Powers Leads Opening Round of Everstart Series on Red River
NATCHITOCHES, La. (June 26, 2003) Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., caught a two-day total of 10 bass that weighed 26 pounds, 6 ounces to lead the four-day, $239,325 EverStart Series Central Division event on the Red River. Powers landed five bass weighing 9 pounds, 14 ounces Thursday to rise from second place and lead the charge toward a top pro award of $61,900 in cash and prizes, including a fully-rigged Ranger 519VS Comanche.
After dealing with extremely hot and humid weather conditions Wednesday, anglers were dealt some afternoon showers Thursday. The cloud cover and rain assisted in slightly cooling the temperature, but didnt seem to affect the fishing. Powers caught his limit on Flat-Shad crankbait on the main river bank.
I made a million casts and stayed in the current, said Powers, who currently is ranked third in the EverStart Series Central Division. I caught a 3-pounder early and was able to relax, knowing I had enough to make the cut.
Rounding out the top five pros are John Sappington of Wyandotte, Okla. (10 bass, 26 pounds, 4 ounces); Danny Gulledge of Hamburg, Ark. (eight bass, 24 pounds, 14 ounces); Tommy Dillon of Manhattan, Kan. (10 bass, 23 pounds, 5 ounces); and Bobby Graves of Mount Ida, Ark. (10 bass, 21 pounds, 1 ounce).
Gerald Andrews of Benton, Ky., leads the Co-angler Division into Fridays semifinal round with a two-day catch of eight bass weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces. I have had a great opening round, said Andrews, who caught his limit flipping soft plastics. I plan to follow Craigs [Powers] lead and make the cut [Friday].
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bruce Dale of Jamestown, Ohio (six bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces); Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas (10 bass, 13 pounds, 14 ounces); Chris Phillips of Little Rock, Ark. (eight bass, 13 pounds, 3 ounces); and Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark. (seven bass, 12 pounds, 11 ounces).
A total of 735 bass were caught Thursday, including 58 five-bass limits.
Anglers will take off from Morgans Landing in Natchitoches at 6 a.m. each morning. Friday and Saturdays weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 925 Keyser Ave. in Natchitoches beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. Weights are cleared for Fridays competition, which features the top 20 pros and 20 co-anglers. Only the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers will advance to Saturdays final round based on Fridays total weight. Weights are again cleared for Saturdays competition, and anglers compete for the heaviest one-day weight.
The winning pro will take home a guaranteed cash award of $10,000 plus a new Ranger 519VS Comanche equipped with Garmin electronics and powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard. If the winner is the original owner of a Ranger boat, he will receive an additional $10,000 cash bonus from Ranger for a total of $61,900 in cash and prizes. Ranger will also award an additional $3,000 to the winner if he is a Ranger Cup participant, and Garmin will award $1,000 to the winner if his boat is equipped with a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/Sounder.
The winning co-angler is guaranteed $5,000 cash. If the winning co-angler is a registered Ranger owner, he will also receive a new Ranger 519VS Comanche for a total of $27,800 in cash and prizes.
Four divisions Eastern, Central, Northern and Western comprise the 2003 EverStart Series. Each division stages four regular-season tournaments leading up to the no-entry-fee $335,975 EverStart Series Championship, which will be held on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
In EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, control boat movement and fish from the front of each boat against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back of each boat and compete against other co-anglers.
FLW Outdoors, the worlds leading marketer of competitive fishing, administers the EverStart Series. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour and the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League. FLW Outdoors will award as much as $20 million through 175 tournaments in 2003.
Wal-Mart and many of Americas most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.
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