LEESBURG, Fla. – The second event of the 2020 season for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, professional bass fishing’s premier five-fish limit tournament series, kicks off next week, Feb. 20-23 with the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Hosted by Lake County, the tournament will feature 154 bass-fishing professionals from around the world competing for a top award of up to $135,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 FLW TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship.
“This is going to be a really fun tournament,” said Pro Circuit pro Tim Frederick of Leesburg, who has four career top-10 finishes in FLW competition. “We’re going to see fish in all three phases – prespawn, spawn and postspawn – and guys are going to be able to fish in a multitude of ways and have success.”
Beside Lake Harris, tournament waters include Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora, Lake Carlton, Horseshoe Lake, Little Lake Harris, Lake Denham and Lake Beauclair. In addition to providing plenty of water to fish, there are miles of canals around each lake that competitors can access.
“I think we’ll see the field really split up, and I expect that there will be tournament boats in every lake,” Frederick continued. “The key will be finding an area that has fish steady coming to you – moving in to spawn or back out after they spawn. A staging area where the fish are migrating in and out of will be the winning spot.”
With all three stages of the spawn expected to be in play, Frederick expects shallow-water cranking – squarebill and lipless crankbaits – to be strong, along with flipping and casting soft-plastics. He said if the weather cooperates a topwater bite could come into play.
“The bedding fish will be important,” Frederick said. “I think the canals will be extremely popular. Guys are going to see 7-, 8- and 10-pounders on beds and that will draw them in like a magnet. But, it’s really tough to win on bed fish alone.
“I’m going to be a little conservative and predict that the winner is going to end with a four-day total right around 80 pounds,” Frederick went on to say. “The exciting thing about the Harris Chain is that you can catch a 10-pounder on any cast. I think we’ll see at least a half a dozen limits over 25 pounds.”
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST each day from the Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive, in Leesburg. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, Feb. 20-21, will be held at the Gardens beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Feb. 22-23, will also be held at the Gardens, but will begin at 4 p.m.
“Lake County is excited to welcome back the Tackle Warehouse FLW Pro Circuit to the Harris Chain of Lakes for the third time in four years,” said Brandon Matulka, Executive Director, Lake County Agency for Economic Prosperity. “The economic impact of this event is significant to our community and we are proud to have been selected to host the Circuit again alongside our great partners with the City of Leesburg. We wish all of the anglers a safe and memorable time throughout the event on the Harris Chain and we hope to show them, and the rest of the country, why we are called ‘Lake Big Bass!’”
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes will premiere in 2020. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit will have 156 two-hour airings on network television, including 26 consecutive weeks of Friday night primetime airing on Outdoor Channel and 130 airings on Sportsman Channel for a total of 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit programming.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on Days Three and Four of the event, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.
For youth, the FLW Foundation’s Youth Fishing Derby will be held at the Venetian Gardens on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The event is hosted by Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers and is free and open to any youth 14 and under. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Pro Circuit stage, just prior to the pros weighing in. The first 50 youth registered will receive a free goodie bag. Youth can register on-site or pre-register by emailing [email protected].
As part of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit’s community outreach initiative, Pro Circuit anglers will visit teenage anglers at the Lake County Teen Sportfishing Association. The appearance will take place at the Lake Harris Shores Club House, located at 13102 Country Club Drive in Tavares, Florida. Anglers will visit with the youth anglers, give tips and tactics for local fisheries, snap photos, sign autographs and share fishing stories.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 155 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 FLW TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship. The 2020 FLW TITLE will be on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, Aug. 8-13 and is hosted by the Town of Massena.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
# # #