Shaffer Leads Stren Series Event On Kentucky and Barkley Lakes

Category: Tournament

 Jul 23rd, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 AM

HARDIN, Ky. (July 23, 2008) – Pro Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio, caught a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the Stren Series Central Division tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes.

"There is nobody more surprised about this than me," said Shaffer, who has won more than $279,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. "I'm really not on anything. I had a couple of areas that I had caught a few little fish in, and I went back there today and they had grown up."

Shaffer said he caught about 10 fish during the course of the day in a variety of places using different methods.

Rounding out the top five pros are Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn. (five bass, 22-06); Mike Ward of Paris, Tenn. (five bass, 22-02); Billy Schroeder of Paducah, Ky. (five bass, 21-14); and Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Mo. (five bass, 21-12).

Mike Terry of Troy, Tenn., earned $268 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 573 bass weighing 1,624 pounds, 2 ounces caught by pros Wednesday. The catch included 72 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit's five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing's biggest prize – $1 million.

Tournament pros aren't the only ones winning big this season. 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 Wal-Mart 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.

Ben Jackson of Paducah, Ky., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught five bass weighing 21-14 while fishing with pro Keith Amerson of Bethel Springs, Tenn., who is currently in 14th place.

"The first two places we pulled up to we didn't catch much," said Jackson, who is fishing in his second season of Stren Series competition. "We caught several short fish. Then we went to our third spot and on my fourth or fifth cast I caught the big fish – the 6-01 fish. Then my boater had a 4-pounder come off right at the boat and we just started catching them good pretty much the rest of the day."

Jackson said he caught all of his fish on a large plum-colored worm except for two fish that fell for a ½-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait. Jackson said he caught his fish in about 20 feet of water in the main river channel.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Alan Johnson of Crestwood, Ky. (five bass, 20-00); Mike Perdue of Auburn, Ky. (five bass, 18-01); Chris Darby of Mount Ida, Ark. (five bass, 16-06); and Steve Freeman of Eddyville, Ky. (five bass, 16-06).

Jackson earned $138 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to the 6-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 387 bass weighing 995 pounds, 6 ounces caught by co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 21 five-bass limits.

The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 5:30 each morning from Kenlake Marina located at 888 Kenlake Marina Lane in Hardin. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 809 N. 12th St. in Murray, Ky., beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.

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.

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