(Feb 14, 2017 - Jasper, TX)
As many as 400 pros and co-anglers are set to compete in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division opener on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Feb. 23-25. The tournament, which is presented by YETI, is the first of three regular-season events scheduled in the Southwestern Division. Pros will be competing for a top award of up to $50,000 in cash and a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
“Sam Rayburn is fishing well and I think that this will be a very good tournament,” said FLW Tour pro Chris McCall of Palmer, Texas, who finished fifth in this tournament last season. “I think the majority of bass will still be prespawn, but the lake is warming up and we could see fish in all three phases of the spawn. The lake is fishing well – it’s taking 20 to 30 pounds to win local tournaments right now.”
McCall said that he expects the majority of anglers competing to be fishing shallow, but that fish will still be caught out deep as well. He said that Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps and Santone Lures swimjigs would be extremely popular baits, but jigs and crankbaits would also be a player.
“Flipping brush and timber with creature baits will be strong as well,” McCall said. “That was how the tournament was won last year.
“I think that the winner is going to have at least a 20-pound-a-day average,” McCall went on to say. “I’ll say that 64 pounds will be the winning three-day weight for this event.”
Anglers will take off from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway in Brookeland, Texas, at 7 a.m. CST each day. Weigh-ins will be held at the park each day beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. The event is hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce and the Jasper County Development District.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event. At Sam Rayburn, pros will fish for as much as $50,000 and a Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if Ranger Cup qualified. Co-anglers will cast for a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and an additional $5,000 if Ranger Cup qualified.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 2-4 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.