Hults wins co-angler title, $35,000

NATCHITOCHES, La. (Sept. 27, 2008) – Pro Ricky Fuqua of Effie, La., caught four bass weighing 9 pounds, 09 ounces Saturday to win the Stren Series Texas Division tournament on the Red River with a four-day total of 16 bass weighing 44-15. For his victory, Fuqua earned $25,000 cash.

“This event was great … super, even,” said Fuqua, who won the first and only Stren Series event he has fished. “I just couldn’t catch any fish. And then yesterday I had one of those awesome days and it worked out real good.” Fuqua’s “awesome” day was a five-bass limit that weighed 19-14. In a tournament that didn’t see many 14-pound stringers, Fuqua’s third-day weight gave him a little breathing room on the final day of competition.

“I went into the final day almost three pounds in the lead, so that was like already having a kicker fish in the boat,” Fuqua said. “Even though I only had four fish, it was like having five.” Fuqua said he used a swimming jig in 1 ½ to 2 feet of water near wood structure to catch his fish all four days of competition.

Fuqua opened the tournament in 31st place Wednesday with four bass weighing 8-02. On Thursday he added another three bass weighing 7-06 to move to 27th place. He then caught the monster five-bass limit weighing 19-14 on Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place.

Rounding out the top five pros are Ricky Scott of Van Buren, Ark. (19 bass, 42-01, $5,473 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); Kevin Lasyone of Dry Prong, La. (20 bass, 41-06, $4,925 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); David Curtis of Trinity, Texas (18 bass, 38-01, $4,378); and Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas (17 bass, 36-11, $3,831).

Fuqua caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Friday – a 5-pound, 14-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $165.

Overall there were 37 bass weighing 64 pounds, 9 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included three five-bass limits.

Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger boat, with a four-day total of 15 bass weighing 28-11.

“We fished the backwater area that had a lot of structure in it,” said Hults, who has won more than $138,000 fishing as a co-angler in FLW Outdoors events. “I really struggled. I ended up catching them on a few different baits than what I had thrown all week.”

Hults said he caught one of his final-day fish on a chatter-type bait and the other on a spinnerbait. Earlier in the tournament, Hults said he caught the majority of his fish on worms and jigs.

“I lost a good one right off of the bat and then I caught the two I weighed,” Hults said. “We just didn’t have any good bites.

“I was the most nervous I had ever been in a tournament,” Hults added. “I thought one or two people would catch them real good, but they didn’t.”

Hults caught five bass weighing 9-12 Wednesday while fishing with pro Peter Daniels of Shreveport, La., to open the tournament in fifth place. He then caught five bass weighing 9-09 Thursday while fishing with pro Stan Burgay of Timpson, Texas, to capture his lead. On Friday he added three more bass weighing 5-13 to make the top 10 cut in first place while fishing with pro Ricky Scott of Van Buren, Ark. Finally, on Saturday, he sealed the win with a two-bass catch weighing 3-09 while fishing with Fuqua.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Stephen Francis of Brookeland, Texas (14 bass, 25-14, $2,609); Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas (13 bass, 24-11, $2,120); Chris Weaver of Lawton, Okla. (13 bass, 23-02, $1,629); and Bennie Anderson of Grand Prairie, Texas (14 bass, 21-14, $1,304).

Larry Beauboeuf of Natchitoches, La., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Co-angler Division Wednesday – a 6-pound, 15-ounce bass – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $99.

Overall there were 19 bass weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included one five-bass limits.

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 Walmart FLW Tour®, Walmart FLW Series®, Walmart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.

Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offered 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 could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.

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. FLW Outdoors also took 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.