"The fish are biting all over the lake right now," said Chevy pro Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., who has 14 top-10 finishes, including one win in FLW Outdoors competition. "There is a very wide range of fishing right now and depending on the weather, it should spread everyone out fairly even."
While the fishing is hot now on Lake of the Ozarks, things can change rapidly, according to Hibdon.
"This time of year, things can be sketchy because there are a lot of transitional fish both deep and shallow," he said. "The weather is the most import factor and the fishing can change from one day to the next. You can weigh in nine pounds one day and 21 pounds the next day."
If the weather cooperates and holds steady, Hibdon predicts it will take about 40 pounds to make the cut.
"A couple of 30-degree nights will cause the water temperature to plummet," he said. "If that's the case, then 10 to 12 pounds per day will make the cut."
Hibdon's three top bait selections include a crankbait, topwater bait and a jig; however, if the bite slows, he'll go to the drop-shot."
"A drop-shot is not something you say too often around here," he said. "But if it gets tough, I'll whip one out. We have a real good population of spotted bass and they can save your day if the bite slows."
Anglers will take off at 7:30 each morning from PB II-Grand Glaize Beach. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will be held at the marina located at the Recreation Area of The Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo., beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 4252 Highway 54 in Osage Beach beginning at 4 p.m. Children will be treated to the Fujifilm trout pond and rides in the Kellogg's Ranger boat simulator beginning at noon Saturday prior to the final weigh-in at Wal-Mart. All events are free and open to the public.
The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three 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.
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 total purse for the Cumberland Lake tournament is $900,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the Old Hickory Lake 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 Nov. 12. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary, the United Kingdom, among other others, making it the most widely viewed weekly outdoor-sports television show 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, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, 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 exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
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.