Although the 2008 tournament season is in full swing, top-ranked pros from the 2007 National Guard Western Division and BP Eastern Division are still fighting for berths into the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. The No. 1 seeds from each division will face the No. 30 seeds, the No. 2 seeds with face the No. 29 seeds, etc. The entire field competes all three days with the winner of each head-to-head matchup in the Pro Division determined by the heaviest total weight from all three days. In the Co-angler Division, the top 30 competitors based on total weight will advance to the Forrest Wood Cup, bass-fishing’s crown jewel. The pro with the heaviest overall weight will also earn $25,000, and the co-angler with the heaviest overall weight will earn $5,000.
Lake Amistad is known for producing big catches, particularly in the months of February and March. In fact, with the right conditions, the clear-water lake, with its vast areas of grass and submerged trees, is capable of producing record catches, as it is already home to the heaviest one-day catch (five bass weighing 37 pounds set in January 2007) and biggest bass (14 pounds, 8 ounces set in March 2007) in FLW Outdoors history.
After struggling on day one, San Diego, Calif., pro Clayton Meyer dropped jaws on day two of the Fish-Off. Meyer, the No. 13 seed from the National Guard Western Division, easily out-fished his opponent, Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., the No. 18 seed from the BP Eastern Division. Meyer’s five-bass limit weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces set a new single-day weight record for the FLW Series, making Rose’s respectable catch of five bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces seem paltry by comparison. In fact, Meyer’s 34-5 is the second-heaviest day-two catch in the history of FLW Outdoors.
To catch his fish, Meyer is dragging a brown and copper 5/8-ounce football-head jig in depths of 15-20 feet. He is tipping the jig with a single-tail grub in green-pumpkin color. In total, Meyer estimates he caught a dozen keepers on day two, including a 10 1/2-pounder and an 8-pounder. With a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 46-10, he holds a 7-ounce lead over his closest competitor heading into the final day of competition.
Coming in with the second-heaviest two-day total is Neil Russell of Nampa, Idaho. His 19 pounds, 10 ounces on day two combined with his opening-day catch of 26-9 for a total of 46-3 gives him a 21-pound lead over Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner. Like many others, Russell is dragging a 3/4-ounce football-head jig. He’s also using a 1-ounce Carolina rig with a creature bait. Both baits are being presented in 15-28 feet of water. The bottom of the water column where Russell is targeting his bass is covered with 6 inches of hydrilla. It is also adjacent to a spawning flat, which is why he believes it has the ability to replenish. He plans to milk his primary area and if his big fish bite, he believes he could win the $25,000 first-place purse.
FSN also shadows Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre, the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Division. The 2004 FLW Tour champion is adding to his angling repertoire this week at Lake Amistad. With several victories and Angler of the Year titles across the FLW Outdoors circuit spectrum, it’s hard to imagine that the Pennsylvania pro could get any better. But as Lefebre learns the nuances of the swimbait, he becomes even more dangerous. Despite losing a monster, he still managed a 20-pound limit on day two. With one day on the water remaining, his two-day total weight is now 44 pounds, 15 ounces, which gives him a 12-pound, 15-ounce lead over Western pro Rusty Salewske.
FSN broadcasts “FLW Outdoors” Sunday mornings. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLWOutdoors.com also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes on “FLW Outdoors.”
FSN is broadcast to 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 more than 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 429 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.
Tournament anglers 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.
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.