The Everstart Series Opens the 2012 Season on Lake Okeechobee

   01.11.12

The EverStart Series opens the 2012 season on Lake Okeechobee Jan. 19-21 when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water for the first of four stops in the Southeast Division.

“Fishing is pretty awesome on Lake Okeechobee right now,” said EverStart pro Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala. “Any time you have a full or new moon in January it’s pretty special on Okeechobee. There is a full moon right now and I think when this tournament starts we will be going into a new moon phase. It is going to be special.

“I think the fishing is even better than it was last year and it is going to take at least one 30-pound stringer to win this event,” Tharp continued. “If you’re catching 3- and 4-pound bass you might as well not even bring them to the scale; it is going to take bigger fish than that to win. Catching a 5-pounder here is kind of a disappointment.

“Flipping and sight fishing will both work for this tournament,” Tharp went on to say. “The guy that can figure out the deal of the day will be the one that wins this event. Lake levels are dropping but I don’t know if that will continue. Right now there is a lot more fishable water than there was last year. Certain areas are still going to be crowded, but there are so many fish everybody is going to catch them. Anglers are going to have to be versatile and willing to make adjustments — the bass can change moods and locations just that quickly.”

Anglers will take off from C. Scott Driver Park located at 10100 West Highway 78 in Okeechobee, Fla., at 7:30 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 2101 S. Parrott Ave. in Okeechobee 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 Lake Okeechobee is being hosted by the Okeechobee County Tourism Development Council.

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.

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