The EverStart Series is headed to Wheeler Lake May 9-11 for a tournament presented by Evinrude when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water to close out the 2013 season in the Southeast Division.

“The fishing has been really good on Wheeler Lake,” said Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., who currently leads the Southeast division’s point race heading into the final event. “They have been crushing them all spring on the Alabama rig, and they are really catching some big weights.

“The lake is at full pool now, though, and the bass are starting to pull up on the beds,” Canterbury continued. “I think that there will be a whole lot of bed fishing going on in this tournament. There may still be some fish being caught off shore, but I know that there will be plenty of fish up shallow.”

Canterbury predicted that most anglers would be targeting the grass by throwing creature baits while fishing shallow and opting for the Alabama rig when fishing deep.

“The fish do get deep on Wheeler Lake, but I don’t think that they will be catching them real deep yet,” he said. “I think that shell beds in 8 to 12 feet will be the key stuff when choosing to fish offshore. There are a lot of spots just loaded with grass, though, and I think that will be the deal on Wheeler.”

Canterbury said that the winning angler would need to average 17 to 18 pounds a day.

“I definitely think that we will see some stringers over 20 pounds,” Canterbury said. “Someone will get on them with the Alabama rig, and the potential is there for some big weights. I don’t think that anyone will be able to consistently bring that in every day, though. The way this spring is setting up right now, by tournament time the majority of the fish are going to be shallow.”

Anglers will take off from Joe Wheeler State Park at 4601 McLean Drive in Rogersville, Ala., at 6 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 3100 Hough Road in Florence, Ala. beginning at 3 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 a 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 Wheeler Lake is being hosted by the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Bureau.

Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors

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