KELSEYVILLE, Calif. (April 16, 2008) – Pro Wade Curtiss of Lincoln, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 34 pounds, 11 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Western Division tournament on Clear Lake. “I pretty much fished most of the lake today and did a lot of bed fishing,” Curtiss said. “It was the warmest it’s been in a few days, and everything just fell into place today.”

Curtiss fished both the north and south ends of the lake, and said it felt good to be in the lead, but it was also a little nerve wracking.

Rounding out the top five pros are Brian Nollar of Homer, Alaska (five bass, 26-02); Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif. (five bass, 25-13); Jim Davis of Plumas Lake, Calif. (five bass, 23-06); and Stephen Morgan of Queensland, Australia (five bass, 22-12).

Davis earned $300 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 10-pound, 10-ounce bass.

Overall there were 956 bass weighing 2,797 pounds caught by 200 pros Wednesday. The catch included 178 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit’s five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. 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® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. 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 today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

Dan Tracy of Prunedale, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 23-07 while fishing with pro David Solis of Paso Robles, Calif., who is currently in 80th place.

“I’m really excited to be in the lead; I will have to keep it up tomorrow,” Tracy said. “We had a key area that was a little creek inlet, and we fished points to catch prespawning fish.”

Tracy used 5- and 7-inch Senkos in dark colors to catch his bass.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif. (five bass, 23-01); Scott Sweet of Chatsworth, Calif. (five bass, 22-00); Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif. (five bass, 20-09); and Fred Olson of San Diego, Calif. (five bass, 20-00).

Name earned $150 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 9-pound, 13-ounce bass.

Overall there were 809 bass weighing 2,134 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 200 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 122 five-bass limits.

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 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa located at 8727 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville, Calif. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 15960 Dam Road in Clearlake, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday’s weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

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 or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit