Clausen Makes Move in Land O’lakes Angler of the Year Race

Category: press release

 Jul 9th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 9th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 9, 2009) – Team Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Gainesville, Ga., posted a strong sixth-place showing on the first day of competition in the FLW Tour’s regular-season finale at Lake Champlain presented by Folgers to gain ground on the Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year points leader, Team National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. Clausen entered the Champlain event only five points behind Ehrler, who stumbled on day one and ended up in 46th place. Team Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, who was only three points out of the lead coming into the event, finished the day tied for 14th place.

Mark Hardin of Jasper, Ga., crossed the stage Thursday with a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces to lead day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain. Hardin now holds a 2-pound, 6-ounce lead in the $1.1 million tournament featuring anglers from all across the United States, Canada and Japan.

“I caught them on a jerkbait right off the bat and then it slowed down a little bit and I switched to my Carolina rig with a Zoom Speed Craw,” said Hardin, who has won more than $383,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “I was doing some drop-shotting too, and I caught some fish, but the ones I weighed in came on a Carolina rig.”

Hardin said he caught 15 to 20 post-spawn smallmouth in deeper water throughout the course of the day after making a 25-mile run.

“I’m fishing a point with about a two-foot rise on it,” Hardin said. “It’s got grass and rock on it. The water is anywhere from 14 to 16 feet deep.”

Hardin said he had a successful practice and his catches from practice held up on the first day of competition.

“The first two days the wind blew real hard and I couldn’t get out there to fish where I like to fish,” Hardin said. “I’ve been here a lot of times and I know a lot of areas. The third and fourth days, when the wind lay down, is when I started catching them real good.

“I’ve got several places that are holding fish, but where I fished today seemed to have a little bit better fish, and that’s what you’ve got to have here,” Hardin added.
Rounding out the top five places are Pete Gluszek of Mt. Laurel, N.J. (five bass, 19-12); Team Tums pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C. (five bass, 19-5); Team Land O’Lakes pro Jeremiah Kindy of Benton, Ark. (five bass, 19-5); and Team National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. (five bass, 19-2).

Rounding out the top 10 spots are Clausen, Team Kellogg’s pro Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C., Team M&M’s/Snickers pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., Team BP pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C., and tied for 10th are Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., Team Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., and Team Iams pro Koby Krieger of Okeechobee, Fla.

Team Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., earned the day’s $750 Folgers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass.

Overall there were 715 bass weighing 2,054 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 145 pros Thursday. The catch included 140 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., where they could win as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.

Team National Guard co-angler Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 19-3 followed by James Schneider of Watervliet, N.Y., in second place with five bass weighing 18-12.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Andrew Lemle of Whitehouse, Ohio (five bass, 18-4); Doug Caldwell of Kane, Pa. (five bass, 16-14) and Terry Chapman of Stanley, N.C. (five bass, 16-13).
Schneider earned the day’s $500 Folgers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass.

Overall there were 638 bass weighing 1,471 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 142 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 108 five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. each day from Dock Street Landing located at 1 Dock Street in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Dock Street Landing beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Plattsburgh State Field House located at 167 Rugar Street in Plattsburgh 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 Plattsburgh State Field House each day at noon. 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 courtesy of WOKO-FM while supplies last. One lucky member of the audience will even win a new Ranger boat that will be given away during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in Sunday, July 12. Admission is free, and you must be present to win.

In other news related to the FLW Tour qualifying event on Lake Champlain, the 2010 Walmart FLW Tour schedule will be announced Friday.

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.

Coverage of the tournament, hosted by the City of Plattsburgh, 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 Nov. 1 from 12:30 to 1:30 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.
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.

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