Kreiger Leads Walmart FLW Tour National Guard Open on Lake Norman
Category: press release
Apr 25th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 25th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 25, 2009) – Team Iams pro Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to capture the lead in a top-10 field that includes some of the greatest anglers in the world. Kreiger now holds a 1-pound, 7-ounce edge over his closest competitor, Team Berkley pro Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., heading into the final day of competition in the Walmart FLW Tour’s $1.1 million National Guard Open on Lake Norman. If he holds on for the win, Kreiger will pocket $200,000.
“I caught them today faster than I have any day of the tournament so far,” said Kreiger, who has won more than $988,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “I didn’t see as many on the bed as I had been seeing, but then again, I was going pretty fast.
“I could fish a bit easier because I had my limit so early and didn’t have to rush around,” Kreiger added.
Kreiger said he caught his first fish on his third cast of the day and another two in quick succession in the first pocket he fished, which he said was about 100 yards long. After missing his fifth fish, he relocated to another pocket and had his limit after only an hour and a half.
Kreiger said every fish that he caught while sight fishing came on a White Pearl Zoom Super Hog. Kreiger also attacked the banks with a Bomber Long A or a Rebel Pop-R to find fish.
“A lot of the fish that you catch show themselves to you, and if they don’t hit your bait, they at least follow it out,” Kreiger said. “You can see where they come from and then turn around and sight fish for them. You’re not really throwing those baits to catch the fish, you’re throwing those baits to get the fish to show you where they’re at.”
Kreiger said his solitary goal for Sunday is to catch five fish.
“I figured going into the last two days, if you can catch 12 pounds both days, in my opinion, if you don’t win, it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Kreiger said.
Blaylock caught five fish weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces to advance to the final day of competition as the No. 2 seed.
“It was actually a tough day,” said Blaylock, who is fishing in only his third FLW Tour event as a professional. “I had more bites today than I had the last two days. I missed one of the keepers I had four times before I caught it. And then I couldn’t get the bedders to bite as good.”
Blaylock said he was comfortable with targeting fish by skipping a jig under shallow docks, and managed to land five keepers by doing so. Blaylock said the fish he’s finding are spooky from having so many baits thrown at them over the course of the last few days, but he seems to have found what the bass want.
“I think they want it skipped over their head,” Blaylock said. “When it skips over their head, they go crazy, and when they see it land, they go over and get it. They shouldn’t be biting a craw-colored jig this time of year. They should have quit after the spawn started. But I’m sticking with it and I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn. (five bass, 10-6); Team BP pro Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn. (five bass, 10-0); Keith Williams of Conway, Ark. (five bass, 9-4); Sean Hoernke of The Woodlands, Texas (five bass, 9-0); Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va. (five bass, 8-14); Eric Ambort of Mabelvale, Ark. (five bass, 8-8); Team Snickers/M&Ms pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (five bass, 8-8) and Dale Evans of Summerville, S.C. (four bass, 4-14).
Overall there were 49 bass weighing 93 pounds, 1 ounce caught in the Pro Division Saturday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of $200,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol and BP, 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.
Jason Ober of Johnstown, Pa., won the Co-angler Division and $40,000 Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces followed by Jeff Freeman of Max Meadows, Va., in second place with three bass weighing 6-2 worth $15,000.
Ober opened the tournament in third place Thursday with five bass weighing 9-5 while fishing with Danny Pierce of Greenbrier, Ark. On Friday he slipped to fourth place with a five-bass catch weighing 6-9 while fishing with Kim Stricker of Howell, Mich. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Blaylock.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re fishing, whether it’s a club tournament, a team tournament or fishing the Tour, it’s awesome to win,” said Ober, who has won more than $150,000 in FLW Outdoors events. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion and I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be here today.”
Ober, who fishes Stren Series events as a pro, said he plans to spend three seasons fishing the FLW Tour as a co-angler before attempting to move to the front of the boat. Ober said his experience as a pro in the Stren Series helps him as a co-angler, but said the co-angler competition is more challenging because co-anglers fish behind the best pros in the world and must be able to successfully adapt to any situation.
Ober said he caught his fish Saturday on a 4-inch green pumpkin soft-plastic stickbait around docks. Ober said he targeted the front posts and last few feet of the docks, spots his pro anglers avoided all week. Ober said he caught 14 fish throughout the course of the day, including six keepers. Ober fished 10-pound PowerPro braid with a 10-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Flourocarbon leader so he could make long casts.
“When you’re fishing as a co-angler, one of the most important things you can do is be very cognizant of your surroundings,” Ober said. “I’m always looking around to find a stump as far away as I can find it. I throw to the other side of the pocket, because if you fish the same way as your partner, you’re wasting your time. C’mon, these guys are vacuum cleaners.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Team PTSI co-angler Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark. (four bass, 5-12, $7,500); David Hudson of Jasper, Ala. (three bass, 5-9, $5,000); Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C. (three bass, 5-6, $4,000); Shane Lehew of Charlotte, N.C. (three bass, 4-6, $3,500); David Lauer of South Bend, Ind. (three bass, 4-5, $3,000); Bob Bjorkland of Centennial, Colo. (two bass, 3-7, $2,500); Fred Martin of North Little Rock, Ark. (two bass, 2-10, $2,000) and Grant McPeters of Marion, N.C. (two bass, 2-8, $1,750).
Overall there were 30 bass weighing 47 pounds, 12 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included one five-bass limit.
Anglers will take off at 7 Sunday morning from Blythe Landing located at 15901 North Carolina Hwy. 73 in Huntersville, N.C., followed by a 4 p.m. weigh-in at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center located at 4751 Hwy. 49 North in Concord, N.C.
In conjunction with the weigh-in Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center beginning 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 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. 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 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 National Guard Open event at Lake Norman is more than $1.1 million, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.
Coverage of the tournament, hosted by the Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Lake Norman, Visit Charlotte and Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 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 May 31 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is also broadcast internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to more than 429 million households in 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.