MANNING, S.C. (April 19, 2006) – Pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces to lead day one of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on the Santee Cooper lakes. Pros are competing for as much as $64,500 in cash and prizes and valuable points that could qualify them for a trip to the $1 million Stren Series Championship for a shot at $140,000. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the Stren Series Championship will also earn a spot in the new $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup where they will compete for bass fishing’s first $1 million top award.

The tournament – the fourth and final Southeast Division event – includes a field of 180 boats. Wednesday’s spring weather conditions were typical for the area – warm and humid with thunderstorms. Many bass are still moving up on beds to spawn, and the on-and-off showers and wind caused problems for anglers sight-fishing.

“I actually had a tough day,” Kreiger said. “I only had one keeper in the boat at 11:30 a.m. and ended up only catching about seven or eight keepers. The weather was bad, and I was trying to sight-fish. When the sun came out and I could see, I could catch them. But when the wind started blowing and it started raining, it was tough.

“I didn’t see as many on beds today, but that could have because of the weather. I found enough on beds to get through the first round, if I can catch what I can see. If I make the top-20 cut, then I’ll have to start over and find more fish.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla. (five bass, 22 pounds); Lisa Opel of Hernando, Fla. (five bass, 21 pounds, 5 ounces); Nicolas Supik of Tarentum, Pa. (five bass, 20 pounds, 14 ounces); and Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C. (five bass, 20 pounds, 9 ounces).

Scott Hamlin of Clermont, Fla., caught a 9-pound, 4-ounce bass to earn the day’s $650 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division.

Joseph Ellis Sr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award worth as much as $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught four bass weighing 19 pounds, 6 ounces.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Reginald Pickett of Greensboro, N.C. (four bass, 13 pounds, 15 ounces); Angelo Koundourakis of Bainbridge, Ga. (four bass, 12 pounds, 7 ounces); Derek Schlotterback of Simpsonville, S.C. (five bass, 11 pounds, 1 ounce); and Jimmy Batts of Raleigh, N.C. (five bass, 11 pounds).

Tony Cook of Summerville, S.C., earned $230 for the Snicker’s Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 9-pound largemouth.

Anglers caught a total of 741 bass Wednesday weighing 2,087 pounds, 7 ounces.

Thursday’s weigh-in will begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time at John C. Land III Sportfishing Facility in Summerton, S.C. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 481 West Boyce St. in Manning beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs are at 7 a.m. each morning at John C. Land III Sportfishing Facility. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of three rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 20 pros and co-anglers – based on two-day accumulated weights – advance to day three. Anglers start at zero Thursday and compete for 10 spots in each division in the final round. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.

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, 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 Stratos Owners Tournament Trail. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.7 million through 241 events in 2006.

For more information about 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 an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit