DEL RIO, Texas – Pro Dan Schoonveld of Mansura, La., caught a five-bass limit weighing 34 pounds, 12 ounces Wednesday to lead the opening day of the $275,225 Stren Series Texas Division tournament presented by Yamaha on Lake Amistad.
“Things went really well today,” said Schoonveld, who has amassed $20,755 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “It started off kind of slow this morning. I tried a few new ideas and expanded on those throughout the day. Everything just worked out well for me. I just kept my nose to the grindstone.”
“I’m covering about 30 miles a day keying in on about five main spots. I think I am around a lot of good fish. I don’t think that I hurt my fish for the rest of the week because I only fished two of my main spots. I prefished for about two weeks and I think it really paid off.”
“My plan for tomorrow is to just go back out and try to duplicate what I did today.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Tim Reneau of Seguin, Texas (five bass, 27-11); Terry Owens of Aliceville, Ala. (five bass, 26-12); Harold Allen of Shelbyville, Texas (five bass, 26-9); and Bob Coleman of Washington, Mo. (five bass, 25-12).
Earnest Humphries earned the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to an 8-pound, 5-ounce bass.
Overall there were 858 bass weighing 2,488 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 193 pros Wednesday. The catch included 144 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.
Michael Herron of Paris, Texas, 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 29-5 while fishing with pro Bob Weaver of Lawton, Okla., who is currently in 27th place.
“It’s great to be sitting in first place,” said Herron, who has amassed an incredible $61,584 by fishing mainly out of the back of the boat in FLW Outdoors events. “I am still a little nervous though because there is still two days left. It was awesome to weigh-in this big bag. It is the largest five-fish limit I have ever caught. I’m really happy with what I got. It was a really good day and I had a great partner.”
Herron is throwing a Texas-rigged Senko targeting bedding bass to catch his quality-sized five-bass limit.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jimmy Ballard of Powderly, Texas (five bass, 26-1); Clark Franklin of Midland, Texas (five bass, 24-00); Jacques of Fleischmann of Valencia, Calif. (five bass, 22-4); and Charlie Parker of Warren, Texas (five bass, 20-14).
Billy Yelberton earned the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 9-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught.
Overall there were 717 bass weighing 1,912 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 190 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 95 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 Lake Amistad Marina, East Diablo Launch Ramp, located at Hwy. 90 West HCR 3 in Del Rio, Texas. 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 2410 Dodson Street in Del Rio, Texas, 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 241 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.