By Todd Ceisner
BassFan Editor

For the third straight day, theres a new name atop the leaderboard at the Lake Eufaula Bassmaster Elite Series.

Now, its up to Scott Canterbury to see what he can do to make sure his is the last name to be in the top slot.

Canterbury, the reigning Elite Series Angler of the Year, followed up two 20-pound days with his heaviest stringer yet, a 22-13 effort that pushed his total to 64-06 and gave him a cushion of 4 pounds, 3 ounces over Elite Series rookie Caleb Kuphall.

Kuphall, who won the Smith Lake Central Open last year, sacked 19-05 to move into 2nd with 60-03. Drew Cook, last years Elite Series Rookie of the Year, had his best day with a 22-15 stringer that bumped him up 17 places to 3rd with 60-02.

Day-2 leader Matt Arey slipped back to 4th after catching 16-09, which kept him in contention with 59-14. Brandon Cobb made his way up to 5th behind a 19-05 stringer, giving him 59-08.

Four anglers who started the day inside the Top 10 wound up missing the day-4 cut. Jake Whitakers one-fish day (2-02) saw him plummet from 2nd to 39th. Kyle Welcher (4th to 16th), Kyle Monti (8th to 15th) and Bill Lowen (9th to 28th) also slipped out of contention.

In addition to Cook, Drew Benton (11th to 8th), Jamie Hartman (12th to 6th) and Gross (20th to 10th) managed to earn another day on the water.

Shane LeHew caught a tournament-best 25-05, but a two-pound penalty for making a cast with six fish in his livewell and a four-ounce dead-fish penalty reduced his weight to 23-01, saw him finish 11th with 56-09. Without the penalties, hed have made the cut in 7th place.

What many figured would be a tournament highlighted by stringers of fish caught off the Chattahoochee River ledges has turned into a mix-and-match affair. Some had made the ledges work, but theyre nowhere near the dominant factor like they were during the FLW Series event last week.

Some of that is attributed to the sustained fishing pressure in those areas and some can be explained by the water coming up 18 inches to 2 feet, which has energized the shallow-water patterns.

The offshore stuff would be a lot better had FLW not been here and the water not come up, said Cook, whos competing at Eufaula for the first time.

Canterbury continued to rely on brush piles in deeper water while sampling some shallow spots during the day. He estimated spending 75 percent of his day on brush piles, but also had a few solid bites along the bank, including a 4-pounder this morning that ate a frog.

Im mixing it up and keeping an open mind on what to do, Canterbury said.

Aside from the 4-pounder, he had a 5-pounder and a 6-06 kicker anchoring his stringer. Hes recycling some places from previous days, but he also is integrating new spots into his rotation. He caught the 6-pounder, for instance, on a spot hed never made a cast on before.

I spent three days in practice idling and marking everything I could mark, he said.

And now hes put himself in position to capture his first Elite Series win.



B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Drew Cook has put his faith in a brush pile pattern over the last couple days.

The lake is fishing really good, he said. It was tough day as far as the number of bites I got. The size is what surprised me. I feel blessed to catch what I caught. I still have to do it one more day, but that means Im one day closer.

I want to win as many as I can. To get an Elite Series win, thatd be another life goal accomplished. Im a little closer to reaching it, but I have a long day ahead of me and I still have to catch em.

Even with a 4-pound lead, he has a target weight in mind that would enhance his chances.

If I catch 20, he said, that means I did my part and the fish did theirs.

Cook, who caught nearly identical 18 1/2-pound bags on days 1 and 2, was stuck around 14 pounds early this afternoon. He then cycled through a few brush piles that helped him gain almost 9 more pounds. His bag was highlighted by a 6-pounder and two 5-pounders.

Hed started the tournament targeting offshore schools and had close to 19 pounds fairly quickly. He opted to pull back thinking what he had would put him in decent shape.

I thought Id wake up with 18 pounds in my pocket on (day 2), he said.

