Original Caption: Greg Pugh of Cullman shows off some of his catch during an EverStart Series tournament at Lake Eufala in March. Pugh will be among none Alabama professional anglers vying for the EverStart Series Championship beginning Thursday on Lake Martin. The Montgomery Advertiser, Nov. 2002. Photo by Gary Mortenson/FLWoutdoors.com.

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo takes us back to 2002 and the EverStart Series Championship that was held on Lake Martin, offering $25,000 cash and a $35,000 Ranger Boat to the winner.  Our featured angler is Greg Pugh, then a professional tournament regular.

At the time, the Series Championship differed in its format from that of Wal-Mart’s FLW or B.A.S.S.’s tournaments in that daily weights weren’t carried over day after day.  The article stated, “The anglers essentially have to fish three tournaments to have a shot of the grand prize.  After the first two rounds of fishing, the field is cut, and the total weight goes back to zero leading into day three.  After day three the field is cut again, and the weight is dropped back to zero leading into the championship round.”

Greg was interviewed by a local paper before the event, stating, “This is a tough format.  Probably the toughest I’ve seen.  You have to get enough to make the cut each day.  It’s like three tournaments wrapped into one.  But if you get to the final round, everyone is back to zero and it’s anyone’s to win.”

As for Greg’s strategy for this event, he said, “If the spots (spotted bass) are biting well then it’s good to get that limit and then go after a big one.  The way this tournament is formatted, you really have to stay mentally in the ball game to have a chance to win.”

Another aspect of the event was the addition of co-anglers, now largely absent from the highest levels of the sport.  “You are fishing as a team,” Pugh said.  “If he’s got a bait that the fish are tearing up, I hope he offers me one.  There are some good co-anglers out there and they can help out a lot.”

While Greg did fish B.A.S.S., entering 58 events and qualifying for one Classic, it was with FLW Outdoors where he spent a large majority of his professional angling career.  There, he fished 230 events, garnering 3 wins, including the top prize of $65,000+ at the Lake Seminole Toyota Series event in early 2007.