MINNEAPOLIS – Tune in Sunday, July 13, to “FLW Outdoors” on FSN for the Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark. The $1.5 million tournament, which was hosted by the Rogers Convention & Visitors Bureau and Bentonville Advertising & Promotion Commission, awarded the winning bass pro a cash prize of $200,000.
The one-hour show is the first of a two-part series covering stop No. 4 on the $9.5 million FLW Tour season. The tournament featured 400 top bass anglers from 37 states, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Australia and Japan.
In the history of the FLW Tour, few times has the field faced flooded conditions – truly flooded conditions. After the four-day official practice period, Beaver Lake was 8 feet above normal pool, the highest water the Tour has ever seen in its 11 years fishing Beaver. The last time the lake was close to this level for an FLW Tour event was in 1998 – the inaugural year of the Wal-Mart Open. Since that first event, the Wal-Mart Open has pretty much been a finesse parade of spinning rods, little worms and sight-fishing on Beaver’s gin-clear waters. However, due to an abundance of spring showers in the Ozarks, Beaver Lake is high and muddy in 2008 – resembling creamed coffee. To a pro bass fisherman, muddy water means power-fishing with thick line and big baits.
After two days of competition, Cheez-It pro Alvin Shaw is on top of the leaderboard with 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 2 ounces. The State Road, N.C., pro is flipping a jig into heavy cover to catch his fish. Shaw won the 2005 FLW Tour event on Wheeler Lake, but this is his first top-10 finish on Tour since that season. With the flooded conditions, Shaw said Beaver Lake is fishing similarly to Buggs Island Lake, his home water.
In second place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 8 ounces is Berkley pro Sam Newby. The Pocala, Okla., native and 2002 FLW Tour champion is having another successful tournament. An Okie accustomed to fishing muddy water, Newby is flipping a tube and casting a spinnerbait in the shallows. In fact, one of his bigger fish from day two nosed down on his tube and Newby actually saw the fish’s tail come up out of the water as it went to eat the bait. Because they are so shallow, Newby must make soft casts and ease the bait into the water – or else he will spook the skittish bass. Throughout his career, the veteran pro has been known as a closer. Both of his two major victories have come by 1 ounce – so he’s not afraid of tight tournaments.
Also in contention is local pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark. One day one, Bohannan wowed the crowd with a 13-pound, 12-ounce catch. His five-bass limit included the Beaver Lake trifecta – a largemouth, a smallmouth and a spotted bass. On day two, he stumbled a bit but still snuck into the finals with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 22-8. In the Duracell Angler Spotlight, viewers get an up-close look at this rookie pro, who is fishing in his first FLW Tour top 10.
In addition, Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., participates in this edition of Fishing 101. Nixon, a three-time FLW Tour champion, shows viewers how to effectively fish a spinnerbait in muddy water.
FSN is the industry leader in providing the most up-to-date technology in TV production. FSN puts viewers in the boats with the pros, shadowing them from sunrise until the final weigh-in using innovative camera work that gives fishing fans the most intimate viewing experience available.
FSN broadcasts “FLW Outdoors” Sunday mornings. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLWOutdoors.com also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes on “FLW Outdoors.”
FSN is broadcast to more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces more than 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and “Beyond the Glory” documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com.
“FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to more than 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 weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
Tournament anglers 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.
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, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.