LAKE HAVASU, Ariz. (Feb. 20, 2008) – Pro Brian Nollar of Homer, Alaska, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Western Division tournament on Lake Havasu.

“I thought I had it all figured out and it all changed today,” said Nollar. “I struggled in the morning until we found an area where there were some fish up. I covered water, probably making 800 casts.”

Nollar caught 12 bass and was able to cull four of them; he felt his choice of lure was a big factor in his success today.

“It’s going to be a matter of me making the right decisions in the next two days to make the cut. I have the whole family down from Alaska for a month and that’s my vacation. It’s exciting.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Tim Wilsterman of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (five bass, 14-02); Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (five bass, 14-01); Shaun Bailey of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (five bass, 13-14); and Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif. (five bass, 13-14).

Brandon Ober earned $250 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass. Overall there were 391 bass weighing 865 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 155 pros Wednesday. The catch included 37 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit’s five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. 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 Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.

Tournament pros 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 today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

Tony Zanotelli of Redding, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 13-00 while fishing with pro David Rush of Palermo, Calif., who is currently in 81st place.

“We didn’t fish in any of the areas where I prefished,” said Zanotelli. “Actually, I caught more fish today fishing a different style than I did in all four days of prefishing.”

Zanotelli used a very slow presentation with a variety of soft plastics. Giving credit to his location for catching his limit today, he felt there was less pressure in their area, making the fish willing to eat.

“The pro I had today had some pretty good water and there were fish in there.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Sean Kimble of San Leandro, Calif. (five bass, 10-11); Austin Ziemann of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (four bass, 10-09); Gayle Janes of Bermuda Dunes, Calif. (five bass, 9-13); and Michael Wright of Grass Valley, Calif. (four bass, 9-03).

Mike Krnaich earned $131 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound bass. Overall there were 222 bass weighing 461 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 155 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included six five-bass limits.

The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from Lake Havasu State Park/Windsor Beach located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1795 Kiowa Blvd. in Lake Havasu, Ariz., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday’s weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

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 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 or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit