Canterbury Leads National Guard Open on Lake Norman
Apr 25th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 25th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Charlotte, N.C. (April 24, 2008) – Scott Canterbury of Odenville, Ala., is on a roll. The 31-year-old rookie is poised to make his second FLW Tour top-10 cut in just three weeks after landing five bass weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces Thursday in the $1.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour National Guard Open on Lake Norman. On April 6 he finished second at the FLW Tour stop on Lewis Smith Lake in Birmingham, Ala. It was the second FLW Tour event of his career. He now holds a 3-pound, 5-ounce lead over a star-studded field featuring anglers from 37 states and four countries in just his third FLW Tour start.Competitors had no problem catching five-bass limits on opening day. In fact, of the 200 pros competing, 185 caught limits. The key was hooking a big fish or two during a time when Lake Norman’s bass are in various stages of the spawn. Canterbury’s kicker fish weighed in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce – good enough to win the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $1,000 in the Pro Division. “My four biggest fish came off beds,” Canterbury said. “I don’t have any more located, but I can catch a limit. This is an awesome lake. I caught 20 to 30 keepers a day in practice, so my goal is to catch 8 or 10 pounds tomorrow and make the cut. After that, it will be just another day of fishing.”Prior to moving up to the FLW Tour, Canterbury was a dominant angler in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, earning 12 top-10 finishes in five years. All but one of those finishes, however, came on Alabama lakes. Fishing the FLW Tour is a different scenario altogether. Was he expecting to have such immediate success at the sport’s highest level?”I was hoping to make a few checks this season, but to do as well as I’ve done, as early as I have, I wasn’t expecting it. I was trying for it, but not expecting it,” he said. “It feels awesome.”While Canterbury was sight-fishing, Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas, was fishing docks and hooking a steady stream of 3-pound bass.”I probably caught 30 to 35 fish today,” said Hoernke, who is currently second with five bass weighing 15 pounds. “The biggest one I weighed in was 3-1 and the smallest was 2-14. All but one of the fish were post-spawn.”I’m fishing the way I like to fish, and I feel real comfortable. When that happens for me, I generally do pretty well, but I learned a long time ago that this is a crazy sport, and things change every day,” he added.Rounding out the top five pros are BP pro Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn. (five bass, 14-10); Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas (five bass, 14-04); and Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas (five bass, 14-04).Overall there were 975 bass weighing 2,025 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 200 pros Thursday. Pros are competing for a top award of $200,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17, where they could win as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award. Tournament pros aren’t the only ones hoping to win big on Lake Norman. The National Guard Open is the third stop of the year for the most lucrative fantasy sports league in history, FLW Fantasy Fishing™, which offers total awards of $7.3 million, including $100,000 cash guaranteed to the top Fantasy Fishing player following every FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. To play FLW Fantasy Fishing, simply log on to www.fantasyfishing.com and pick a team of 10 anglers for the next FLW Tour stop. Fans can even become a virtual pro with access to exclusive insider information and tips by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which could help them earn a record $1 million as the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Player’s Advantage members also receive a complimentary $15 Wal-Mart gift card.Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 11-07 followed by Dirk Davenport of Delaware, Ohio, in second place with five bass weighing 10-14. “There are so many fish in this lake I probably culled a 6-pound limit,” said Reiter, who has earned six top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition since 2004. “I’m notorious for leading, though. I have to go out and catch another limit tomorrow to have a shot at winning.”Reiter took his early lead while fishing with Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., who is currently in 28th place with five bass weighing 12-10.Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich. (five bass, 10-12); David Hudson of Jasper, Ala. (five bass, 10-10) and Lewis Southard of Chandler, Ariz. (five bass, 10-5).Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark., earned the day’s $500 Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on a Mizmo Quiver Stix while fishing with Canterbury. Overall there were 641 bass weighing 1,102 pounds caught by 188 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 64 five-bass limits.Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $40,000 this week. Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Blythe Landing located at 15901 NC Highway 73 in Huntersville, N.C. Friday’s weigh-in will also be held at Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center, located at 501 S. College St. in Charlotte, beginning at 4 p.m. Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Charlotte Convention 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. Saturday and Sunday children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone will also receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last. On Sunday, during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in, one lucky member of the audience will win a new Ranger boat. Admission is free and you must be present to win. Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, and the full field of 400 anglers 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 Saturday, 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 the final two days. The National Guard Open is hosted by the Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Lake Norman and Visit Charlotte. The tournament is being held in conjunction with The Bass Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard on Lake Wylie. The final weigh-in for the TBF National Championship, which features the best of the nation’s TBF club anglers, will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday at 3 p.m.Coverage of the National Guard Open will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television programs airing June 15 and June 22. “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. 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.