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Teague TX, Claims Rayburn EverStart Pro/Win
By Ed Snyder

( Hot Springs AR, Takes Co-Boater Top-Spot )

EverStart Tournament Series- Central Division
Saturday, March 11, 2000, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"Cloud cover and Strike King Bootleggers were the key to my success, stated the Pro-Boater who had just won the Central Division EverStart with only a four bass final day catch. And as the large crowd at the Wal*Mart SuperCenter watched, the Teague TX, Bass/Pro, lifted the reason for his four bass win as he hefted a solid 7 pounder up for the applauds.

"The EverStart tournament generates over $1.6 Million in lake area business incomes for the week that it's operating here, stated Tournament Director, Jerry Stakely, explaining that EverStart anglers spend money for their needs of lodging, gas/oil, food, and other supportive tournament requirements for their pre-fishing & official practice fishing days prior to and during the actual tournament days. "The EverStart Series attracts anglers from all over this country, Jerry informed, stating that Lake Sam Rayburn's Central Division event drew tournament anglers from 30 states. These visiting anglers are one great bunch of people who compete in these events, Stakely admired, "and we would like to applaud the Jasper/Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce "AND" the fan-tastic people of this fine lake area for their friendly service as you'll not find better "southern hospitality" anywhere. "This is one great place to visit for a weekend or a lifetime, Jerry Stakely further praised as he turned to begin weighing the top 20 EverStart anglers from the original field of 350 who started this "grueling" tournament four long days ago.

Tournament Re-Cap-
Day-1-Pro-Boater, James Stricklin Jr. of Alexander AR, managed to catch a 5 bass/19.15 lb 1st day lead from southlake timber-flats while fishing scattered moss patches in 1' to 5' of water during a 1:pm to 2:pm prime-bite. Pro-Boater, Stephen Johnston of Hemphill TX, quickly followed suit with a 5 bass/19.11 lb 2nd place lead while fishing mid-lake shallow grass-humps with 3' to 5' grass-edges for daylight to 1:pm bite that put his larger 6.7 lb & 5 lb bass in the boat by 11:am. Co-Boater, Melvin Henslee of Beaumont TX, caught his non-boater lead of 5 bass/19.2 lbs while fishing up in Black Forest 4' stick-ups where he also caught the 1st day Overall Big Bass of 8.7 lbs on a 12:30 pm bite.
Day-2-TOP 30 CUT-Stephen Johnston of Hemphill TX, took the top/pro spot with 39.12 lbs while fishing 3/4 oz red Traps & junebug Reaction Wackies along mid-lake grass-humps for a 7:30 am to 10:am bite. Shane Allman of Sam Rayburn TX, took the 2nd place pro-lead with 37.5 lbs caught from southlake pockets and mid-lake timber while fishing green/pumpkin Wacky worms along 1' to 5' sand-banks for a daylight to noon bite. Jeff Scrimager of Mattoon IL, took the co-boater lead with 31.5 lbs while fishing carolina rigged green/pumpkin Prowler centipedes along 2' to 10' flats with isolated grass clumps near the 147 bridge between 11:am to 4:pm. Day 2 Overall Big Bass came in with Co-Boater Mark Klein of Lawrenceville IL, fishing with Pro-Boater, Judy Wong of Sugarland TX, up in Black Forest 9' to 10' outside weed-beds with a carolina rigged watermelon Zoom lizard that nailed his 8.2 lb lunker on a 7:45 a:m. bite.
Day-3-NEW DAY-NEW WEIGHTS-TOP 10 CUT-Tim Poe of Benton AR, took the pro-lead at Needmore Point with 5 bass/19.14 lbs anchored by a 9.0 lb "kicker" caught on a 1/2 oz Strike King Diamond Shad while fishing a 3' inside grass-line at 12:15 p:m:. Land-O-Lakes Bass/Pro, Carl "Munchkin" Svebek III of Sam Rayburn TX, landed 2nd Pro-lead with 5 bass/17.12 lbs while fishing Veach, Farmers, and Needmore Point 2' to 3' grass-lines with 1/2 oz bleeding shiner Traps and green/pumpkin Zoom trickworms for catching 25 bass on a all day bite. Melvin Henslee of Beaumont TX, fished gold/orange/black Roques and watermelon/chartreuse Zoom wacky worms along 4' to 5' Black Forest timber for catching his 5 bass/13.12 lb leading Co-boater cut.

