Trey Eslinger had the number 24 in mind.
As Eslinger hit the water with partner Daryl Adams Saturday morning for the start of the Georgia State Bass Fishing Championship, he figured a two-day total of 24 pounds just might be enough to take home the top spot.
He was right.
Eslinger and Adams brought in 24 pounds, two ounces to claim top honors in a tournament that has been hosted by Highland Marina Resort for more than 20 years.
“It’s tough fishing out there,” said Eslinger, a Troup High graduate and an accomplished tournament fishermen, oftentimes with Adams by his side. “We said 12 pounds a day would win. And we had right at it.”
Adams agreed that the 24-pound total was what they needed to shoot for.
“We said if we got 12 pounds a day, we’d be close,” Adams said.
The two brought in 12 pounds, six ounces on the first day, and they found themselves trailing Kenny Carroll and Marty Murphy, who had a Day 1 total of 14 pounds, seven ounces.
On Sunday, while Carroll and Murphy had a total of eight pounds, Eslinger and Adams had 11 pounds, 12 ounces to surge to the top.
“We probably caught 40 keepers yesterday,” Eslinger said. “We probably caught six keepers today. It was tough today.”
There wasn’t much separating the top teams.
The fifth-place team of Danny Lavoie and Todd Mahoney had 22 pounds, nine ounces, less than two pounds behind Eslinger and Adams.
Wade Sieck and Jason Mitja finished second, and the teams of Kenny Carroll and Marty Murphy and Rob Graham and Dan Graham finished tied for third.
Carroll and Murphy took home the third-place check because the tie-breaker was based on the best one-day total, and their big first day gave them the edge.
OF NOTE: For complete results, go to www.highlandmarina.com