January 2, 2014
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - The Rayovac FLW Series is headed to Lake Okeechobee January 9-11 when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water for the first of three stops in the Southeast Division. The Lake Okeechobee event is presented by Power-Pole.
Castrol pro Mike Surman knows Lake Okeechobee very well. Throughout his career he has won eight brand new fully-rigged bass boats in tournament competition just on Okeechobee. If you want to know how the lake is setting up prior to a tournament, you can't go wrong talking to him.
"Okeechobee is one of those lakes that changes every day," said the Boca Raton native. "Everybody knows everything, there are no secrets.
"No matter what the conditions are, the fishing is going to be good. If the weather is really nice and it's mild throughout the week, then fishing could be unbelievable. If we get a front, we'll still see some really good weights but the total field won't all really catch them."
An optimistic Surman went on to explain that because of the volume of fish moving shallow, good weights should be expected almost regardless of the weather. He said that there were fish in all stages of the spawn - shallow and vulnerable throughout the lake.
"A couple baits could dominate, totally depending on the weather," said Surman. "I think a guy has a chance to win on a Gambler Big EZ, because that bait really catches big fish. If we get some heavy cold fronts, then flipping will be more popular and I'll be throwing a Gambler Crawdaddy or even a Gambler BB Cricket if it gets really cold.
"I think somebody is going to have to break a big bag to win, just because the fishing is so good right now," finished the Florida pro. "I'd say that 70 pounds or a little bit more will win it."
Anglers will take off from C. Scott Driver Park located at 10100 W. Highway 78 in Okeechobee, Fla., at 7:30 a.m. daily. Weigh-ins will be held at the launch site beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Gilbert Chevrolet located at 3550 U.S. 441 in Okeechobee 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 Z518C 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 Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.
The Rayovac FLW 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 Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the industry's premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport's richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water." For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.