CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The $3.88 million EverStart Series will bring exciting bass-fishing action to California’s Clear Lake April 23-26 for the third of four regular-season Western Division events. The tournament will feature as many as 300 competitors and will pay out as much as $214,525 in cash and prizes.
Although the huge largemouths that have made Clear Lake a legendary bass-fishing destination may be harder to come by during the EverStart Series event, Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro Skeet Reese of Auburn believes it will still take upwards of 25 pounds a day to win the tournament.
“This is going to be a sight-fishing tournament,” Reese said. “The bass will be shallow, and some will be postspawn. These are Florida-strain bass, so they can be extremely picky if there is a cold front during the tournament.” Tubes, Senkos and lizards are expected to be primary lures.
Anglers will take off from Redbud Park in Clearlake at safe light each day of the tournament. Daily weigh-ins will also be held at Redbud Park beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.
As many as 150 Pro Division competitors will vie for a top award worth as much as $60,400. The winning pro will receive a guaranteed cash award of $8,500 plus an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger 519VS Comanche bass boat complete with EverStart batteries, Garmin electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor. If the winner is a registered owner of a Ranger boat, he will receive a $10,000 cash bonus from Ranger, and if he is a participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, he will receive another $3,000 from Ranger. The winner is also eligible to receive $1,000 from Garmin if his boat is equipped with a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/sounder.
The winning co-angler is guaranteed a cash award of $4,500, and Ranger will award him a Ranger 519VS Comanche if he is a registered owner of a Ranger.
Designed as a pathway to the $5.76 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-tournament series, the EverStart Series features four divisions – Eastern, Central, Northern and Western – with four regular-season events each. The season culminates in the $335,975 EverStart Series Championship, which will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn. The event will be broadcast to 55 million subscribers of the Outdoor Life Network on the “FLW Outdoors” television series. Western Division anglers who finish in the top 30 in the final points standings are eligible to compete in the championship. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings.
The EverStart Series features a pro/co-angler format in which the pro supplies the boat, fishes from the front deck against other pros and controls boat movement while the co-angler fishes from the back deck and competes against other co-anglers. The field competes for two days to determine the top 20 anglers who will advance to Friday’s competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for Friday’s semifinal round, and pros and co-anglers start fresh to vie for one of 10 slots in Saturday’s final round where anglers again start at zero.