The EverStart Series is headed to Roosevelt Lake Feb. 21-23 when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water for the second of four stops in the Western Division.

“It looks like it’s going to be a real tough tournament,” said Evinrude pro Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz. “Overall the lake is down about 30 to 40 feet from the last time we had a tournament there. Recently the lake has come up around 7 feet and it’s still on the rise. This combined with the run-off from the snow pack in the mountains nearby has the lake stained and cold.

“But what’s nice about Roosevelt is that you can fish deep or shallow” Hite continued. “It is a very versatile lake and you can really pick your poison. You can fish jigs and drop-shot rigs out deep, or you can throw spinnerbaits and crankbaits up shallow. There’s lots of good rock, and even though the water is down, there is still a little bit of brush in the water.”

Because of the shaky weather, rising water levels and muddy water, Hite predicts weights will be lower than in years past. He estimates that an average of more than 10 pounds a day should be enough for an angler to be in contention.

“Stained water has the tendency to warm up a little bit faster, so it should start warming up soon,” Hite went on to say. “The water temperatures are in the high 40s to low 50s right now, and as it gets warmer the fishing should be getting better along with it.”

For the event, which is presented by Evinrude, anglers will take off from Cholla Recreation Site in Roosevelt, Ariz., at 7 a.m. each day. Weigh-ins will be held at the recreation site beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518 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 Z117 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, which allows them to fish the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup.

The EverStart Series tournament on Roosevelt Lake is being hosted by the Town of Payson, Ariz.

Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors

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