FLW Tour and Bassmaster Tour pros from the 2005 season had the first crack at registration, now Ranger owners will get a shot followed by Stratos and Champion owners and other aspiring pros. With the circuit's 200-boat fields nearing capacity, Ranger owners may register beginning at 8 a.m. Central time Oct. 25 followed by Stratos and Champion owners Oct. 26, and all other aspiring pros Oct. 27.
Co-anglers who fished the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Tour in 2005 may register beginning at 8 a.m. Oct. 28 followed by Ranger owners Nov. 1, Stratos and Champion owners Nov. 2, and all other co-anglers Nov. 3.
Pro and co-angler entries will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis for anglers who enter all five FLW Series events. To enter, call (270) 252-1000 on your designated registration date or visit FLWOutdoors.com. Deposits are $750 per tournament for pros and $150 per tournament for co-anglers. Entry fees are $2,750 for pros and $650 for co-anglers.
The new FLW Series features five $900,000 events that qualify anglers for the new $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup where they will face top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Ranger owners tournaments for a shot at a $500,000 award. If the winning pro runs a Ranger boat, the top award jumps to $1 million. Eighty pros and co-anglers will qualify for the five-day Forrest Wood Cup, where head-to-head competition in the Pro Division means the eventual winner must defeat just 12 other top anglers to earn $500,000 to $1 million.
Every FLW Series qualifier pays $100,000 to the winning pro and $20,000 to the winning co-angler. The 50th place pro in every qualifier is also guaranteed $10,000.
Pros will use their own boats on all four days of competition in FLW Series qualifiers, and with the exception of alcohol and tobacco logos, may display any logos they choose. Pros may also wear any logos they choose during the first three days of competition. On day four, however, only FLW Outdoors sponsor logos may be worn. Every FLW Series tournament will feature an accumulated weight format with the full field fishing days one through three and the top 10 pros competing on day four. The co-angler winner will be determined based on total weight from days one through three, and the pro winner will be determined based on total weight from all four days. Every tournament will have a 12-day off-limits period prior to four practice days.
On the exposure front, every FLW Series tournament will be televised nationally on FSN (Fox Sports Net) as part of "FLW Outdoors," which is broadcast every Sunday to a universe of approximately 80 million homes and is one of the highest rated daytime shows on FSN. Beginning in 2006, "FLW Outdoors" will feature more than 40 original shows. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast on the American Forces Network, which reaches more than 800,000 servicemen and women stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard naval ships, and select broadcasts are shown live on the Wal-Mart Television Network to a potential audience of more than 100 million Wal-Mart customers each week. FLW Outdoors will also be making a formal announcement very soon detailing an agreement with Matchroom to broadcast "FLW Outdoors" internationally. This partnership will provide an additional 200 million households - 100 million in Asia and 100 million in Europe.
Every FLW Series tournament will also receive in-depth coverage in FLW Outdoors Magazine and daily coverage on FLWOutdoors.com through nightly features and the innovative FLW Live leaderboard featuring real-time streaming audio and video.
The top 100 pros from the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series will receive priority entry into the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Series. The top 30 pros from the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series will also qualify for the new $2 million Forrest Wood Cup and receive priority entry into the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour.
"Today ushered in a new and exciting era in FLW Outdoors history," said FLW Outdoors Chairman Irwin Jacobs. "The overwhelming response we've had to the introduction of the Wal-Mart FLW Series has set the stage for the greatest bass-fishing season the world has ever seen. With top pros from both the Wal-Mart FLW Tour and FLW Series along with select qualifiers from other FLW Outdoors circuits advancing to the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup, and a potential $1 million payday on the line, you couldn't ask for a bigger, more exciting event. This is truly a great time to be a professional angler."
Dates and locations for the 2006 FLW Series are Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga., March 8-11; Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Ky., May 3-6; Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin, Tenn., May 31-June 3; Lake of the Ozarks in Ozark, Mo., Oct. 11-14; and Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, Ala., Nov. 15-18.
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, Ranger owners' tournaments and Stratos owners' tournaments. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $35 million through 244 events in 2006.
For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com. For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.