EUFAULA, Ala. (May 8, 1999) — Derrick Millirons of Seale, Alabama, took first place in the fourth Eastern Division event of Operation Bass' EverStart Batteries Series, with a catch of 12 pounds, 4 ounces to capture the $35,000 first prize in the event concluded Saturday on Lake Eufaula.
Millirons survived two earlier elimination rounds and 150 anglers enroute to the EverStart victory, edging out nine other finalists competing in Saturday's final round of the professional division. He received $10,000 and an Evinrude-powered Ranger boat for the victory. Doug Beaver of Dawson, Georgia, took the runner-up spot with a championship round weight of 10 pounds, 10 ounces, good for $10,000.
The winner of the co-angler division was Jerry Tice of Chipley, Florida, who had a winning weight of 3pounds, 13 ounces, besting runner-up Judy Israel of Clewiston, Florida, by a scant 12 ounces at 3 pounds, 1 ounce. Tice collected $5,000 for his co-angler division victory.
The win gives Millirons and Tice priority entry into the lucrative Wal-Mart FLW Tour professional bass tournaments in 2000. The total purse for the Lake Eufaula tournament was $154,100 including an Evinrude-powered Ranger bass boat.
The highest-finishing Ranger boat owner in the tournament qualifies to enter the $3.5 million Ranger M1 Millennium tournament to be held in November. The Ranger Millennium will be the richest bass event in history, with a $1 million first-place cash prize at stake. The Ranger owner who catches the largest bass in each division over the course of the season will also qualify for the Ranger Millennium tournament.
The EverStart Batteries Series consists of eight regular events, four in the Central and four in the Eastern Division, and two EverStart Challenge tournaments. The Challenge events, one per division, feature the same format as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour tournaments. The 150-man pro and co-angler fields will be cut to the top 10 after two days. Co-angler competition is ended at the conclusion of day three, with only the top five pros left to compete on the final day.
The EverStart Series has become a favorite of serious bass anglers. It affords anglers the opportunity to fish for large purses and gives the top 30 anglers, based on overall points at year end, priority entry into the following year's Wal-Mart FLW Tour. The EverStart Series pays back $120,900 in cash and prizes to the top 30 pros in each regular event, and $216,800 to pros in the EverStart Challenge events. Each of the eight regular EverStart events feature total cash and prizes of $154,100 including an Evinrude-equipped Ranger bass boat. The fifth and final event in both the Central and Eastern Division is the EverStart Challenge, each of which will have a $283,200 purse, including an Evinrude-equipped Ranger boat.
EverStart(TM) batteries are marketed exclusively through Wal-Mart stores. EverStart is the world's largest recycler of batteries. Sponsors of the EverStart Batteries Series of bass tournaments include: EverStart Batteries, Chevy Trucks, CITGO Petroleum, Ranger Boats, Evinrude Outboards and Electrics, Black & Decker, Coca-Cola, Coleman, Eveready, Land O'Lakes, Mitchell, SpiderWire, Uniroyal, Wal-Mart, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, Wrangler, US Bank-VISA, and Wheaties.