FORT MADISON, Iowa (July 24, 2006) - The $6 million Stren Series is headed to the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa, Aug. 9-12 for the third of four $262,125 regular-season Midwest Division events.
Anglers competing in the tournament presented by Evinrude will fish for a top pro award worth as much as $64,500, including a 519VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard and equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and EverStart batteries plus $10,000 cash. Pros will have the chance to earn an additional $10,000 bonus from Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. Ranger will award another $3,000 to the winner if he or she is a participant in the Ranger Cup program, or $1,500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant. Yamaha will match 50 percent of Ranger Cup earnings if the participant meets "Powered by Yamaha" guidelines.
Co-angler competitors will cast for a top award worth as much as $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger boat and trailer if contingency guidelines are met.
Competitors will also be vying for valuable points that could earn them a trip to the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Decatur, Ala., for a shot at $140,000 in the Pro Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the Stren Series Championship will also qualify for the $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will have a shot at bass fishing's first $1 million prize.
"It's going to be pretty good fishing," said Ranger pro Jim Jones of Big Bend, Wis., who currently leads the Stren Series Midwest Division points race. "We won't see the weight we saw at La Crosse, but there will be a lot of fish caught."
Swimming jigs and frogs will be the dominate lures at Fort Madison, according to Jones. He said he expects a good topwater bite and a lot of bass will come from vegetation.
"There will be a lot - a lot - of 2-pound bass caught," he said. "The key will be finding the schools of bigger fish, otherwise you'll be right there with everyone else with 10- to 11-pounds per day."
Jones predicts a 25 1/2 pounds will be needed to make the top-20 cut, 12 1/2 pounds to make the top 10 and a final day catch of 14 1/2- to 15 1/2-pounds to take the win.
Anglers will take off from Captain Kirk's Marina at 6 each morning. Wednesday and Thursday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina, which is located at 902 4th Street in Fort Madison, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 324 West Agency Road in West Burlington, Iowa, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
As many as 200 pros and 200 co-anglers will compete for two days to determine the top 20 pros and top 20 co-anglers who advance to day three based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three and anglers compete for 10 spots in each division on day four. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
In Stren Series competition, pros supply the boats, fish from the front deck against other pros and control boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and compete against other co-anglers. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points that determine angler standings. Two hundred points are awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 points for third, and so on. The top 40 pros and top 40 co-anglers from each of the Stren Series' five divisions - Central, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and Western - will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship on Wheeler Lake Nov. 1-4. The top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers from each division also qualify for the Wal-Mart FLW Series, where they can compete for a share of $6.5 million in 2007.
The Mississippi River Stren Series event is hosted by the Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, go to Visitfortmadison.com.
Each Stren Series division features four regular-season tournaments. The final regular-season stop of the Midwest Division will be on the Detroit River Sept. 6-9 in Detroit, Mich.
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.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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.