The Rayovac FLW Series is bringing roughly 400 anglers and co-anglers to the city of Clewiston this week. The three-day, 200-boat tournament started Wednesday, Jan. 21 with registrations and a pre-tournament meeting at the John Boy Auditorium.
Anglers took off from Roland and Mary Ann Martin Marina at 7 a.m. this morning for the first day of the competition, and will take off at the same time tomorrow and Saturday. Weigh-ins will be held at the marina at 3 p.m. today and tomorrow and at Walmart at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The competition carries a hefty $40,000 grand prize for pros, plus the chance to win a Ranger Z518C with 200 HP outboard and the $5,000 Ranger Cup.
The Rayovac FLW Series is the second large fishing tournament to come to Clewiston during the month of January. The first tournament, the Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament, was held Jan. 3 and brought over 450 anglers and co-anglers to the city.
These tournaments call for a combined effort from the city and its businesses, with the hosts — Roland and Mary Martin Marina and the Tourism Development Council — working with city agencies, including the police and utilities departments, in different capacities. During the BFL tournament, Clewiston police officers helped direct boaters to their specified ramps to speed up the launching process, and Utilities Director Danny Williams helped light up the staging area when the weigh-in lasted into the evening hours.
In an email, Ramon Iglesias, general manager of Roland Martin Marina, wrote that it is “team work like this that helps make Clewiston ‘America’s Sweetest Town.’”
Iglesias also noted in the email that he counted 80 boats at the various hotels throughout the city on the Friday before the tournament, including 31 at Best Western, nine at Holiday Inn, 15 at The Clewiston Inn, 10 at the Executive, seven at Travel Inn and seven at Motor Inn.
After the Rayovac Series, a second, one-day BFL tournament will be held at the marina on Saturday, Jan. 31. The tournament is expected to bring 400 anglers and co-anglers.