But when he checked the same area on Thursday, the fish had vanished, triggering a switch to brush piles. He made casts at roughly 40 piles today spanning the mid and lower lake.

Im very surprised brush is holding up like it is, he said, noting one pile has produced close to 20 fish, including a 5- and a 6-pounder. Every day, there are fish in it. I dont know what they have going on down there but its cool with me.

Despite his impressive haul, he feels like he left some weight out there.

I shouldve have 25 today, he said. The offshore spot I started on, I lost a great big one and another about 5. They were biting funny so I threw out there with a dropshot and set the hook and it was fighting like a grouper. It took me around a stump and into a pile and it was over with.

After an 18th-place finish at the St. Johns River to open the season, Cook knows hes got the foundation for another strong season under him and a shot at his first win.

It feels good, but it feels weird, honestly, he said. Im not all jacked up or nervous about it. All the top 10s I had last year, it felt different. I dont know, maybe Ill win one.

Weather Forecast

> Sat., June 13 Mostly Sunny - 87/65
- Wind: From the NE at 5 to 10 mph

Day 3 Standings

1. Scott Canterbury -- Odenville, AL -- 15, 64-06 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 20-12 -- Day 2: 5, 20-13 -- Day 3: 5, 22-13

2. Caleb Kuphall -- Mukwonago, WI -- 15, 60-03 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 18-12 -- Day 2: 5, 22-02 -- Day 3: 5, 19-05

3. Drew Cook -- Midway, FL -- 15, 60-02 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 18-10 -- Day 2: 5, 18-09 -- Day 3: 5, 22-15

4. Matt Arey -- Shelby, NC -- 15, 59-14 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 20-06 -- Day 2: 5, 22-15 -- Day 3: 5, 16-09

5. Brandon Cobb -- Greenwood, SC -- 15, 59-08 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 19-03 -- Day 2: 5, 21-00 -- Day 3: 5, 19-05

6. Jamie Hartman -- Newport, NY -- 15, 58-15 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 21-13 -- Day 2: 5, 17-02 -- Day 3: 5, 20-00

7. Chris Zaldain -- Fort Worth, TX -- 15, 58-02 -- 94 -- $1,000
Day 1: 5, 22-02 -- Day 2: 5, 17-07 -- Day 3: 5, 18-09

8. Drew Benton -- Blakely, GA -- 15, 57-12 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 20-12 -- Day 2: 5, 18-12 -- Day 3: 5, 18-04

9. Clark Wendlandt -- Leander, TX -- 15, 57-01 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 22-00 -- Day 2: 5, 18-12 -- Day 3: 5, 16-05

10. Buddy Gross -- Chickamauga, GA -- 15, 56-13 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 16-14 -- Day 2: 5, 20-07 -- Day 3: 5, 19-08

The following anglers missed the cut and will not compete on day 4.

11. Shane LeHew -- Catawba, NC -- 15, 56-09 -- 90 -- $13,000
Day 1: 5, 18-06 -- Day 2: 5, 15-02 -- Day 3: 5, 23-01

12. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 15, 56-08 -- 89 -- $12,000
Day 1: 5, 19-00 -- Day 2: 5, 16-04 -- Day 3: 5, 21-04

13. Chad Pipkens -- Lansing, MI -- 15, 56-06 -- 88 -- $12,000
Day 1: 5, 20-13 -- Day 2: 5, 17-08 -- Day 3: 5, 18-01

14. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 15, 56-05 -- 87 -- $12,000
Day 1: 5, 18-05 -- Day 2: 5, 19-03 -- Day 3: 5, 18-13

15. Kyle Monti -- Okeechobee, FL -- 15, 55-05 -- 86 -- $12,000
Day 1: 5, 22-15 -- Day 2: 5, 17-00 -- Day 3: 5, 15-06

16. Kyle Welcher -- Opelika, AL -- 15, 54-03 -- 85 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 20-03 -- Day 2: 5, 20-15 -- Day 3: 5, 13-01

