PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Sept. 4, 2003) – The EverStart Series Northern Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 24-27 with a $256,825 event on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh. As many as 200 pros and 200 co-anglers are expected to compete in the event, with pros in the hunt for a top award worth as much as $61,900 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger boat.

Lake Champlain is considered one of the nation’s finest bass-fishing destinations, and with the imminent arrival of fall’s first cold fronts, the lake’s legendary bass population will be ready for the catching as they begin fall feeding patterns. According to Wal-Mart FLW Tour pro and 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion Mike Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., Champlain boasts equal amounts of smallmouths and largemouths, and both will be on the move toward shallow water. Iaconelli predicts that 3/4-ounce double-willow spinner baits, suspending jerkbaits and top-waters will be the top producing lures for smallmouths and 1/2-ounce black and blue jigs, worms, and 3/8- to 1/2-ounce spinner baits will be the main baits for largemouths during the tournament.

Plattsburgh’s Mooney Bay Marina will host daily takeoffs at 6:30 a.m., and Wednesday and Thursday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Mooney Bay beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 25 Consumer Square in Plattsburgh beginning at 3:30 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. Mooney Bay Marina, located at 15 Mooney Bay in Plattsburgh, served as host marina for the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour Forrest Wood Open in 2002.

Opening-round anglers compete for two days to determine the 20 anglers in each division who advance to Friday’s semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Pros and co-anglers start at zero Friday and compete for one of 10 slots in Saturday’s final round. Weights are again cleared for Saturday’s competition, and anglers compete for position and prize money.

The winning pro is guaranteed $10,000 cash and an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger 519VS Comanche bass boat equipped with EverStart batteries, a Minn Kota trolling motor and Garmin electronics. If the winner is the original owner of a Ranger boat, Ranger will award an additional $10,000 cash bonus for a total prize package of $61,900. The winning co-angler is guaranteed $5,000 cash. If the co-angler winner is a registered Ranger boat owner, Ranger will also award a new Ranger 519VS Comanche bass boat.

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 $5.76 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-tournament series, the EverStart Series features four divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern and Western – with four regular-season events each. The season culminates with 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. Northern Division anglers who finish in the top 40 in the final points standings are eligible to compete in the championship.

The EverStart Series is administered by FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails are the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, 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.