FLW Tour Next Stop – Detroit River
Jun 27th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 27th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
DETROIT (June 26, 2008) – The $9.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour will stop in Detroit July 10-13 for its sixth and final regular-season tournament – the $1.5 million Chevy Open. Held on the Detroit River and hosted by the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Detroit’s Mayor’s Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lucrative tournament will feature 400 anglers from 35 states, Australia, Mexico and Japan, with 200 of the world’s best bass pros fishing for a top award of $200,000 cash. Two hundred co-anglers will compete for a top award of $40,000 cash.
Lucrative awards are available to fans as well, as the tournament is also the sixth stop of the year for the richest 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. Fans can even become a virtual pro by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which grants access to exclusive insider information that could help them earn a record $1 million as the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com, sign up for Player’s Advantage and register a team of FLW Tour anglers for Detroit by July 9 will receive a complimentary $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
America’s best bass fishermen are prepared for their shot at the $200,000 first-place cash prize, and legendary bass angler and Team Chevy member Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., has drawn up a game plan for the Chevy Open. Although he hails from the South, Nixon believes he has as good a shot as anyone else to walk away the Chevy Open champion.
“It’s anybody’s ball game, but local knowledge does play a big part in it,” said Nixon, who is third on professional bass fishing’s all-time money leader list. “You have to know where to catch the 5-pounders to put you over the 20-pound mark every day. Big ones usually don’t come out of the same places the little ones do.
“When you go to Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, you pretty much have to fish for smallmouth,” Nixon added. “You can’t compete with just largemouth. Thirteen to 14 pounds is reasonable, but it just won’t do the job. You’d better catch 18 to 22 pounds, and that means smallmouth.”
Nixon said he expects hot baits to include the Berkley Gulp! Goby and 4-inch Berkley Sinking Minnow rigged wacky style as well as tubes, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits.
“Those fish up there really like that Gulp!,” Nixon said. “I think the smallmouth seem to really home in on it maybe more than the largemouths. And that’s going to be one of the big patterns during the tournament – drop-shotting a Gulp! Goby.
“Of course, tubes really excel when the weather gets bad,” Nixon said. “When the wind really blows and you can’t drop-shot, that’s when you rig up a tube with a 3/8-ounce or ½-ounce lead head. Then you just drag them on the bottom.”
Nixon expects the cutoff mark for the top 10 fishermen to be around the 35-pound mark after two days of competition. He also expects the winning weight to be more than 40 pounds for the final two days of competition – much like last year’s Chevy Open winner Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio. Clapper dominated the 2007 Chevy Open wire to wire and claimed the top prize with a final two-day weight of 45-9.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. each day from Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Ile Parkway in Trenton, Mich. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Elizabeth Park Marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Cobo Center located atOne Washington Blvd. in Detroit 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 Cobo 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, July 13. 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 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 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 is $1.5 million, including $10,000 through 75th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the Chevy 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 Aug. 31 and Sept. 7. “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.
The FLW Tour will award $9.5 million cash to the world’s top bass anglers in 2008. Regular-season competition includes three $1 million qualifiers and three $1.5 million opens. Each event takes anglers a step closer to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol, which will be held Aug. 14-17 on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. The prestigious championship and outdoor show hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board 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. 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.
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.