DAY 4-(New Day-New Weights)--FINAL DAY WINNERS- High north winds, gusting at times to 25 mph, changed-up the fishing patterns for today as clouding water conditions reflected the 3" to 4" rains which stormed in overnight with chilling cold-front temperatures. But the best of the 350 anglers who started last wednesday were now finishing up their four day long event today as they trailered from Twin Dikes Park boat ramps to the Wal*Mart SuperCenter parking lot in Jasper TX, to weigh-in their final efforts for winning this prestigious EverStart tournament.

(1st place Pro/Boater-4 bass/13.13 lbs)- Randy Millender of Teague TX, spent all four of his tournament days up in Ayish Bayou while casting Quantum rods and reels spooled with 20# Berkely BG-mono as he flipped 3/8 oz Strike King black/blue Bootlegger jigs from the deck of his Javelin/Johnson bass-rig. "I concentrated on 4' to 5' timber along the creek channel edges, stated Randy as he told of catching all of his bass in this area "because" of the low water conditions. "The bass were using these channel areas to migrate back and forth, Millender informed, adding that he managed to catch his first three bass by 8:30 a:m: toady but had to work hard the rest of the day until he finally caught his 4th bass, a 7 lb "kicker", just before heading in for his weigh-in deadline.

(2nd place Pro/Boater-5 bass/12.1 lbs)- Mike Hawkes of Sabrinal TX, managed to wreck a Javelin bass boat coming into the tournament and break a BassCat coming out of it, but "bewixt" all of this wreckage and breakage, Mike was able to work Allstar rods and Garcia reels spooled with 20# Berkely BG-mono while fishing 1/2 oz red/white & blue/charteuse/chrome Nichols Rattlin' Shads up in Caney Creek and Black Forest areas. "I would fish the red/white colors in the morning and the blue/chartreuse/chrome in the p:m: , stated Mike as he told of working 6" to 3' Caney Creek bank-shallow grass in the morning and Black Forest timber guts from the banks between the humps in the afternoon. "I thank the Lord for smiling on me during this tournament, praised Mike Hawkes as he hefted his 2nd place Pro award.

(1st place Co/Boater-5 bass/14.6 lbs)-Wesley Burnett of Hot Springs AR, fished with Johnny Lankford of Springdale AR, today as they worked Powell Point grass. "I worked Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 17# & 15# Trilene mono, informed Wesley as he told of draggin' Carolina and TX rigged watermelon/chartreuse & watermelon/cotton candy Zoom lizards along 2' to 4' shallow point-grass for a late bite. "I probably caught 10 bass today, answered the happy Co-Boater.

Pro/Boater Top 10 Leaderboard Marks-
1-RANDY MILLENDER,TEAGUE,TX 4 bass/13.13-$10,000-plus-Ranger Bass Boat
2-MIKE HAWKES,SABRINAL,TX 5 bass/12.1-$10,000
3-CARL SVEBEK III,SAM RAYBURN, TX 5 bass/11.7-$9,000
4-TIM POE,BENTON,AR 5 bass/11.7-$8,000
5-CHRIS MCCALL,JASPER,TX 5 bass/9.15-$7,000
6-DAVID CURTIS,TRINITY,TX 5 bass/9.14-$6,000
7-JOHNNY LANKFORD,SPRINGDALE,AR 2 bass/4.1-$5,000
8-LARRY CALDWELL,SAINT PETERS,MO 1 bass/2.10-$4,500
9-JIM TUTT,LONGVIEW,TX 1 bass/2.0-$4,000
10-DAVID OZIO,BEAUMONT,TX 1 bass/1.8-$3,500

