2009 WALMART FLW TOUR KICKS OFF SEASON WITH CHEVY OPEN AT LAKE GUNTERSVILLE
Category: press release
Feb 4th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Feb 4th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Feb. 3, 2009) – The Walmart FLW Tour will stop in Huntsville, Ala., Feb. 12-15 to kick off the 2009 season with the Chevy Open event at Lake Guntersville that will feature anglers from across the United States, Mexico and Japan fishing for top awards of $200,000 cash in the Pro Division and $40,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
Snickers/M&M’s pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., cites Lake Guntersville as his favorite lake and is looking forward to the February event.
“There’s not many lakes in the country where it will take 25 pounds a day to win on,” Pugh said. “Lake Guntersville is one of those lakes.”
Pugh said Lake Guntersville should be in a pre-spawn mode for the Lake Guntersville event, with fish scattered from shallow to 30 feet. Pugh, who has 25 top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors events, cites a lipless crankbait as the bait of choice during this time of year, although he said big fish will come on big jigs and 1 ½-ounce spinnerbaits.
“A ¾-ounce Berkley Frenzy Rattl’r ticking grass in 10 to 12 feet of water is the norm,” Pugh said. “If it’s windy and the fish are shallow, drop down to a ½-ounce bait and burn the reel as fast as you can turn the handle.”
Pugh said the water temperature should be around 40 degrees when the tournament begins. Pugh said the fish don’t seem to mind the cold water and the bite should be strong despite cold waters. Pugh said weather does not bother the fish – he expects 40 pounds to be the mark for the two-day cut.
“It’s Lake Guntersville,” Pugh said. “It’s the best lake in the country. It’s not what I would call a ‘sissy lake.'”
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. each day from the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park Resort in Guntersville, Ala., located at 1155 Lodge Drive in Guntersville. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park Resort beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Von Braun Center located at700 Monroe St. in Huntsville, Ala., beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Von Braun Center from noon to 6 p.m. each day. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to meet their Fantasy Fishing team anglers face-to-face and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last. One lucky member of the audience will even win a new Ranger boat during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in Sunday, Feb. 15. Admission is free, and you must be present to win.
In FLW Tour 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. The full field competes in the two-day opening round for one of 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.
The total purse for the Chevy Open event at Lake Guntersville is more than $1.1 million, including $11,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the tournament, hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air April 5 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is also broadcast internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to more than 429 million households in such countries as Canada, 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.
The FLW Tour will award more than $8 million cash to the world’s top bass anglers in 2009. Regular season competition includes three qualifiers and three opens. Each event takes anglers a step closer to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa. The prestigious championship and outdoor show hosted by Visit Pittsburgh will feature 77 pros, 77 co-anglers and bass fishing’s largest cash award – a potential $1 million first-place prize for the winning pro.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
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.