Caporuscio leads opening round of $214,525 EverStart Series event on Lake Havasu - Major League Fishing

Caporuscio leads opening round of $214,525 EverStart Series event on Lake Havasu

March 18, 2004 • MLF • Archives

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. – Pro Dino Caporuscio of Cota de Caza, Calif., caught 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the first round of the $214,525 EverStart Series Western Division event on Lake Havasu near Lake Havasu City. A full field of 150 boats competed in the tournament, but the field was cut to 20 pros and 20 co-anglers for Friday’s round. The winning pro for this tournament will earn as much as $60,400 in cash and prizes, and the co-angler winner can earn as much as $34,500 in cash and prizes.

Even though weather conditions did not change, anglers found fishing conditions to be a little tougher on the second day of the tournament. While many anglers caught solid limits, overall weights were down. Heavy traffic on the lake from spring break visitors and tournament anglers likely spooked larger fish that had been cruising the shallow, gin-clear waters of Lake Havasu.

“Most of the fish have been caught by sight-fishing,” Caporuscio said. “I’m using a Kinami Flash and even drop-shotting for bedded fish. I’m also flipping in brush where I can’t see fish but know they’re in there. The conditions where I was fishing really weren’t any different from yesterday.

“I’m catching bass in 6 inches of water all the way out to 15 feet deep. Some are smallmouths but most are largemouths. I don’t want to be too confident, but I think I can go out and do the same thing tomorrow.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City (10 bass, 26 pounds, 15 ounces); Al Robinson of Boulder City, Nev. (10 bass, 26 pounds, 10 ounces); Bobby Lanham of Scottsdale (10 bass, 26 pounds, 1 ounce); and Jason Cordiale of Orinda, Calif. (10 bass, 25 pounds, 13 ounces).

George Diller of Surprise maintained his lead in the Co-angler Division thanks to eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 1 ounce.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ralph Wells of Castaic, Calif. (nine bass, 20 pounds, 11 ounces); Tony Sarkis of Phoenix (seven bass, 19 pounds, 8 ounces); Gary Collins of Moorpark, Calif. (nine bass, 18 pounds, 7 ounces); and James Gross of Kingman (eight bass, 17 pounds, 10 ounces).

Jack Sykes of Huntington Beach, Calif., earned $500 as the big-bass award winner in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass. Rick Berstler of Tehachapi, Calif., earned the $200 Co-angler Division big bass award thanks to a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass.

Anglers caught 740 bass Thursday, including 76 five-bass limits, for a total weight of 1536 pounds, 3 ounces. More than 99 percent of the bass were released alive.

Anglers will take off each morning at 7 from Windsor Park in Lake Havasu City. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1795 Kiowa Blvd. in Lake Havasu City beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.

The full field competed for two days to determine the top 20 pros and 20 co-anglers who advanced to Friday’s semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights were cleared for the semifinal round, and anglers compete for one day to determine who will advance to Saturday’s final round. Only the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers compete Saturday, and the winner is determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

The winning pro is guaranteed $8,500 cash plus an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger 519 VS equipped with Garmin electronics, a Minn Kota trolling motor and EverStart Batteries, based on a 150-boat field. If the winner is the original owner of a Ranger boat, he will receive a $10,000 bonus from Ranger for a top pro award worth $60,400. If he is a qualifying participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, Ranger will award another $3,000 cash (or $1,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant if not the winner), and Yamaha will match 50 percent of Ranger Cup winnings if the angler’s boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. Garmin will award the winning pro $1,000 if he uses only Garmin electronics and at least one unit is a qualifying unit.

The winning co-angler is guaranteed $4,500 cash based on a 150-boat field, and if he is a Ranger boat owner, Ranger will award him a new Ranger 519 VS for a total prize package worth $34,500. Co-anglers who make the final round of each regular-season EverStart Series event and wear an EverStart/Evinrude shirt and cap on stage are awarded points toward the EverStart Batteries and Evinrude Outboard Engines Co-angler Award. The co-angler receiving the most points by the end of the season receives a 2004 Evinrude 225HO Direct Injection outboard engine rigged on a Ranger boat equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor and EverStart batteries.

The EverStart Series features a pro/co-angler format with pros supplying the boats, fishing from the front deck against other pros and controlling boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. Two hundred points are awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on.

Designed as a pathway to the $6.8 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-tournament series, the $3.88 million EverStart Series features four divisions – Eastern, Central, Northern and Western – with four regular-season events each. The season culminates with the $335,975 EverStart Series Championship presented by Energizer, which will be held Nov. 3-6 on Lake Cumberland near Somerset, Ky. The event will be broadcast to 65 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.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors is the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails are the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour and Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League. EverStart Batteries, the best-selling batteries in the world, are marketed exclusively by Wal-Mart stores.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997.