"I feel like a 100,000 bucks right now," said Hoernke, who finally got his big tour win with FLW Outdoors after coming close several times. "What a great week. I caught these fish today following a whole different pattern that I haven't even fished all week. With all the changing conditions I got to try so many techniques all in one week. I knew it was going to come down to who could change with the weather and luckily it was me."
"I am excited about next season. I learned a lot about my weaknesses this week and I am going to try and improve on them over the off season to better prepare myself for next year.
Hoernke was throwing a Porky's Revenge jig head, made by his own tackle company, Hoern Toad Tackle, tipped with a 4-inch Zoom finesse worm around points, pockets and banks in 8 to 20 feet of water to catch his bass on Saturday.
Rounding out the top five pros are Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala. (13 bass, 33-5, $40,000); Chevy pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C. (13 bass, 32-12, $30,000) and Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. (12 bass, 32-00, $20,000).
On Friday Spencer Lynn of Vinemont, Ala., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 with a three-day total of seven bass weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chris Malone of Ironton, Ohio (seven bass, 17-9, $10,000); Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala. (six bass, 16-5, $9,000); Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark. (seven bass, 16-4, $8,000) and Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark. (five bass, 12-7, $7,000).
Overall the 10 pro finalists caught 27 bass weighing 54 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday, including three five-bass limits.
Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., won the FLW Series Angler of the Year Title Saturday and earned an automatic bid into the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Quachita in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 2-5, 2007.
"I can't believe that I won," said Lefebre, who was also the points champion in the Stren Series, Northeast Division. "I cant even put it into words. I felt like I didn't even have a chance to win the Angler of the Year going into this event"
"It is real refreshing that I am already qualified for the FLW Tour Championship. It is going to take a lot of stress off of me and gives me the opportunity to swing for the fences instead of having to fish for points. I will be able to fish like I did before I turned pro."
Along with Lefebre, the top 30 pros and top 25 co-anglers in the year end standings will also advance to the lucrative championship where they will be fishing for a share of $2 million. The Forrest Wood Cup will also feature qualifiers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, The Bass Federation (TBF) and Ranger owners' tournaments. The winning pro at the Forrest Wood Cup is guaranteed $500,000 plus a $500,000 bonus if he runs a Ranger boat.
The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. Co-angler competition concludes on day three with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.
Coverage of the Lewis Smith Lake FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing Dec. 17. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 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 servicemembers 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.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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.