Andrews Leads Stren Series at California Delta
May 14th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 14th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
OAKLEY, Calif. (May 14, 2008) – Pro Mike Andrews of Oakley, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Western Division tournament on the California Delta.
"Today was like an out of body experience," said Andrews, who now holds the record for the heaviest single day tournament catch in a FLW Outdoors Stren Series event. "This doesn't happen everyday and it's not a normal thing for me. It was the best day I have ever had on the water.
"I went to my first spot and had 29 pounds by 8 a.m. I left there and went pre-fishing for the rest of the week. It seemed that everywhere I went I caught at least a 7-pounder."
Andrews said that he isn't running far to catch his fish but he is covering a lot of water. He is fishing a 5-mile radius of his key area and has burned a lot of gas hitting those key areas.
"I have a lot of confidence in the spots that I am fishing going into tomorrow," Andrews said. "I found some new water after I got my limit today that is just as good as my primary spot and as long as nothing drastic changes I will be able to get a good bag each day."
Rounding out the top five pros are Kyle Porter of Acampo, Calif. (five bass, 28-07); Timothy Venkus of Wilton, Calif (five bass, 27-11); Gene Gray of Atascadero, Calif. (five bass, 27-10); and Zach Thompson of Orinda, Calif. (five bass, 27-07).
Gray earned $280 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 15-ounce bass.
Overall there were 856 bass weighing 2,647 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 180 pros Wednesday. The catch included 157 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit's five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing's biggest prize – $1 million.
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.
Quin Smith of Galt, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 21-15 while fishing with pro Aaron Coleman of Oakland, Calif., who is currently in 45th place.
"I only caught five keepers all day," said Smith, who is fishing in only his third FLW Outdoors tournament. "I caught two fish early this morning and went most of the day without another bite. I got my final three keepers between 1:30 and 3 p.m.
"It was really coming down to the wire. I wasn't sure if I was going to get a limit," Smith said. "I had a great pro that got me on fish and really knew the water."
Smith said that he hopes to get 15 pounds tomorrow to stay in contention for the win.
"I fish this water all the time and I believe that if the wind dies down a little the plastic bite will turn on."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dean Krambeck of Vandenberg, Calif. (five bass, 19-06); Roy Desmangles Jr. of Lincoln, Calif. (five bass, 19-04); David Koehler of Galt, Calif. (five bass, 18-14); and Craig Taylor of Olympia, Wash. (five bass, 18-08).
Joseph Bricker of Pleasanton, Calif., earned $142 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 8-pound, 5-ounce bass.
Overall there were 719 bass weighing 1,772 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 175 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 109 five-bass limits.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Russo's Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island, Calif. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
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.