GOODWIN LEADS WAL-MART FLW SERIES EVENT ON LAKE HAVASU
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (Jan. 31, 2007) -Pro Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., landed five bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces Wednesday to lead day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on Lake Havasu. He now holds a 1-pound, 5-ounce lead in the $1 million tournament featuring 195 pros and 195 co-anglers representing 19 states, Mexico, Australia and Japan.
"It feels great to be leading this event," said Goodwin, who has two wins and two top-10 finishes on Lake Havasu. "With this accumulative weight format, it is like running a marathon. There is still a long way to go and a lot of great anglers still within reach. These fish were hard to catch. Luckily, I got the right bites.
"I am not going to change anything for tomorrow. I'm covering a lot of water and looking for reaction bites. I think I fish well under pressure and I'm ready to go again," he said.
Pro RJ Bennett of Roseville, Calif., trails Goodwin in the No. 2 spot with five bass weighing 12-8.
Bennett was working a long stretch of shoreline targeting submerged wood and grass to gather his quality sized, five-bass limit.
Rounding out the top five pros are Shaun Bailey of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (five bass, 11-2); Rob Wenning of Sparks, Nev. (four bass, 10-11) and Eric McFarland of Meridian, Idaho (five bass, 10-8).
Jason Borofka of Salinas, Calif., earned the day's $488 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 8-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Overall there were 311 bass weighing 633 pounds caught by 195 pros Wednesday. The catch included 15 five-bass limits and a there was a 100 percent live release rate.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fishoff and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million - the sport's biggest award. The top 30 pros from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff, which will be held Jan. 17-19, 2008. The location for the fishoff has not yet been announced. Thirty winners from the fishoff will advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Robert O'Donnell of Payson, Ariz., leads the Co-angler Division with two bass weighing 9-12 followed by David Shearrer of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., in second place with three bass weighing 6-10.
"This is great," said O'Donnell, who is fishing in his very first FLW Outdoors event. "My pro, Jim Lyon, was totally awesome. He is an excellent angler and I was happy to be paired with him.
"I struggled through most of the morning. I didn't have my first fish until around 2 p.m. I'm excited to be leading but there are still two days left."
O'Donnell caught his bass fishing slow around rocky points while fishing with pro Jim Lyon of Reno, Nev., who is currently in 48th place with three bass weighing 5-6.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Michael Crowther of La Jara, Colo. (three bass, 5-14); Paul Bailey of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (three bass, 5-12) and Bill Scharton of Oakdale, Calif. (two bass, 5-6).
O'Donnell also earned $295 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000. Like the pros, the top 30 co-anglers from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff for a shot at the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7:30 each morning from Lake Havasu State Park/Windsor Park located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m.
Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1795 Kiowa Boulevard in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Wal-Mart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include the Fujifilm trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The entire field competes for the first three days, and co-angler competition concludes on day three with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Coverage of the Lake Havasu FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing March 11. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in Europe, Africa and Asia, making it the most widely distributed weekly fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 238 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Source: flwoutdoors.com (2007-01-31)