RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (May 17) — Bassmaster Elite pro David Walker made a big charge up the leaderboard Saturday in the third day of action on Lake Dardanelle, but despite catching the biggest fish of the day the Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat-sponsored pro missed the final cut by 4 ounces of total weight.
“It always seems to be a few stinking ounces,” Walker said. “I’ve lost tournaments by a few ounces before. Here I just missed the Sunday cut.
“To be honest, it probably would have been tough to win this tournament even if I had made it through. It would have taken something crazy happening for that to have happened. Being 8 pounds back with so many big fish being caught would have been hard to overcome, but it sure would have been fun to try.”
Walker finished 13th overall, with only the final 12 anglers advancing to Sunday’s final round. His Day 3 total of five fish weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces left him agonizingly close to the cut with a three-day total of 48 pounds, 5 ounces. As a consolation, he netted the Carhartt Big Bass of the Day award with a 5-pound, 15-ounce whopper.
“This cloud cover came in today and the fish came alive,” said Walker, who hails from Sevierville, Tenn. “Yesterday was so sunny and calm it made it a lot harder to catch these shallow fish. I only had 12 pounds (Friday) but really didn’t hurt myself too bad, only dropping a few spots. It was just amazing how much of a turnaround we had from Friday to today.
“It also seemed like there were a lot of big fish biting today instead of the little ones. I didn’t catch as many fish as the previous two days but the quality of the fish I caught was high.”
Although he was the last angler cut, Walker kept a positive attitude as he pulled his Evinrude-powered Ranger Z520c boat out of the water for a final time.
“I didn’t make the final cut but the good news is I shook off the last two events where I was just so below par,” Walker said. “I feel great to be back up here and feel like a contender again instead of some also-ran.
“I got some good points and that makes me happy. It will help towards getting into next year’s GEICO Bassmaster Classic. If you don’t win an event outright, you have to be up there in the points to make it into the one tournament that means everything, and we took a nice step in that direction this weekend.”
Walker will enjoy a weekend off before fishing his home waters of Douglas Lake in the upcoming Northern Open, scheduled for May 29-31 in Dandridge, Tenn.
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler David Walker came up only 4 ounces short of advancing to the final day of fishing at the Bassmaster Elite event on Lake Dardanelle.