“The weather played a huge factor in this tournament,” Brownlee said. “I stuck with the same plan all week. I ran up the river in an aluminum boat and targeted shallow bass. I figured I would have a consistent bite all week even with the cold fronts moving in if I went up the river. ”
Brownlee caught his bass using an array of jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
Brownlee opened the tournament Wednesday with two bass weighing 7-15. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 19-00. He then caught three bass weighing 13-06 on Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place.
Rounding out the top five pros are Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla. (11 bass, 39-10, $9,481); Curt Fannin of Prestonsburg, Ky. (10 bass, 31-10, $8,534 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); Larry Jones of Acworth, Ga. (19 bass, 31-06, $7,585); and Shane Cole of Empire, Ala. (15 bass, 31-02, $6,637).
Currey Holley of Pulaski, Tenn., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Wednesday – an 8-pound, 14-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $285.
Bill Dunn of Maynardville, Tenn., won the Co-angler Division and $5,000 cash with a four-day total of seven bass weighing 22-06.
“It was a tough week,” Dunn said. “The weather played a major factor in this tournament. Cold fronts came through the area which made it difficult to stay with a certain pattern.”
Dunn caught most of his fish this week flipping mats.
Dunn caught one bass weighing 4-33 Wednesday while fishing to open the tournament in 31st place. He then zeroed on Thursday. On Friday he added two more bass weighing 9-14 to make the top 10 cut in seventh place. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a four-bass catch weighing 8-05.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ralph Moseley of Panama City, Fla. (nine bass, 20-05, $3,836); Gerrit Goins of Cleveland, Tenn. (six bass, 18-14, $3,117); John Allen of Midland, Ga. (eight bass, 17-01, $2,398); and Matthew Roesch of Toccoa, Ga. (six bass, 16-08, $1,919).
Goins caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Wednesday – a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $144.
The next Stren Series Southeast Division event, hosted by Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, will be held March 12-15 on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala. Boats will launch from Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 1252 S. Eufaula Ave. in Eufaula.
After four qualifying events are complete in each of the Stren Series’ five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® will be awarding the largest fantasy sports payout in history. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with 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 FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
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.