Defoe Leads Stren Series event on Santee Cooper - Major League Fishing
Defoe Leads Stren Series event on Santee Cooper
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Defoe Leads Stren Series event on Santee Cooper

April 16, 2008 • MLF • Press Releases

MANNING, S.C. (April 16, 2008) – Pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 14 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Southeast Division tournament on Santee Cooper.

“I didn’t catch my first fish until 10:30,” said Defoe, who has won more than $151,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “Then I caught my first fish, a 5-pounder, sight fishing. The first five fish I caught probably weighed 22 or 23 pounds. I caught my last fish about 11:30. Once it got started, it went pretty quick.”

Defoe said he caught a number of his eight keepers on a Berkley PowerBait 7-inch Shaky Worm on 8-pound-test line.

“All of those fish were in one area,” Defoe said. “Tomorrow I’m going to check some other areas first, but I’ll do the same thing again when my bite starts to turn on. There’s some more big fish in there. I’ve just to get in there and catch some.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Lex Costas of Daniel Island, S.C. (five bass, 26-15); Mike Jackson of San Mateo, Fla. (five bass, 24-10); Michael Brown of Rocky Face, Ga. (five bass, 22-14); and Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala. (five bass, 21-13).

Vinson earned $231 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to an 8-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 511 bass weighing 1,651 pounds caught by 136 pros Wednesday. The catch included 69 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 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 2009 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 TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.

Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup.

Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

Larry Breckenridge of Dothan, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 18-2 while fishing with pro David Tanner of Johnsonville, S.C., who is currently in 130th place.

“I got lucky and drew a local guy who was a good fisherman,” said Breckenridge, who is fishing his second season of Stren Series competition. “We weren’t on a pattern. We were just catching them. I had five bites and got lucky and caught all five of them.”

Breckenridge said he caught his two best bass slow-rolling a spinnerbait over a long point. He said he also caught fish on a swimbait as well as a green pumpkin lizard.

“I just hope I get a shot at them tomorrow,” Breckenridge said.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kenneth Owens of Wise, Va. (two bass, 12-13); Jason Ober of Johnstown, Penn. (five bass, 12-3); William Combs of Villa Rica, Ga. (five bass, 11-14); and Delane Harrison of Cottondale, Ala. (two bass, 11-12).

William Pickle of Jasper, Ga., earned $122 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to an 8-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 217 bass weighing 589 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 109 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included six 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 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from John C. Land III Landing located at County Road S-14-260 in Summerton, S.C. 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 2010 Paxville Highway in Manning 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.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.