Lakecaster Online

Rayburn welcomes Everstart
by ED SNYDER

"I won't be fishing this year's Everstart tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn," informed Carl Svebek, of Needmore Tackle & Guide Service. "But I will be fishing and competing as a pro-boater in the FLW tour."

Carl Svebek III, of Brookeland TX, had won the first Wal-Mart/Operation Bass Everstart tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn, which was held March 25-28, '98, at Twin Dikes Marina on Lake Sam Rayburn. Carl managed to pull the "grueling" 4 day tournament win from a combination of both pre-spawn and spawning fish patterns.

"I was concentrating on the outside edges of the bushes in about 5' to 7' of water around the larger Willow trees," Carl informed, as he further told of choosing a Zoom green/pumpkin wacky worm because of it being a supple type bait which he could keep in the strike zone a lot longer.

"I used to be an "anti" wacky worm angler," Carl chuckled, "mainly due to the fact that I always thought of it as being a small bass bait. After using it with my guide customers with some people who hadn't had much experience at fishing for bass, and they caught fish fairly easily, and a lot of bass, my attitude for the wacky quickly changed. It could, and would, catch an abundance of the bigger bass that were cruising or holding on spawn patterns."

Carl would also use gold/orange Huskey Jerk Rapala's and green/pumpkin 6" Zoom lizards, but kept the wacky, rigged weightless for suspending, as his primer for catching his winning weights for the 4 day tournament.

Carl Svebek's winning pro/side catch would be gleaned from Veach Basin, Caney Creek, Black Forest, Farmers Flats, and Tiger Creek, as he managed to cull a two day weight of 10 bass 37.8 lbs. to make the top 30 cut, a 5 bass 17.2 lb. catch for the 3rd day top 10 cut, and a final day weight of 5 bass18.90 lbs. to clinch the $35,000 pro/angler win, and a priority entry berth on the FLW tour.

Unique unto itself, the Operation bass circuits of Wal-Mart Everstart and FLW tours, actually require anglers to fish and compete in a four day event which involves catching 3 different weights in order to make the cuts. First phase involves the first 2 days catch which gleans the top 30 pro/anglers and top 30 co/anglers for the 3rd day of competiion. The top 30 pro's and co/anglers are then required to catch a new weight for day threes cut to the top 10 pro's and co/anglers who then advance to a 4th, and final day cut for the winner's circle, which is held at the Wal-Mart parking lot on the final day of competition. This format of having the leaderboard cleared after each phase dis-allows the run-away factor for lucky catches, giving the finesse anglers a better chance to prove their skills as their chosen patterns have to support four days of fishing. Those anglers who can't keep their fishing patterns strong enough to withstand the four days of competition began to fall off, as the stronger patterns, and the better anglers, begin to rise to the top of their profession.

Carl Svebek III is one of those anglers who is rising to the top of his profession, as he now fishes the national circuits of the FLW tour, and the BassMaster's.

"I think the whole Operation Bass organization, which puts on the Everstart, FLW, and Redman tournament circuits, is the only way to go," Carl explained. "It provides a way for the average working man to realize his lifelong dream at becoming a national class angler. Its a step by step process though, as it is a graduating procedure for making it to the top, if that is what they set their goals for. Which is exactly what I've done, and with "thanks for the support" of my family and friends, I'm now living the life style of my dreams, as my last year's "Everstart" win on Lake Sam Rayburn gave me the opportunity for realizing my dream.

"I really like the format that the Everstart and the FLW tour provides for its anglers," answered John Hale, of Huntington TX. "The money's good and all, but the format is what makes it, especially the final day cut when the tournament field has been whittled down to just the top 10 pro's and co-anglers to compete against."

Not too many bass tournament anglers ever get the chance to compete for the kind of money that the Everstart offers, $129,000 per event, which also gives them an opportunity to fish for the $200,000 offered by the FLW tours, which is "good money" for anyone's family budget.

"As far as the Rayburn event goes," John in-sights, "I expect that if the anglers can catch at least 13 lbs. to 16 lbs. per day that they should be able to make the top 30 cut, and maybe 13 to 16 lbs. for the top 10 cut. But I expect to see at least 21 to 22 lbs. for the pro-win and at least 16 lbs. for the co-angler win on the final day. However, as Rayburn still has some pretty good bass in it, a good "kicker" bass is very possible for those weights which can, and will, pop those weights up to towards the 30 lb. mark, and that could very easily happen".

John Hale, a long time professional bass angler, with multiple national credits to his name, employs his expertise as a lure designer/consultant for Stanley Jigs.

"I will be fishing the Pro/Angler division, of the Rayburn Everstart event," John explained, as he voiced his opinion about Rayburn's diminished bass fishery. "The problem was entirely due to natural causes, which has ebbed Rayburn's ability to produce those major catches of previous years. I fully expect, that Rayburn will begin to see a dramatic increase in its 4 to 5 lb. class bass in 3 years, and will fully recover as a "lunker bass" fishery within 5 years.

"I fished the Eastern Division of the Everstart last year," explained Al Quast, of Minnetonka MN, but this year I decided to stick a little closer to home, so I've decided to fish the Rayburn event this year. I'm a member of the Minnesota State B.A.S.S. Federation with "troll-motor" controls in the Metro Area Bass Anglers, where my wife, Renee, is its secretary and fishes with me in all of the events. I've only been to Rayburn one time, about two years ago, and I came away from that trip so impressed with the lake, that I developed a special love for it. I mean t' tell ya'," Al praised, "I've never fished a lake before where you could just sit in one spot and catch over 30 bass. The Bass fishing on Sam Rayburn is absolutley incredible," Al further praised, as he stated that he was really looking forward to fishing the upcoming Everstart tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn in April.

Editors note: Al Quast will be one of the many bass anglers who will be attending this year's Everstart Pro/Am event on Lake Sam Rayburn. The event will take place April 14, 15, 16, & 17, on Lake Sam Rayburn, with the first three days of tournament operations being weighed in at Twin Dikes Marina, located on the southern shores of the lake, and with the final day weigh-in, Saturday, April 17, being held on the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Super Store in Jasper TX. All four days of tournament weigh-in's are free and open to the public's view, so come on out and enjoy the excitement of a national tour bass tournament, as anglers arrive from an estimated 18 states, to fish and compete for the top spot in the the four day tournament, as they "finesse" their way through the top 30 and the top 10 cuts to make it to the winner's circle on the final day at the Wal-Mart Super Center in Jasper, TX.

Contact the Jasper Chamber of Commerce at 409-384-2762 for information on lodging and campground facilities, and Operation Bass at 502-362-4880 -or- 502-362-4304.

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