$2.49 MILLION WAL-MART FLW WALLEYE TOUR TO VISIT LAKE ERIE
PORT CLINTON, Ohio (March 27, 2008) – The lucrative $2.49 million 2008 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour will hold its first of four qualifying events on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio, April 16-19. The $461,500 tournament presented by Yamaha and hosted by the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau will feature 300 anglers from 26 states and national television coverage on FSN (Fox Sports Net).
Pros will compete for a top award of $100,000 and co-anglers will compete for as much as $20,000.
“I love starting the season out at Lake Erie. It’s in my backyard, and it’s the best walleye fishery in the world,” said pro Gregory Yarbrough of Port Clinton, Ohio, who has been fishing the FLW Walleye Tour since its inaugural season in 2000. “Everyone is going to catch a lot of fish, and it is going to take some big weights to be able to win this event.
“We had a very late winter this year, and it seems that everything is behind schedule. Right now there is still ice on the lake,” Yarbrough said. “It’s going to take a few days of warmer weather and some strong south winds to get the ice blown out. We should be in pretty good shape when the tournament rolls around.”
Yarbrough predicts that anglers will be bringing in some nice five-fish limits and that it is going to take substantial weight to pull off a victory. In fact, he estimates it will take at least 33 pounds a day to make the top-10 cut to the final day of competition.
“A lot of anglers will use a slow presentation because it was a late winter and the water temperatures are going to take a little longer to warm up,” Yarbrough said.
As for his baits of choice, Yarbrough will most likely use Dave’s Ka Boom Nitro Shiners, Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogues, Reef Runner Rip Sticks and Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerks.
“If we still have cold conditions, by some odd chance, anglers will have to resort to real slow presentations and jigging near the reefs and shoreline to try and pick up active fish,” Yarbrough said. “If the weather heats up like it should, we will be able to pull a lot of larger fish using trolling tactics.”
Nor Easter Club in Port Clinton will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Water Works Park in Port Clinton beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 2826 E. Harbor Road in Port Clinton beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
“I feel confident going into any Lake Erie tournament, but sometimes you do well and sometimes you get humble. I am very excited that FLW chose to come back to Port Clinton,” Yarbrough said. “It’s also a great time for anglers to get out and catch a pile of fish during practice plus during the tournament. I think it will make for a great event.”
Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The full field competes during the three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their three-day accumulated weight. Weights carry over to day four, with the winners determined by the heaviest four-day weight.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second, 148 for third, and so on. These points determine Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers in the standings will advance to the $650,000 FLW Walleye Tour Championship in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 24-27 for a shot at top awards of $150,000 and $20,000, respectively. The prestigious championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, will also feature boater and co-angler points champions from each of four Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League divisions. The no-entry-fee FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with cash awards for the entire field.
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.
Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour stop on Lake Erie will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 1 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.
Following the Lake Erie tournament, the FLW Walleye Tour will visit Lake Sharpe in Pierre, S.D., May 7-10. Cass Lake in Cass Lake, Minn., will host the third regular-season event June 11-14 followed by the final event at Bays de Noc in Escanaba, Mich., July 23-26.
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.
Awards are based on a full field of 150 boats in every tournament.