LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (March 19, 2004) – Local pro Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City caught a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the semifinal round of the $214,525 EverStart Series Western Division event on Lake Havasu near Lake Havasu City. Goodwin regained the top spot after leading day one but dropping to second on day two. Only the top 10 pros and co-anglers advance to fish the final day of the tournament. The winning pro on Saturday 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.

Fishing conditions on Friday were similar to Thursday. Many limits were caught but weights overall were down slightly from day one of the tournament. Temperatures in the desert continued to rise today topping 90 degrees, and winds were calm. However, some cloud cover moved into the area for the first time this week. Anglers continued to sight-fish as their primary technique.

“Yesterday, my first two fish broke off,” Goodwin said. “Last night I told my wife that I would get those fish today. She asked if they would bite today, and I said, ‘Absolutely.’

“So this morning I went straight to those fish and they were still on the bed. In five casts, I caught the first one that weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces. And a few casts later I caught the other one that was a 3 pounder. But after third keeper I struggled for the rest of the day. Tomorrow will be tough. There are fish still moving up, but there are not as many as the first day of the tournament. Hopefully my familiarity with the lake will be an advantage tomorrow.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Art Berry of Ramona, Calif. (five bass, 14 pounds, 11 ounces); Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif. (five bass, 13 pounds, 4 ounces); Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. (five bass, 13 pounds, 1 ounce); and Todd Woods of Murrieta, Calif. (five bass, 13 pounds, 1 ounce).

Mario Caporuscio of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division thanks to four bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces. Mario is the brother to Thursday’s pro leader, Dino Caporuscio.

“I figured I had to keep the Capuroscio name on top of the leaderboard,” Mario Caporuscio said.

“Today was a little tougher than yesterday,” he said. “I was just drop-shotting a 4 1/2-inch worm in about 20 to 25 feet of water. While my pro partner (Justin Kerr) was sight-fishing, I was just casting out on the other side of the boat. I only caught one fish by sight-fishing.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jason Billmaier of Las Vegas, Nev. (five bass, 8 pounds, 10 ounces); Matt Lowery of El Cajon, Calif. (five bass, 8 pounds, 9 ounces); Charlie Crawford of Peoria (four bass, 8 pounds, 5 ounces); and Jason Caine of Las Vegas, Nev. (three bass, 7 pounds, 10 ounces).

Anglers caught 146 bass Friday, including 18 five-bass limits, for a total weight of 307 pounds, 7 ounces. All bass were weighed alive.

Anglers will take off Saturday morning at 7 from Windsor Park in Lake Havasu City. Saturday’s weigh-in 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 takeoff and weigh-in.

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 competed 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.