Rounding out the top five pros are Philip Garcia of Yuba City, Calif. (15 bass, 56-07); Jared Stone of Lakeport, Calif. (15 bass, 55-14); Sean Stafford of Fairfield, Calif. (15 bass, 54-11); and Scott Copple of Lehi, Utah (15 bass, 54-11).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 52 pounds, 1 ounce in the Pro Division are Rob Colby of Page, Ariz.; Brian Nollar of Homer, Alaska; Jason Milligan of Anderson, Calif.; Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif.; and Cory Fenske of Granite Bay, Calif.
Edwin Shaver of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., earned $300 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 12-ounce bass.
Overall there were 902 bass weighing 2,410 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 200 pros Friday. The catch included 162 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 FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
Kyle Baker of Lancaster, 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, thanks to a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 53-07.
“I feel good about going into tomorrow; it’s my first top 10,” Baker said. “I fished as slow as I possibly could and just waited for the fish to take the bait.”
Baker caught another limit today fishing slow with 5-inch finesse worms in green pumpkin and watermelon.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Scott Sweet of Chatsworth, Calif. (15 bass, 52-09); Thomas Wang of Saratoga, Calif. (15 bass, 47-05); Aaron Reitz of Soda Springs, Calif. (15 bass, 47-03); and Jerry Garcia Jr. of San Diego, Calif. (15 bass, 45-11).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 44 pounds, 11 ounces in the Co-angler Division are Jake Stephens of Reno, Nev.; Rich Reeser of Dixon, Calif.; Tommy Cardoza of Lakeport, Calif.; Kurt Walters of Grand Junction, Colo.; and John Loverin of Valley Springs, Calif.
Loverin earned $150 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to an 8-pound, 3-ounce bass.
Overall there were 753 bass weighing 1,824 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 200 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 107 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 Saturday morning from Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa located at 8727 Soda Bay Road in Kelseyville, Calif. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 15960 Dam Road in Clearlake, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. The takeoff and weigh-in 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 FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.