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Johnson takes lead in EverStart Series Eastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. - A full field of 330 top bass anglers from around the country embarked on Lake Okeechobee early Wednesday morning to start the expanded $2.5 million 2001 EverStart Series season. When the field returned for the opening day weigh-in, Rufus Johnson of Strawberry Plains, Tenn., led the rest with five bass weighing 20 pounds.

The $185,000 tournament features 165 pros and 165 co-anglers probing the near-record low waters of Lake Okeechobee in hope of winning $15,000 cash and a Ranger bass boat in the Pro Division and $6,000 in the Co-Angler Division.

Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Va., finished opening day in second place with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces. He was followed by Rusty Smith of Somerset, Ky., with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce; George Lambeth of High Point, N.C., with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces; and Ronald Wolfarth of Locust, N.C., with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.

In the Co-Angler Division, James Kimball of Okeechobee, Fla., leads with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces followed by Billy Coleman of Holly Hill, Fla., with five bass weighing 15 pounds and Glen Childers of Buffalo, S.C., with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces.

Big bass and $750 in the Pro Division went to Ricky Dale Smith of Anniston, Ala., for a 7-pound, 13-ounce largemouth. Big bass and $250 in the Co-Angler Division went to Al Purvis of Moorehaven, Fla., for a 7-pound, 15-ounce largemouth.

A total of 925 bass weighing 1,898 pounds, 10 ounces were caught in both divisions including 104 five-bass limits. The majority of the bass were caught on jerkbaits, tubebaits and worms as the water warmed and bass headed to spawning beds. If the trend continues, spectators can expect to see several large stingers at the weigh-ins.

For a shot at victory, anglers in both divisions must secure one of 30 slots available in Friday's semi-final round by catching the heaviest two-day total of bass in round one. During the semi-final round, anglers start from zero and compete for one day to determine the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers who will compete in Saturday's finale. Catch weights are cleared again for the final day of competition, and the winner of each division is determined by the weight of that day's catch.

Competition begins at 7 a.m. each morning at Roland Martin's Marina located at 920 East Del Monte Ave in Clewiston. Weigh-ins Thursday, Friday and Saturday will also be held at the marina starting at 3 p.m. each day. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 1005 West Sugarland Highway at 4 p.m.

The 4-year-old EverStart Series now includes three divisions - Eastern, Central and Northern - with four events each plus a year-end championship. Tournament winners and the top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers from each division will earn a spot in the championship, which will be held on Nov. 7-10 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. There, the winning pro will go home with a Ranger boat and $25,000 cash. The winning co-angler will receive a Ranger boat and $10,000 cash. The 2001 EverStart Series will award more than $2.5 million to bass fishing enthusiasts while also providing a pathway to the $4.4 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series.

Tags: press-release  2001-02-07-okeechobee 

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

SENECA, S.C. – The 2020 Toyota Series will continue its season next week at Lake Hartwell, March 3-5, with the Toyota Series at Lake Hartwell tournament. Hosted by Visit Oconee, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to... READ MORE »

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

LAVONIA, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2020) – Boater Kerry Partain of Elberton, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Hartwell in Lavonia. For his victory, Partain earned $5,336... READ MORE »

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2020) – Pro Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Sunday. Strickland’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 61 pounds, 4 ounces gave him the... READ MORE »

Local pro Strickland Catches Mega Limit, Takes Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Local pro Strickland Catches Mega Limit, Takes Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2020) – Local pro angler Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. His two-day total of 10... READ MORE »

Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Postponed Due to High Winds

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LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2020) – Day Two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers has been canceled due to inclement weather. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, conditions on the lake were deemed unsafe by Daniel Fennel... READ MORE »

California’s Salewske Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

California’s Salewske Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. – Pro Rusty Salewske of Alpine, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Thursday weighing 26 pounds, 10 ounces, to jump out to the early lead after Day One of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Pro Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee... READ MORE »

Registration Now Open for 2020 Wiley X High School Fishing Camp presented by Tackle Warehouse

Registration Now Open for 2020 Wiley X High School Fishing Camp presented by Tackle Warehouse

BENTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2020) – FLW announced today that registration is now open for the third annual Wiley X High School Fishing Camp presented by Tackle Warehouse, scheduled for July 22-24, on the Murray State University campus in Murray, Kentucky... READ MORE »

Wiley X Named Official Sunglass Provider of FLW

Wiley X Named Official Sunglass Provider of FLW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BENTON, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2020) – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Wiley X, one of the most trusted brands in the world for safety eyewear, high-performance sunglasses, and optical/protective sports... READ MORE »

Toyota Series Set To Visit Lake Chickamauga for Central Division Opener

Toyota Series Set To Visit Lake Chickamauga for Central Division Opener

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DAYTON, Tenn. – The 2020 Toyota Series will open the Central Division with a tournament next week at Lake Chickamauga, Feb. 27-29, with the Toyota Series at Lake Chickamauga. Hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council, the three-day... READ MORE »

Harris Chain of Lakes Readies for 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance

Harris Chain of Lakes Readies for 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LEESBURG, Fla. – The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers fishing in Leesburg this week won’t be the only anglers enjoying the big bass factory that is the Harris Chain of Lakes. The best college fishing teams from across the country are also making their way to the Harris... READ MORE »

Fayetteville’s Guyot Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Murray

Fayetteville’s Guyot Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Murray

PROSPERITY, S.C. – Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359... READ MORE »

Cullman’s Flack Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lewis Smith Lake

Cullman’s Flack Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lewis Smith Lake

CULLMAN, Ala. – Local boater Jackie Flack of Cullman, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman. For his victory, Flack earned a total of $6,011... READ MORE »

Village Mills’ Sharp Catches Record-Breaking 40-Pound Limit, Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Sam Rayburn

Village Mills’ Sharp Catches Record-Breaking 40-Pound Limit, Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Sam Rayburn

BROOKELAND, Texas – Boater Anthony Sharp of Village Mills, Texas, had a day Saturday that most bass fishing tournament anglers only dream about. Sharp brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Sam Rayburn... READ MORE »

Belleview’s Trevor Fitzgerald Wins Toyota Series Tournament on St. Johns River

Belleview’s Trevor Fitzgerald Wins Toyota Series Tournament on St. Johns River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PALATKA, Fla. – Pro Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Florida, brought a 19-pound, 8-ounce limit to the weigh-in scale Saturday to reclaim the top spot on the leaderboard and win the three-day Toyota Series at the St. Johns River. Fitzgerald’s three-day total of 15 bass... READ MORE »

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Set for Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Set for Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2020) – The second event of the 2020 season for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish limit tournament series, kicks off next week, Feb. 20-23 with the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Hosted by... READ MORE »

Eclectic’s Robinson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Martin

Eclectic’s Robinson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Martin

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – Boater Dusty Robinson of Eclectic, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama. For his victory, Robinson earned a... READ MORE »

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

Cape Coral’s Littich Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of... READ MORE »

Buford, Georgia’s Dover Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Keowee

Buford, Georgia’s Dover Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Keowee

WALHALLA, S.C. – Boater Randy Dover of Buford, Georgia, brought five to the scale Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. For his victory, Dover earned a total of $5,627... READ MORE »

South Forsyth High School Wins 2020 FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Seminole Open

South Forsyth High School Wins 2020 FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Seminole Open

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – The South Forsyth High School duo of Brett Morlanne and Michael Landernaeu, both of Cumming, Georgia, brought four bass to the scale Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Seminole Open... READ MORE »

Bethel University Finishes Top Three Teams at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Season Opener on Lake Seminole

Bethel University Finishes Top Three Teams at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Season Opener on Lake Seminole

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (Feb. 10, 2020) – The Bethel University duo of Brad Ableman of Latham, New York, and Wilson Smith of Southaven, Mississippi, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Seminole Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club READ MORE »