Historic All-American Set to Begins May 29th
May 12th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 12th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (May 12, 2008) – Hot Springs will host the nation’s top weekend bass anglers May 29-31 as they compete for a share of $1 million on Lake Hamilton in the 25th annual Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy.
The historic All-American is one of the most prestigious events in tournament fishing, with more than 30,000 anglers annually vying for a shot at the lucrative title. In 1984, the All-American became the first bass-fishing tournament to award a $100,000 cash top prize. This year, 108 anglers representing 26 states will be casting for a top boater award of $140,000 and a top co-angler award of $70,000. The boater and co-angler champions will also advance to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17, where the boater will compete with top anglers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series and The Bass Federation for as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
Georgia is sending the most qualifiers, 11, while North Carolina will be represented by nine anglers, and Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia will be represented by seven anglers.
“Qualifying for the BFL All-American is one of bass fishing’s greatest accomplishments,” said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. “It is our longest running championship and an event that holds a special place in the hearts of anglers nationwide. A trip to the All-American is something that thousands of anglers strive for every year, but only the best accomplish.”
The All-American begins Wednesday, May 28, with an official practice day, and competition begins Thursday, May 29, at 7 a.m. with takeoff from the Fish Hatchery Ramp located at 350 Fish Hatchery Road in Hot Springs. The Fish Hatchery will also host takeoff Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at 7 a.m., and competitors will weigh in each day at 4 p.m. at Summit Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd in Hot Springs.
Surrounding the weigh-in is the All-American Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show featuring exhibits from Ranger Boats, Chevy, Berkley, Lowrance, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors. The doors open at 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon Saturday. Admission is free and the first 200 children 14 and under accompanied by an adult who attend the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show on Saturday will receive a free rod and reel combo. One lucky spectator attending the final weigh-in, Saturday, May 31, will win a new Ranger 177 TR bass boat powered by Yamaha from the Sentinel Record and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.Participants in the boat drawing must be present during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in on May 31 to win. Watch the papers for entry forms.
The entire field competes Thursday and Friday for an accumulated two-day weight. The top-10 boaters and co-anglers advance to Saturday, and the winners are determined by the heaviest three-day weight.
“The people of Hot Springs have proven, time and again, that this is a bass-fishing town, and we are honored to once again play host to one of the sport’s premier events,” said Steve Arrison, executive director for the Hot Springs Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “Based on the high-quality, family-friendly events that FLW Outdoors always provides, and the tremendous response we’ve seen in the past, particularly during last year’s record-setting Forrest Wood Cup, this year’s All-American should be another record breaker in terms of fan attendance.”
Coverage of the All-American will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program airing Oct. 26. “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 All-American and its lucrative cash awards present a unique opportunity for qualifiers looking to launch a professional bass-fishing career. Former All-American contenders who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts, who fishes for Team Chevy. Combined, there pros have earned more than $2.25 million in FLW Outdoors competition.
Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season, however. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
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.