MINNEAPOLIS (July 25, 2006) - Stretching more than 100 miles from Whitehall, N.Y., across the Canadian border to the Richelieu River in Quebec, Lake Champlain is an impressive body of water famous for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishing. In 2006, however, largemouth bass played a critical role in determining the winner of the final qualifying event of the $7.6 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour season. Records will fall as "FLW Outdoors" highlights the event in two parts, the first beginning Sunday, Aug. 6 on FSN. The $900,000 tournament, which was presented by Kellogg's, awarded the winning bass pro a cash prize of $100,000.
On day one, Lake Champlain proved that its world-class reputation is well deserved by shattering the FLW Tour's single-day catch, weight and limits records. While nearly everyone was catching five-bass limits, the bigger fish were more difficult to bring in the boat.
The Aug. 6 show presents several mini-features with the 10 pros that caught the big fish and made the cut after two days of competition. The features include FLW Tour pros Dion Hibdon, Jerry Williams and Keith Williams.
After five qualifying tournaments, Hibdon, a Team Chevy pro, was languishing in 75th place in the points race. He knew that in order to qualify for the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, he would need an amazing performance on legendary Lake Champlain. Hibdon, who has earned over $650,000 in his career, chose to target big largemouths in the grass. The Stover, Mo., pro made the hour-long run south each day to the shallow Ticonderoga, N.Y., area of the lake. Watch as Hibdon saves his season by bagging over 40 pounds during the opening round.
Jerry and Keith Williams are father and son pros from Conway, Ark. Jerry, the elder of the two, is a veteran competitor having fished the FLW Tour since 1998. Keith is a young gun who has already earned over $200,000 in his FLW Outdoors career. At Lake Champlain, both family members decided to focus their efforts on hefty largemouth bass. Keith started the week fishing on the south end of the lake but worked his way back up toward Plattsburgh, N.Y., as the tournament progressed. Keith sacked 34-6 during the opening round while Jerry caught 33-7, as the two made history as the first father and son duo to make the top-10.
FSN will also air a segment on the 2006 Land O' Lakes Angler of the Year race. The award, which rewards consistency, is given to the pro angler who accumulates the most points during the six qualifying events. Three anglers are still in prime position to capture AOY honors. Folgers pro Anthony Gagliardi held the lead coming into the event, with Tyson pro Jim Moynagh and Matt Herren hot on Gagliardi's trail. Tune in as each of these pros talk about their chances of claiming one of the most prestigious awards in competitive angling.
In addition, Wet Ones pro Brennan Bosley of Benton, Ark., participates in this edition of Fishing 101. Bosley, who has already earned over $120,000 this year, shows fans the equipment necessary to fish beds and how to attract spawning bass to bite.
FSN is the industry leader in providing the most up-to-date technology in TV production. FSN puts viewers in the boats with the pros, shadowing them from sunrise until the final weigh-in using innovative camera work that gives fishing fans the most intimate viewing experience available.
FSN broadcasts "FLW Outdoors" Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon ET. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLWOutdoors.com also provides an online show guide listing what events are coming up on "FLW Outdoors."
During each tournament show, "FLW Outdoors" hosts Charlie Evans and Keith Lebowitz go on location to provide on-the-water coverage. "FLW Outdoors" is tape-delayed to bring audiences nationwide the best tournament footage possible throughout the season.
FSN reaches more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces over 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including "Best Damn Sports Show Period" and "Beyond the Glory" documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com.
"FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to more than 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 service men and women stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
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.
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.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.