LAKE ERIE TO HOST $256,825 EVERSTART SERIES TOURNAMENT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2004) - The EverStart Series Northern Division presented by Schick Quattro will visit Lake Erie near Buffalo Aug. 25-28 for a $256,825 event. The tournament will attract as many as 200 pro anglers and 200 co-anglers and will award the winning pro as much as $61,900 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger boat.
In previous seasons, the Northern Division has fished Lake Erie out of Port Clinton, Ohio, and although competitors are fishing the same lake, a sojourn to a different part of mammoth Lake Erie means a completely different playing ground. "The lake is much deeper on that end and the structure is much more erratic, so the fish are going to be concentrated in small areas as opposed to being spread out along long ridges," said EverStart Series pro Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio. "Dragging and drifting with a tube could still be effective, but because of the way the smallmouths are going to be positioned, I think anglers are going to have to 'fish' their baits more."
In addition to tube lures, Vatalaro thinks there could be some respectable limits caught on spinnerbaits, jigging spoons and drop-shot rigs worked at water depths ranging from 18 to 25 feet. He expects the winning two-day weight to tip the scales at 30 pounds or more.
NFTA Boat Harbor, located at 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd. in Buffalo, will host daily takeoffs at 7 each morning. Wednesday and Thursday's weigh-ins will also be held there beginning at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 4255 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.
The full field will compete for two days to determine the top 20 pros and 20 co-anglers who advance to Friday's semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for the semifinal round, and anglers compete for one day to determine who advances 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 $10,000 cash plus an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger 519 VS equipped with Garmin electronics, a Minn Kota trolling motor and EverStart batteries. 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 $61,900. 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 $5,000 cash, and if he is a Ranger boat owner, Ranger will award him a new Ranger 519 VS for a total prize package worth $35,000. 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 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, 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. Northern Division anglers who finish in the top 40 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.
Source: flwoutdoors.com (2004-08-11)