17. Seth Feider -- New Market, MN -- 15, 53-03 -- 84 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-05 -- Day 2: 5, 21-14 -- Day 3: 5, 15-00

18. Hank Cherry Jr -- Lincolnton, NC -- 15, 52-13 -- 83 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-15 -- Day 2: 5, 16-01 -- Day 3: 5, 19-13

19. Lee Livesay -- Gladewater, TX -- 15, 52-06 -- 82 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 21-11 -- Day 2: 5, 12-12 -- Day 3: 5, 17-15

20. Patrick Walters -- Summerville, SC -- 15, 52-03 -- 81 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-07 -- Day 2: 5, 21-01 -- Day 3: 5, 14-11

21. Austin Felix -- Eden Prairie, MN -- 15, 51-09 -- 80 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 17-08 -- Day 2: 5, 14-05 -- Day 3: 5, 19-12

22. Garrett Paquette -- Canton, MI -- 15, 51-07 -- 79 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 19-07 -- Day 2: 5, 15-13 -- Day 3: 5, 16-03

23. Ray Hanselman Jr. -- Del Rio, TX -- 15, 51-07 -- 78 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-08 -- Day 2: 5, 17-15 -- Day 3: 5, 17-00

24. Clent Davis -- Montevallo, AL -- 15, 51-06 -- 77 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 20-05 -- Day 2: 5, 17-05 -- Day 3: 5, 13-12

25. Skylar Hamilton -- Dandridge, TN -- 15, 50-15 -- 76 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 17-09 -- Day 2: 5, 18-01 -- Day 3: 5, 15-05

26. Caleb Sumrall -- New Iberia, LA -- 15, 50-07 -- 75 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 18-13 -- Day 2: 5, 16-15 -- Day 3: 5, 14-11

27. Hunter Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 15, 50-06 -- 74 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-13 -- Day 2: 5, 21-08 -- Day 3: 5, 17-01

28. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 15, 49-12 -- 73 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 23-04 -- Day 2: 5, 16-08 -- Day 3: 5, 10-00

29. Gerald Swindle -- Guntersville, AL -- 15, 49-05 -- 72 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 15-12 -- Day 2: 5, 19-15 -- Day 3: 5, 13-10

30. Gary Clouse -- Winchester, TN -- 15, 49-05 -- 71 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 19-07 -- Day 2: 5, 16-08 -- Day 3: 5, 13-06

31. Wes Logan -- Springville, AL -- 15, 49-02 -- 70 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 18-03 -- Day 2: 5, 14-02 -- Day 3: 5, 16-13

32. Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 15, 48-08 -- 69 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 21-15 -- Day 2: 5, 15-01 -- Day 3: 5, 11-08

33. John Cox -- Debary, FL -- 15, 48-01 -- 68 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 19-13 -- Day 2: 5, 18-05 -- Day 3: 5, 09-15

34. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 15, 47-08 -- 67 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 17-08 -- Day 2: 5, 14-10 -- Day 3: 5, 15-06

35. Frank Talley -- Temple, TX -- 15, 46-13 -- 66 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-00 -- Day 2: 5, 18-02 -- Day 3: 5, 12-11

36. Brandon Card -- Knoxville, TN -- 15, 46-01 -- 65 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 16-07 -- Day 2: 5, 15-03 -- Day 3: 5, 14-07

37. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 15, 45-13 -- 64 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 19-04 -- Day 2: 5, 12-11 -- Day 3: 5, 13-14

38. Brad Whatley -- Bivins, TX -- 15, 45-02 -- 63 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 18-12 -- Day 2: 5, 15-03 -- Day 3: 5, 11-03

39. Jake Whitaker -- Fairview, NC -- 11, 43-12 -- 62 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 21-02 -- Day 2: 5, 20-08 -- Day 3: 1, 02-02

40. Brock Mosley -- Collinsville, MS -- 15, 43-06 -- 61 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 18-08 -- Day 2: 5, 13-04 -- Day 3: 5, 11-10