BENTON, Ky. (April 28, 2004) – The $6.8 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour will visit Kentucky Lake May 12-15 for a $900,000 event that will bring anglers from the United States, Italy, Japan and Australia to western Kentucky. The tournament is the fifth of six regular-season stops along the 2004 FLW Tour and marks a return visit to the home of FLW Outdoors headquarters. Two hundred Pro Division anglers will be in the hunt for a top award of $100,000 cash, and 200 co-anglers will also compete for a top award of $20,000 cash.

Evinrude pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, who earned Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year honors on the FLW Tour in 2003, predicts the tournament will be won shallow by the angler who stumbles across the mother lode buried up in Kentucky Lake’s labyrinth of shoreline cover.

“Personally, I’d prefer it if the fish were on the river ledges, where you could catch them casting a big crankbait or jig, but I’m betting that won’t be the case,” he said. “I’ll go ahead and go out on a limb and say the tournament will probably be won out of the bushes (willows and brush), and more than likely on a jig. If the water is up and stable and the fish are up shallow feeding where everybody can catch them, it could get really ugly really quick.”

Anglers will take off from Kentucky Dam Village Marina at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 8 a.m. Friday. Wednesday and Thursday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 310 W. Fifth St. in Benton beginning at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

The community is encouraged to attend the Family Fun Zone Friday and Saturday outside the weigh-in tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The Family Fun Zone features interactive displays, product samples and games for the entire family to enjoy. The Fun Zone will open Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m.

The full field competes in the two-day opening round for one of 10 slots in Friday’s competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in. The 10 pros continue competition Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

In FLW Tour 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.

2004 marks the most lucrative FLW Tour season to date, as the popular tournament series features a $6.8 million purse this season, including two $500,000 events, two $900,000 events and two $1.25 million Open events during the regular season. Each event leads up to the historic $1.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, which will be held Aug. 11-14 on Logan Martin near Birmingham, Ala. The prestigious championship features 48 pros, 48 co-anglers and bass fishing’s largest guaranteed cash award – a $500,000 first-place prize for the winning pro. Held in conjunction with the tournament is a world-class outdoor show, featuring exhibits for everything from crankbaits to bass boats.

Coverage of the Kentucky Lake tournament will be broadcast to 65 million subscribers of the Outdoor Life Network on the “FLW Outdoors” television program. A tournament preview show featuring bass-fishing legend Hank Parker will air May 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern time and June 3 at 5 p.m. Eastern time, and fishing fans can watch the tournament weigh-in with hosts Carlton Wing, Taylor Carr and Charlie Evans June 6 at 1 p.m. and June 10 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Tournament veteran Larry Nixon will host a tournament wrap-up show June 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern time, and that show will re-air June 17 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

The regular season will wrap up on Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh, N.Y., June 23-26 with the $1.25 million Forrest Wood Open.

Named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, the Wal-Mart FLW Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails are the EverStart Series, the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997.