The EverStart Series is headed to Sam Rayburn Reservoir April 12-14. The event, which is being presented by Mercury, is the second of four stops in the Texas Division. The tournament will feature as many as 300 pros and co-anglers competing for top awards up to $35,000 plus a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard for the pro and a Ranger boat with an Evinrude or Mercury outboard plus $5,000 for the co-angler.
“There have been so many drastic changes on Rayburn over the past couple of months that the fish are just messed up,” said FLW pro Chris McCall of Brookeland, Texas. “The water has risen over 13 feet, and I have never seen the water temperatures this warm this fast.
“Up until a couple of months ago Rayburn was extremely low — about 150 feet,” McCall continued. “Now we are almost above full pool, which is 163 feet, and it is just continues to rain. Unless something drastic happens this could be a tough tournament. The lake just hasn’t had a chance to stabilize.
“Right now, today, it’s hard to tell what percentage of fish have spawned and what haven’t. Based on the number of spawned-out fish that are coming to the scales at local tournaments it would appear that the majority of the spawn is over. However, my gut is telling me that there are a lot of bass yet to spawn and that anglers, including myself, have just not been targeting where the majority of these bass are.
“The shad and perch are starting to spawn, and I think that will help improve fishing,” McCall went on to say. “I’m guessing that Carolina rigging inside the grassline will be one of the predominant patterns. Topwater bite shallow will also come into play. I really don’t want to predict a winning weight, but am thinking that 15 pounds per day will be a strong showing.”
McCall, who has nine FLW top-10 finishes — including two victories on Sam Rayburn — believes that the anglers who keep an open mind will be the ones who do the best. Conditions on Sam Rayburn are changing daily, and he expects that to continue throughout the tournament..
Anglers will take off from Umphrey Family Pavilion located at 5438 Recreation Road 255 W. in Sam Rayburn, Texas, at 7 a.m. each morning. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. daily. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 800 W. Gibson St. in Sam Rayburn starting at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.
The EverStart Series tournament on Sam Rayburn is being hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the EverStart Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.