Pros are competing for as much as $64,500 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 against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Ranger owners' tournaments for bass fishing's first $1 million top award.
"I had a tough day today and struggled to get what I did," said Shaffer, who has one Stren Series win and five top-10 finishes. "The wind changed directions from yesterday and repositioned the fish. I only got five bites all day."
Shaffer caught his fish on either a drop-shot rig rigged with a goby or a by dragging a tube. He ran from spot to spot - starting at the ramp and fishing as far as 35 miles out on to Lake Erie.
Rounding out the top five pros are Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich. (10 bass, 43 pounds, 6 ounces); Mike Trombly of Perrysburg, Ohio (10 bass, 43 pounds, 4 ounces); Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio (10 bass, 42 pounds, 12 ounces); and John Devries of Fishers, Ind. (10 bass, 42 pounds, 8 ounces).
Scott Emery of Livonia, Mich., earned $425 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Dick Parker of Amherst, 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 10 bass weighing 42 pounds, 3 ounces while fishing with pro Bob Snyder who finished the tournament in 129th place.
"Bob had a tough day yesterday and only caught one fish," said Parker, who had a top-10 finish on Lake Erie in July. "He could have easily stayed in the river today, because he was basically out of the tournament, but he didn't. He said he would take me anywhere I wanted to go."
Parker concentrated his efforts on humps in 22 feet of water using a 3-inch ISG tube in melon.
"We went to a few areas that I found pre-fishing and looked for fish on the graph," he said. "About three of the humps and heavy marks on them and that's where I caught my fish."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are James Richardson Sr. (10 bass, 41 pounds, 9 ounces); Caleb Kuphall of Mukwonago, Wis. (10 bass, 40 pounds); Charles Hasty of Toledo, Ohio (10 bass, 37 pounds, 9 ounces); and Barry Narrin of Fostoria, Mich. (10 bass, 37 pounds, 9 ounces).
Andy Bylander, earned $185 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Anglers will take off at 7 Friday morning from Elizabeth Park located at 200 Grosse Isle Parkway in Trenton, Mich. The weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, anglers will launch from Lake Erie Metropark located at 32481 W. Jefferson in Brownstown, Mich., at 6:45 a.m. with the weigh-in to be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich. beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The event is hosted by the Elizabeth Park and Wayne County Parks. For more information, visit their Web site at www.waynecountyparks.org.
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 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 tournament programs, visit 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.