February 17, 2010
BRANSON, Mo. - After last week's cancellation due to severe weather conditions on the Red River, the FLW Tour will visit Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., March 3-6 for what is now the first of five regular-season stops in 2010. Hosted by the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature as many as 300 bass anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
"I am looking forward to this stop," said Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., who won the 2009 event on Table Rock Lake. "Having won here last year, I have a lot of confidence going into this tournament; I would rather be going here than anyplace else.
"Everyone is going to be catching fish - there just won't be as many big ones caught," added Gagliardi. "The fish will bite; the cold is probably going to impact the fishermen more than the fish.
"I was disappointed in the fact that the Red River event got canceled last week, but I believe it was 100 percent the right decision that FLW made; it was what needed to be done. However, that being said, with only five tournaments to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, there will be less room for error. It's going to be a game of points, and the one thing you don't want to have is a really bad finish."
With water temperatures expected to be between 40 and 50 degrees, anglers should expect a slow retrieve, and patience will be key, according to FLW pro Kathryn Ealey, who will be fishing Table Rock Lake for the first time. She will be looking for baitfish in hopes of getting a reaction bite from the bass.
Anglers will take off from Table Rock State Park Marina located at 380 State Park Marina Road (Highway 165 South) in Branson, Mo., at 7 each morning. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Branson Convention Center located at 200 W. Main St. in Branson beginning at 4 p.m.
The fish will definitely be biting, according to pro Ish Monroe.
"The fish are used to cold weather," he said. "I think it is going to take 65 to 70 pounds to win this tournament. Anglers will be catching all varieties of bass: smallmouth, bigmouth and spotted. The key is going to be taking advantage of opportunities in order to reel the big ones in. I am excited to fish Table Rock; this is my third time fishing it competitively. My first time I finished in the top 20, my second the top 10, and this time I expect to do even better."
Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at the Branson Convention Center on Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, prior to the final weigh-in from, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a Can-Am ATV, and rod-and-reel combos will be given to the first 300 kids under 14 in attendance on Saturday. The Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. This year's Cup will be in Atlanta Aug. 5-8 on Lake Lanier.
Coverage of the Table Rock Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors" will air April 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player's Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.