CLEWISTON, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2005) – Pedigree pro Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 14 ounces to lead round one of the $900,000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop on Lake Okeechobee presented by EverStart Batteries. The full field was cut to 10 pros and 10 co-anglers for Friday’s semifinal round where weights will be zeroed. Pros fish Friday and Saturday, and the pro with the heaviest two-day cumulative weight wins $100,000. The co-angler title, and a $20,000 first-place prize, will be awarded at the conclusion of Friday’s competition.

Conditions – weather, water and fishing – were nearly identical to those seen on day one. The weather was not ideal but not bad – mostly clear skies, a stiff breeze, a very chilly morning and mild afternoon. The lake was very murky with isolated, heavily pressured areas of clear water. Most of the 200 boats were packed into a half-dozen spots, with the Monkey Box being the most popular area. Effective techniques on Thursday included Texas-rigged plastics, Senkos/Flashes, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Largemouths are in all phases of the spawn.

“This is just awesome,” said Kennedy, who jumped from 39th place with a day-two weight of 25 pounds, 15 ounces. “I caught an 8-pounder, a 7-pounder and a 6-pounder by flipping.

“I fished the Monkey Box area and I’ll be there all day tomorrow. It was crowded today like it was yesterday, but there won’t be near as many people there tomorrow.”

Kennedy finished fourth in the EverStart Series event on Lake Okeechobee two weeks ago. He also had a big day two at that event, bringing 27 pounds, 5 ounces to the scales.

Rounding out the top-five pros are Yamaha pro Kelly Jordan of Mineola, Texas (10 bass, 30 pounds, 8 ounces); BFGoodrich Tires pro Chad Grigsby of Colon, Mich. (10 bass, 30 pounds, 8 ounces); Yamaha pro Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas (10 bass, 30 pounds); and Toshinari Namiki of Mineola, Texas (10 bass, 29 pounds, 7 ounces).

Castrol pro Bobby Curtis of Siloam Springs, Ark., caught an 11-pound monster largemouth Thursday – tied for the second largest bass ever recorded in FLW Tour history – to earn Snickers Big Bass honors in the Pro Division. He earned $750 for his big bass.

Bob Bjorklund of Aurora, Col., leads the Co-angler Division thanks to his two-day catch of six bass that weighed 21 pounds, 8 ounces. Bjorklund caught 20 pounds, 7 ounces Thursday – anchored by an 8-pound, 14-ounce lunker – to jump an incredible 133 places to take the lead. He only weighed one bass Wednesday that weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce.

Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Nick Hamra of Chesterfield, Mo. (nine bass, 21 pounds, 2 ounces); Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas (six bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces); William Bridges of Tallapoosa, Ga. (three bass, 18 pounds, 5 ounces); and Jimmey Shelton of Wellington, Fla. (seven bass, 17 pounds, 10 ounces).

Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., claimed the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Wednesday thanks to a 10-pound, 2-ounce bass that earned him $375.

Anglers will take off from Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina in Clewiston each morning at 7. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1005 W. Sugarland Highway in Clewiston beginning at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

The community is invited to attend the free Family Fun Zone Friday and Saturday outside the weigh-in tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The Family Fun Zone, which opens at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday, features interactive displays, product samples and games for the entire family to enjoy.

Following Thursday’s competition, the field was narrowed from 200 competitors per division to 10, and weights were cleared for Friday’s competition. Co-angler competition concludes Friday based on the heaviest one-day weight, and pros continue competition Saturday with the winner determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

Anglers are also competing this week for valuable points that determine Land O’ Lakes Angler of the Year standings and the field for the 2005 Forrest L. Wood Championship, set for July 13-16 in Hot Springs, Ark., on Lake Hamilton. The $1.5 million championship presented by Castrol awards the winning pro $500,000 cash, the sport’s largest award, and features a world-class outdoor show with more than 140 booths and displays for everything from crankbaits to bass boats.

Complete coverage of the FLW Tour is broadcast to 82 million Fox Sports Net (FSN) subscribers as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.

For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit 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 title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit