake Jones. Jones prevailed over Lane for fourth place by 1 pound, 7 ounces, with a total of 23 pounds, 12 ounces. Lane ended the day with 22 pounds, 5 ounces, followed by Duckett at 13 pounds, 11 ounces.

With the discomfort of their injuries taking their toll, Ehrler and Velvick both failed to produce a keeper in the final round and finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Davis, Quinn, Scroggins and Jones join eight other advancing anglers in the Sudden Death semifinal rounds with hopes of moving on to the finals and having a chance of being named the 2013 General Tire Summit Cup Champion.

Angler Weight (lbs) Total Fish Avg Weight (lbs) Biggest Fish (lbs) Smallest Fish (lbs)
Mark Davis 28 lb 11 oz 19 1 lb 08 oz 3 lb 04 oz 0 lb 13 oz
Jason Quinn 27 lb 14 oz 17 1 lb 10 oz 2 lb 14 oz 0 lb 11 oz
Terry Scroggins 24 lb 08 oz 12 2 lb 01 oz 4 lb 07 oz 0 lb 14 oz
Alton Jones 23 lb 12 oz 13 1 lb 13 oz 4 lb 05 oz 1 lb 00 oz
Bobby Lane 22 lb 05 oz 14 1 lb 10 oz 2 lb 15 oz 0 lb 12 oz
Boyd Duckett 13 lb 11 oz 7 1 lb 15 oz 3 lb 04 oz 1 lb 02 oz
Brent Ehrler 10 lb 00 oz 6 1 lb 11 oz 3 lb 04 oz 0 lb 14 oz
Byron Velvick 6 lb 15 oz 5 1 lb 06 oz 1 lb 15 oz 0 lb 11 oz