HENDERSON, Nev. – Pro Alex Dombrowski of Duvall, Wash., caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the $275,225 Stren Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Lake Mead.
“I can’t believe I’m leading,” said Dombrowski, who is carrying fourth his momentum from the last Western Division Stren Series event on Lake Shasta where he missed the top-10 cut by less than one pound. “For some reason, I would rather be in second or third place, just because there is less pressure to do well. I would really like to keep this going and make the top-10 cut. I am looking forward to the rest of the event and it should get really interesting before it is over with.”
“In practice I fished really slow and covered very little water. Now, I am fishing reaction baits and jigs around points and backs of creeks, covering a lot of water. This change really seems to be paying for me so far. My plan for tomorrow is to keep trying the same stuff and see how it pans out,” he said.
Rounding out the top five pros are Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif. (five bass, 12-3); Fred Ward of Phoenix, Ariz. (five bass, 12-1); Tom Matsunaga of Gardena, Calif. (five bass, 11-11); and Clint Johanson of Benton City, Wash. (five bass, 11-7).
Jesse Slaton of Klamath Falls, Ore., earned $211 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Overall there were 221 bass weighing 437 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 127 pros Wednesday. The catch included 14 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 519VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 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 2008 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, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Tom Pryor of Kingman, Ariz., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 9-12 while fishing with pro Jim Sleight of Jaumi, Calif.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Richard Garlock of Alexandria Bay, N.Y. (three bass, 9-11); Russell Schmidt of Martinez, Calif. (four bass, 9-2); Scott Christenson of Hollister, Calif. (three bass, 7-10); and Gary Morris of Tracy, Calif. (three bass, 6-6).
Whitney Uyeda of Buellton, Calif., earned $113 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound bass.
Overall there were 102 bass weighing 199 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 127 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included one 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 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Callville Bay – Forever Resorts located at HCR-30 in Las Vegas, Nev. 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 300 East Lake Mead Drive in Henderson, Nev., 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.
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, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, 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 of nearly $43 million through 238 events in 2007.
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.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.