Co/Boater Top 10 Leaderboard Marks-
1-WESLEY BURNETT,HOT SPRINGS,AR 5 Bass/14.6-$6,000
2-LONNIE FULLER,HEMPHILL,TX 5 bass/10.4-$3,500
3-PHIL HENNIGAN,CENTER,TX 3 bass/6.14-$3,000
4-RALPH MYHLHOUSEN,COUNCIL BLUFFS,IA 3 bass/6.4- $2,500
5-FRED HILL,GIBSONVILLE,NC 2 bass/3.14-$2,000
6-MARK KLEIN,LAWRENCEVILLE,IL 2 bass/3.13-$1,900
7-TONY FUQUA,DEVILLE,LA 2 bass/3.3-$1,800
8-RICKY RASBEARY,DIBOLL,TX 1 bass/3.0-$1,700
9-MIKE LANCASTER,WAXAHACHIE,TX 1 bass/2.7-$1,600
10-MELVIN HENSLEE,BEAUMONT,TX 1 bass/1.10-$1,500

Day-1-Overall Big Bass-(8.7 lbs)-Co-Boater- Melvin Henslee/Beaumont TX-
Day-2-Overall Big Bass-(8.2 lbs)-Co-Boater- Mark Klein of Lawrenceville IL-
Day-3-Overall Big Bass-(9.0 lbs)-Pro-Boater-Tim Poe of Benton, AR.
Day-4-Overall Big Bass-(7.0 "guess-timated" Lbs)-Pro-Boater- Randy Millender of Teague TX.

Tournament Payout ;
$164,000 Total (Pro and Co-Angler Divisions; includes an Evinrude-powered Ranger Boat)
Pro Division: $125,900 (Pays top 30 spots; includes an Evinrude-powered Ranger Boat)
- 1st Place $10,000 + Ranger Boat
- 2nd Place $10,000
- 3rd Place $9,000
- Big Bass $500 (each day, for two days)
Co-Angler Division: $38,100 (Pays top 30 spots)
- 1st Place $6,000
- 2nd Place $3,500
- 3rd Place $3,000
- Big Bass $300 (each day, for two days)

All bass were live released via special EverStart Fish recovery teams with a final day catch of 59 bass weighing 133 lbs for a Total Pro catch- 1,653 bass at 4,017 lbs, and a Total Co-Boater catch of 1,273 bass at 2,835 lbs.

"And that's all folks" as four days of "extreme competition" produced the best anglers from an original field of 350......"AWESOME".

The EverStart Series offers its anglers up to $1.7 million in cash and prizes as it also provides a pathway to the prestigious Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the richest tournament series in history. Winning anglers in the Pro and Co-Angler Divisions of each EverStart tournament as well as the overall top 10 anglers, based on a system of points and pounds, receive automatic berths in the 2001 FLW Tour. For more information on the EverStart Series tournament events contact Jerry Stakely at (270)-362-9856- Fax to (271)-362-9856-or-clic to-<operationbass.com>.

The series' title sponsor, EverStart Batteries, is the No. 1 retail selling automotive and marine battery brand in the world. Supporting sponsors of the 2000 EverStart Series are: BFGoodrichTires, Black & Decker, Chevy Trucks, CITGO, Coca-Cola, Coleman, Energizer, Evinrude, Frenzy, Fujifilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Mitchell, Poulan/Weed Eater, Power Bait, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Spiderline, Timex, U.S. Bank, Visa USA, Wal-Mart and Wrangler -"and"- the EverStart Tournament Anglers.


Millender with 1st place Pro-Win 7.0 "kicker"

Millender receiving "braggin' rights"
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Burnett with 1st Co-boater win

Hawkes with 2nd-Pro win

Rayburn/Pro Carl Svebek takes 3rd Pro-Win

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