FLW Tour Next Stop is Lake Norman

Category: Tournament

 Apr 10th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 10th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 10, 2008) – The $9.5 million Wal-Mart™ FLW Tour® will stop in Charlotte, N.C., April 24-27 for its third regular-season tournament, the $1.5 million National Guard Open hosted by the Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Lake Norman and Visit Charlotte. The tournament will feature 400 anglers from 37 states, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Australia and Japan fishing Lake Norman for top awards of $200,000 cash in the Pro Division and $40,000 cash in the Co-angler Division. It is also 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. 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 Lake Norman by April 23 will receive a complimentary $15 Wal-Mart gift card.One angler likely to be on many FLW Fantasy Fishing teams for Lake Norman is Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark. Nixon has won three FLW Tour events since 1998, his latest coming on Lake Norman in 2007. With more than $2.6 million in total career winnings, Nixon ranks as one of the biggest money winners in the history of the sport. “I have a lot of confidence going into this tournament,” Nixon said. “Anytime you win at a lake, the next time you go back you are really excited. That’s one big plus, but it will be a matter of going back and seeing how much the fishing has changed. The most important factor is the stage the fish are in and figuring that out.”The lake was down last year, so I don’t look for anything to be exactly the same,” Nixon added. “I will fish some of the same areas, but I can’t really rely on those spots. Lake levels control that, and when you have a year of extreme drought conditions like they have had at Lake Norman, it pulls the fish out into the main lake and deeper waters.” Nixon predicts anglers will need weights similar to last year’s event to take home the $200,000 first-place cash prize – 25 to 30 pounds to make the cut to the final two days of competition.”The key baits depend on what stage the fish are in. If they are getting ready to spawn, you will see anglers throwing a variety of soft-plastics like shaky worms and lizards,” Nixon said. “If they aren’t ready to spawn yet, you will see a lot of crankbaits and jerkbaits coming more into play.” Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from Blythe Landing located at 15901 NC Highway 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 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, April 27 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. 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 Lake Norman event is $1.5 million, including $10,000 through 75th place in the Pro Division. Coverage of the tournament 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. 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 County 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.

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