“Down here in the Southeast, winter won’t let go,” said Straight Talk pro JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., who finished third in EverStart competition on Lake Seminole in 2012. “I’m in south Florida right now and it was 41 degrees this morning. It’s really cold. We are supposed to get a warming trend by the time the tournament starts, but I really don’t know what to expect. I heard that a lot of rain fell in the Lake Seminole area this spring and the lake has been high and really muddy so far. It should definitely be an interesting tournament.
“Seminole is one of those lakes where you don’t catch a million fish,” Kenney continued. “It’s not just as chock-full of fish like an Okeechobee or a Guntersville, but there are some big ones in it. I think that this tournament could literally have fish in all three stages of the spawn. Normally I would say everything would be pretty much all post-spawn by this time of the year. But with the way this winter and spring have been, I would expect to see fish at all stages.
“Anglers will probably be able to catch them with a variety of lures,” Kenney went on to say. “Anything from deep-diving crankbaits to weightless soft-plastic stick-baits could be a factor. When you have fish in different stages, it’s really hard to say what is going to be producing. Everyone will be doing a lot of different stuff.”
Last year at this time, Lake Seminole also played host to an EverStart Series event. A mild winter carried over higher water temperatures, healthier grass and an earlier spawn. Competitors were separated by just two pounds going into the final day and the winning weight ended up averaging out to just over 17 pounds of bass per day. Kenney predicts things will be a little tougher this year, and claims that 15 pounds per day might be just enough to take home the win.
Anglers will take off from Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin located at 100 Boat Basin Circle in Bainbridge, Ga., at 7:30 a.m. each day. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at the take off site beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 500 E. Alice St. in Bainbridge beginning at 4 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 Lake Seminole is being hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors