UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

In search of a trophy catch

In search of a trophy catch
Against a soggy backdrop of light rain and cloudy skies, EverStart Series anglers get ready for the start of the final Western Division qualifying event of the 2012 season.

LAKEPORT, Calif. - While FLW anglers are understandably jazzed up before the start of any tournament, when that tournament happens to be on Clear Lake, there is almost always an added level of excitement. Confronted with the very real possibility of landing personal-best stringers with kicker fish ranging from 7 to 10-plus pounds - a staple of Clear Lake waters - EverStart Series anglers were decidedly enthusiastic as they departed the Konocti Vista Casino Resort and Marina shortly after 7 a.m. takeoff Thursday morning.

"Clear Lake in the spring can just be such a phenomenal fishery," said EverStart Series pro Zack Thompson. "When the fish turn on here, it's definitely exciting. And we seemed to have hit this lake just right this year."

Although Thompson is a veteran of the EverStart Series and has a long and successful history fishing western fisheries, he said he's never seen Clear Lake quite like this.

EverStart Series anglers make their way to the starting line."It's been a bed-fishing bonanza for the last four days. The fish are spawning like I've never seen before," said Thompson, who plans on targeting spawners primarily with a Berkley Havoc Grass Pig. "The spawn during this tournament is going to be ridiculous. There really isn't a reason to try anything else other than sight-fishing. If you're not sight-fishing, you're basically missing out on the most productive ways to catch them. So whether you like it or not, that's going to be what you're going to have to do to stay competitive this week."

Although the morning began with a light-to-steady drizzle and some cooler temps, Thompson said those conditions shouldn't affect the bite too much.

"I think you could see record weights this week," he said. "I think everyone is going to catch 18 to 20 pounds. But to stay around the (top-10) cut range, you're probably going to need 24 or 25 pounds a day - it might even take more. But at the end of day two, my guess is that there will be 10 guys with 50 pounds or more."

Tourney format

EverStart anglers busily prepare for the start of the day's action on Clear Lake.During EverStart Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Anglers are permitted to weigh in their best five bass each day. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. The full field competes on days one and two, with the top-10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advancing to Saturday's final round of competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Winners ultimately will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all three days.

Anglers will take off daily from Konocti Vista Casino Resort and Marina located at 2755 Mission Rancheria Road in Lakeport, Calif., at 7 a.m. Daily weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

EverStart anglers patiently await the start of takeoff on Clear Lake.Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 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 177TR 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 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, slated for Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

EverStart Series action continues at today's weigh-in, scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. at the Konocti Vista Casino Resort and Marina, located at 2755 Mission Rancheria Road in Lakeport, Calif.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 3 p.m. Pacific Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

The Konocti Vista Marina was bustling with activity before the start of today's EverStart Series event on Clear Lake.Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 6:18 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 50 degrees
Expected high temperature: 63 degrees
Water temperature: 58-64 degrees
Wind: From the southwest at 13-15 mph
Humidity: 89 percent
Day's outlook: Partly sunny with chance of some morning showers

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2012-04-26-clear-lake 

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