BENNETT LEADS WAL-MART FLW TOUR EVENT ON LEWIS SMITH LAKE

Oswalt wins co-angler title, $20,000

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 5, 2008) – Team Duracell pro Michael Bennett of Roseville, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to capture the lead in a top-10 field that includes some of the greatest anglers in the world. Bennett now holds a 2-pound, 2-ounce edge over his closest competitor, Scott Canterbury of Odenville, Ala., heading into the final day of competition in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake. If he holds on for the win, Bennett will pocket $125,000.

“It’s great to have a lead any time,” said Bennett, who has won more than $271,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “It’s not going to make me fish any more comfortably. I’m going to go out there and catch the biggest bag I can.

“There’s a couple of guys that are close enough that they could catch 15 or 16 pounds and beat me even if I catch a decent bag,” Bennett added. “I figure I need to catch at least a 12- or 13-pound limit to really seal the deal.”

Bennett is targeting Alabama spotted bass and remained tight-lipped about his leading pattern. He did, however, admit he was finesse fishing for his limits.

“I grew up spotted bass fishing and if there’s one species I know better than anything, it’s these bass,” Bennett said. Canterbury caught five fish weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces to advance to the final day of competition as the No. 2 seed.

Rounding out the top 10 pros are Team Prilosec pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla. (five bass, 11-1); Team Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash. (five bass, 10-12); Team Castrol pro Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla. (five bass, 9-15); Team Snickers pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (five bass, 9-11); Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla. (three bass, 7-11); Danny Pierce of Greenbrier, Ark. (four bass, 7-10); Team Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla. (two bass, 4-5) and Brandon Coulter of Knoxville, Tenn. (two bass, 3-15).

Overall there were 41 bass weighing 92 pounds caught in the Pro Division Saturday. The catch included six five-bass limits.

Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, which offers $7.3 million in cash and prizes, FLW Outdoors® presents anyone with the opportunity to land the catch of a lifetime. Players in the lucrative new fantasy sports league can become virtual pros by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provides exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and receive a complimentary $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

Lynn Oswalt of Jasper, Ala., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Saturday with two bass weighing 3 pounds, 5 ounces followed by Teddy Roberts of Faubush, Ky., in second place with one bass weighing 1-13 worth $10,000.

Oswalt opened the tournament in 33rd place Thursday with two bass weighing 4 pounds while fishing with pro Keith Combs of Del Rio, Texas. On Friday he jumped into third place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 11-04 while fishing with Shad Schenck of Waynetown, Ind. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Pugh.

“I felt like all day long I was going to need to catch more than two fish,” said Oswalt, who earned his win in only his second FLW Outdoors event. “You never really know what’s in those other boys’ sacks, and they’re all sitting there looking at you and grinning. I’ve been close before in these things, but nothing this big.”

Oswalt caught his first keeper on his first cast of the day and managed to boat two other fish – but only one keeper – using a 3/16-ounce shaky-head rig paired with a green-pumpkin worm.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Paul Mueller of Southbury, Conn. (one bass, 1-11, $9,000); Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark. (zero bass, $8,000); Larry Hostetler of Floyds Knobs, Ind. (zero bass, $7,000); Masahiro Yanase of Nagoya, Japan (zero bass, $6,000); Greg Edwards of Jasper, Ala. (zero bass, $5,000); Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark. (zero bass, $4,000); Chad Hillis of McMinnville, Tenn. (zero bass, $3,000) and William Grantham of Mobile, Ala. (zero bass, $2,000).

Overall there were only four bass weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included no five-bass limits.

Anglers will take off at 7 Sunday morning from Lewis Smith Dam located at 640 Powerhouse Rd. in Jasper, Ala., followed by a 4 p.m. weigh-in at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex located at 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. in Birmingham.

Prior to the final day weigh-in, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex from noon to 6 p.m. The Family Fun Zone is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other manufacturers while children are treated to fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator.

Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Sunday will also receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last, and one lucky member of the audience will win a new Ranger boat during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in on Sunday. Admission is free and you must be present to win.

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

Coverage of the Lewis Smith Lake 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 May 11 and 18. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.