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Folkestad Leads Walmart FLW Series Event on Lake Havasu

Category: press release

 Mar 27th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 27th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (March 27, 2009) – Pro Mike Folkestad of Orange, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces Friday to capture the lead in the Walmart FLW Series┬« National Guard Western Division tournament on Lake Havasu. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 45-7, he holds an 1-pound, 8-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif., heading into the final day of competition.

“I was really surprised that the weights were down today. I didn’t think that I would have enough to take the lead,” said Folkestad, who has five top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition. “I had to change what I have been doing so hopefully I learned something that will help me tomorrow. It was a real tough bite overall.”

Folkestad caught a total of eight keepers today. He is using Open Water jigs and a Roboworm to get his limit. “I am doing a combination of sight-fishing and fishing areas that are adjacent to spawning areas,” he said. “I have a few spots that I would like to fish if the wind isn’t blowing like it has been. If I have to go back to the same areas I think I will struggle.

“I am too old to feel the pressure of being in first place,” he said. “Tomorrow, I will do a little more gambling and go for the win.” 

Thompson caught a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43-15 using Berkley Gulp! and Berkley Power Worms to advance to the final round as the No. 2 seed.

“My boat broke down at 11:00 this morning, so I was a little worried,” Thompson said. “I only had four fish when I broke down. A boat towed me close to the marina so I could finish my limit and wait for a competitor to bring me in this afternoon.”

Thompson said that he covered a lot of the lake in practice and feels confident that no matter what the weather conditions are he will have several areas to fish. “I am doing a lot of sight-fishing and if it is windy tomorrow, I will have to grind it out and get a limit.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif. (15 bass, 43-13); National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. (15 bass, 42-14) and National Guard pro Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nev. (15 bass, 42-4).

Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 39 pounds, 2 ounces in the Pro Division are Cameron Smith of Dana Point, Calif.; Tim Wilsterman of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Jayson Kisselburg of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif.; and Justin Kerr of Simi Valley, Calif.

Dewayne Bonham of Brentwood, Calif., earned the day’s $370 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass which was the biggest of the tournament.

Overall there were 401 bass weighing 920 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 103 pros Friday. The catch included 52 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing this week for a top award of more than $100,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the $2.5 million, 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.

Hideki Maeda of Sakai-City, Osaka-Japan, won the Co-angler Division and $16,593 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 36 pounds, 5 ounces followed by Lester Albury of San Marcos, Calif., in second place with 13 bass weighing 29-8 worth $8,297.

Maeda opened the tournament in fourth place Wednesday with five bass weighing 11-8 while fishing with pro Ricky Shabazz of Rialto, Calif. On Thursday he jumped to second place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 11-8 while fishing with pro Art Roland of Brentwood, Calif. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 13-5 while fishing with pro Mike Goodwin of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

“Everything was perfect. I am very lucky,” said Maeda, who won his first FLW Outdoors tournament. “I had a good draw all three days.”

Maeda caught most of his fish this week using a finesse style of fishing. He said that he caught a big fish this morning so that made him more relaxed the rest of the day.

“When I was leading in a tournament before I was very nervous but going into today I was in second place so there wasn’t much pressure,” he said.

Maeda called home to Japan last night and told his wife that if he won he would give her all the money. “My wife will be really happy that I won the tournament,” he added. “She will get a lot of money.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Taylor Parsons of Sutter Creek, Calif. (13 bass, 28-11, $6,223); Bruce McCune of Anderson, Calif. (12 bass, 27-6, $4,148) and Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif. (13 bass, 25-14, $3,319).

Iloski earned $246 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 3-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Jon Strelic of El Cajon, Calif.

Overall there were 186 bass weighing 398 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 90 co-anglers Friday. The catch included eight five-bass limits.

The 10 remaining pros will take off at 6:30 Saturday morning from Lake Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach located at 314 London Bridge Rd. in Lake Havasu City. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 5695 Highway 95 N. in Lake Havasu City, beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Lake Havasu FLW Series tournament will be broadcast as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “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. Check local listings for broadcast 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. 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.

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