2009 Walmart FLW Tour’s National Guard Open Set For Lake Norman
Category: press release
Apr 9th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 9th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 9, 2009) – The Walmart FLW Tour will stop in Charlotte, N.C., April 23-26 when the National Guard Open visits Lake Norman and features anglers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan fishing for top awards of $200,000 cash in the Pro Division and $40,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
“The fishing will be great,” said Team National Guard angler Brent Ehrler, who finished sixth at last year’s Lake Norman event. “The first year we were there it was more of a post-spawn tournament. Last year, it was held during the spawn. So the fishing changed just a little bit. This year should be just like last year. The majority of the fish will be up shallow, but there will be some guys who will catch them offshore on points, ridges and humps. A lot of fish will be biting. The key will be the bigger bites.
“A lot of people will run around and catch a limit,” Ehrler added. “You need to get into that 12-pound range every day to make the two-day cut.”
Ehrler said he expects docks to play a major role in anglers’ strategies. Ehrler said effective baits for dock fishing could include the Berkley PowerBait Shaky Worm or a Texas-rigged Berkley Chigger Craw or Berkley PowerBait Mud Critter. Anglers targeting deep bass could opt for a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce jig with a Berkley Chigger Craw trailer.
“I think a 20-pound stringer is possible on Lake Norman, but I think if you just had a consistent 13 pounds every day, that would be very special,” Ehrler said. “With the weights starting over on Day 3, I think that 26 to 28 pounds over the last two days would win it.”
Ehrler said he feels a sense of pride to be able to fish in the National Guard Open, however, the National Guard team member said he is placing a lot more pressure on himself to fish well during the tournament.
“It puts a little more weight on my shoulders,” Ehrler said. “I’d really like to do good in the National Guard Open. I mean, that’s our tournament. To be able to represent them well and wear the National Guard jersey would mean everything to me.”
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. each day from Blythe Landing located at 15901 North Carolina Hwy. 73 in Huntersville, N.C. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center located at 4751 Hwy. 49 North in Concord, N.C., 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 Cabarrus Arena & Events Center from noon to 4 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, April 26. 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 National Guard Open event at Lake Norman is more than $1.1 million, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the Lake Norman tournament, hosted by the Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Lake Norman, Visit Charlotte and Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) 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 May 31 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to 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.