MOBILE, Ala. – Yamaha pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., caught a five bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce to lead day one of the $1 million Stren Series Championship on the Mobile Delta. Bohannan now holds a slim 6-ounce lead in the tournament featuring top anglers from 35 states fishing for as much as $140,000.
“I had a good day today,” said Bohannan, who is the 2007 Central Division Angler of the Year. “All day I caught 12 spotted bass. I had a good afternoon when the current picked up. I was in the last flight today, and tomorrow I am in the first flight, which worries me a little bit. I made a longer run than I really intended to and almost ran out of gas. We drove back slow and made it in on fumes.”
Bohannan is making long runs to the Alabama River to catch his limit.
“I feel good about tomorrow, but you never know what will happen,” he said. “I made the mistake at the Stren Series Championship last year of pulling off the fish early. My plan for tomorrow is to catch as many bass as I can to make it in the top 10.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Spiderwire pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla. (five bass, 11-11); Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo. (five bass, 11-02); Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala. (five bass, 10-15); and Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla. (four bass, 10-09).
Hiroshi Kojima of Athens, Ala., earned $750 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass.
Overall there were 690 bass weighing 968 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 176 pros Wednesday. The catch included 95 five-bass limits.
In the Co-angler Division, Chuck Loerzel of Yorkville, Ill., and Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind., each caught five bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces to share the lead.
“Today I just got lucky,” said Loerzel, who qualified as the No.13 seed in the Central Division. “Today I fished a shaky-head worm and that’s what I have been doing all year. I plan on doing the same tomorrow and hopefully make the top-10 cut.”
Bo Middleton of Elgin, Okla. (five bass, 6-11); Justin Lucas of Folsom, Ca. (five bass, 6-09); and Wayne Frierson of Manning, S.C. (five bass, 6-08) rounded out the top five-co-anglers.
Charles Radford of Sullivan, Mo., earned $375 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 3-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Overall there were 287 bass weighing 367 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 129 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 12 five-bass limits.
The winning co-angler will earn as much as $70,000.
Not only will lucrative awards be handed out this week, but the Stren Series Championship will also send the first five pros and co-anglers to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup – the world’s most lucrative bass tournament – in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17. There Stren Series pros will fish against qualifiers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and The Bass Federation for a top award of $1 million.
Anglers will take off from Chocolotta Bay Ramp, located at 1595 Battleship Parkway in Mobile, at 7 each morning. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which is located at 2703 Battleship Parkway in Mobile, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, located at One S. Water St. in Mobile, along with the Stren Series Championship Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show. The Family Fun Zone, which opens at noon Saturday and Sunday, is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other manufacturers while children are treated to fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. On Saturday, the first 100 children 14 and under who visit the Family Fun Zone will receive a free pair of Solar Bat sunglasses. On Sunday, the first 200 children 14 and under will be treated to a free rod and reel combo. Weigh-ins both days will begin at 4 p.m. Admission to all activities is free.
The Stren Series Championship is being hosted by Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, visit mobilebay.org or call (800) 566-2453.
The full field competes in the two-day opening round for 10 slots in Saturday’s competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday’s weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
In Stren Series Championship competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.
Coverage of the tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Jan. 13 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 service members stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
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 exceeding $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 Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.