Skeeter Eliminator Series Sinclair And Oconee Results

The Elite 8 make it through the first three rounds. The 64-angler non-boater tournament ends; they collect more than $14,000.

Brad Gill | April 1, 2007

Boaters who made the Elite 8 will fish head-to-head in Round 4. Those match-ups are (from left to right) Eugene Stinson vs. Mark Holloway (Seminole). Walter Green vs. Tim Vanegmond (Lanier). Butch Pitts vs. Jim Windham (West Point) and Patrick Brown vs. Mark Fortner (Clarks Hill).

Russ Ferguson (left) with R&R Outdoor Promotions was the tournament director for Rounds 1-3. Here, he lets Round 2 boats leave for the four-hour afternoon tournament.

Several anglers said their stomachs were tied in knots. Thoughts of fishing a four hour tournament against one other angler was fresh, new;
it was something that most weren’t sure how to prepare for. Go for a quick limit or look for one or two really good bites? Here’s a look at how the 64 boaters in GON’s Skeeter Eliminator Series narrowed themselves down to the Elite 8 in just two days.

Round 1: Anglers in this four-hour morning tournament blasted off from Sinclair’s Little River Park at safe light, and were told to begin checking in at 11 a.m. Sixty-four boaters were looking to win their heads-up matches, but only 32 would move on. Weather conditions were clear, but chilly, and the bite was expected to be slow; many anglers were hoping to make it to the afternoon round, where sunny skies and warmer water would surely make the fish turn on.

Buster Slocumb brought in the heaviest Round 1 sack of bass, a 12.93- lb. stringer, which was anchored with a 7.85-pounder — the biggest fish in Round 1. Buster received the Round 1 Boater Big Fish award and got a check for $220. Buster was one of only six anglers to bring a five-fish limit to the scale. Four boaters had four fish, 13 had three, 11 brought two, 15 weighed-in one and 15 boaters zeroed.

Round 1, Sinclair
Buster Slocumb
7.85 Pounds

Some big names were eliminated quickly. Mark Massey and David Millsaps, who both made it to the finals in last year’s GON Eliminator Series, zeroed. Mike Harris, Michael Johnson, Danny Hall, Benjie Cleary, Mike Echols, Billy Boothe, Carl Logan, Barry Stokes, all big names in the tournament arena, found themselves putting it on the trailer, eliminated from competition.

Round 2: In a four-hour afternoon tournament, 32 boaters were hoping for the chance to advance to Round 3.

Even though weather conditions were better, the fishing was tougher. The heaviest sack was only a 9.13-lb. bag caught by Mark Holloway. The next-heaviest bag was brought in by Jim Windham; his four fish weighed 7.05 pounds.

Big names continued to be eliminated: Buster Slocumb, Shawn Malcom, Kim Carver, David Mathews, Aaron Batson — all gone. The Round 2 Boater Big Fish check went to Tim Moore. His 5.19-lb. bass was worth $330.

Round 2, Sinclair Big Fish: Tim Moore, 5.19 Pounds, $330

After Walter Green (right) beat Danny Hall in Round 1 he was set to face Shawn Malcom in Round 2. When blast-off time came, Walter’s boat wouldn’t crank. With some help from Larry Kitchens (left), Walter’s boat finally cranked. Walter beat Shawn in Round 2 and then went on to beat Robbie Sowash in Round 3, making it to the Elite 8. Walter faces Tim Vanegmond at Lanier in May 2007.

Round 3: Sixteen boaters remained, looking to win their head-to-head match and make the Elite 8, where they’d travel to one of four Round 4
lakes and automatically qualify for a money round. Round 3 was an all-day tournament at Lake Oconee; anglers were told to report back to Sugar Creek Marina at 3 p.m.

The morning started right for Patrick Brown, who caught the Boater Big Bass, a 6.45-pounder, on his second cast of the day at the Sugar Creek rip-rap. The fish was worth $380. Patrick’s limit of bass weighed 16.71 pounds, the heaviest sack seen during Rounds 1-3. This weight currently stands as the second-heaviest sack in Eliminator history — second only to David Millsaps’ 20-lb. stringer at West Point last year.

Round 3, Oconee, Patrick Brown, 6.45 Pounds, $380

Advancing to the Elite 8 along with Patrick were Mark Holloway, Eugene Stinson, Walter Green, Tim Vanegmond, Butch Pitts, Jim Windham and Mark Fortner.

Although eight anglers were eliminated in Round 3, four of them left with checks: Eric Perkins ($275), Jerry McCommon Jr. ($300), Lee Nunnally
($325) and Tim Moore ($350).

The coverage of this year’s Skeeter Eliminator Series is just getting started. For the remaining events, GON editors will be in the boat with the boaters, taking notes on how these guys try to become this year’s Skeeter Eliminator Series champ. We’ll provide you with a blow-by-blow in GON, but we’ll be updating the boater bracket at <> as Round 4 tournaments unravel.

In April, we’ll see Round 4 match-ups Mark Holloway vs. Eugene Stinson at Seminole and Patrick Brown vs. Mark Fortner on Clarks Hill.

Doug Watson felt like his $110 entry fee was a good investment. Not only did he win the non-boater division, which was worth $2,000, but he caught a 5.20-lb. largemouth that gave him the Non-boater Big Fish award in Round 3. Doug’s pay-day was $2,220… a super investment.

Winning the non-boater event was Doug Watson who weighed in 12.76 pounds; he won $2,000 for the heavy stringer. Doug also had Round 3’s Non-boater Big Fish, a hefty 5.20-pounder worth an additional $220.

Doug’s limit weighed 12.76 pounds, which, if you look at Round 3 boater and non-boater competitors, was the second-heaviest stringer of the day. Second place and $1,000 went to Ron Sutton, while Blake Atha earned $750 for third. Blake, 19, was fishing in only his second-ever tournament.

The non-boater tournament’s 100 percent payout structure paid 12 places out of the original 64 anglers; however, eight of the 16 anglers zeroed during Round 3. That meant those eight anglers all tied for 9th, and they split the 9th through 12th place prize pool, and each went home with $96.87.

The day before at Lake Sinclair, the Round 2 Non-boater Big Fish award went to Betty Logan with a 4.15-lb. bass. She collected $155.

Todd Whitaker earned the Nonboater Big Fish award in Round 1 with a 5.44-lb. largemouth, which earned him a check for $140.

For more information about Skeeter, including their sponsored tournament trails and sanctioned tournaments, visit

These non-boaters made it to Round 3, and all of them took home a share of the 100-percent-payback pot (non-boater Clay Keller not pictured). Round 3 for the non-boaters was not a heads-up. The highest weight for the day would receive first place and so forth.

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