Bae wins co-angler title, $35,000

HENDERSON, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2008) – Pro Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday to win the Stren Series Northern Division tournament on Kerr Lake with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 45-06. For his victory, Iaconelli earned $25,000 cash.

“This win really means a lot to me,” said Iaconelli, who has a Bassmaster Classic win on his resume. “Early in my career I fished BFLs and Stren Series events, and the Stren Series events are the only level where I never notched a win. Those BFL and Stren events were very instrumental to me and where I am today.

“There are some amazing fishermen in the Stren Series events, and that just makes this win mean that much more to me,” Iaconelli added.

Iaconelli said he relied on three baits during the tournament to produce his daily limits — a ½-ounce Sexy Shad-colored Strike King Red Eye Shad, a wide wobbling handmade balsa crankbait with a chartreuse back and pearl sides and a shaky head rig with a 3/16-ounce weight and a green pumpkin worm. Iaconelli said he targeted hydrilla growing in Kerr Lake.

“When I fished here eight or nine years ago, there wasn’t as much grass,” Iaconelli said. “That hydrilla is relatively new and fish love it. It produced and was reliable for me every day.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C. (18 bass, 43-05, $5,696); Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va. (20 bass, 43-04, $5,126 plus $5,000 Ranger bonus); David Wright of Lexington, N.C. (19 bass, 42-10, $4,557) and Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich. (20 bass, 41-01, $3,987).

Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., won the Co-angler Division and $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger boat, with a four-day total of 14 bass weighing 32-15.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jerry Hayden of Charlotte, N.C. (16 bass, 31-07, $2,663); Billy Carroll of Fayetteville, N.C. (13 bass, 29-02, $2,164); Matthew Jennings of Suffolk, Va. (13 bass, 28-01, $1,663) and Mike McDonald of Randleman, N.C. (15 bass, 26-09, $1,331).

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. 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 is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

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Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.