Through no fault of the participants or the organization, FLW’s Everstart circuit is pretty much an upstate party this year.  And after three events and 207 different players, the score sheet says it all.  The race–such as it is–says Jeff Michels of Lakehead probably needs binoculars to see who’s behind him in the standings.

His current 32-point lead pretty impressive because, with the exception of Joe Uribe Jr., Lake Forrest, in 5th, foreigners Duane Dunstone (Reno) in 7th and Sean Minderman (Spokane) in 9th, the Everstart top 10 is dominated by NorCals. Topping these guys on their familiar waters is never easy.

What has turned out to be easy, however, is for Michels to outpoint the 2011 Angler of the Year, Richard Dobyns of Yuba City. I had to turn three pages of printouts before I found last year’s golden boy trailing in 61st place–some 256 points in arrears.

In his defense, the younger Dobyns did not fish Lake Havasu, however his lukewarm 37th at Shasta and 44th at the Delta were anything but career-building, compared to his success last year. Of course, there is still one more stop–Clear Lake–and it’s true, the points race could create some surprises.

But if they want to catch Michels for Angler of the Year, the boys better hurry.