UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Farley leads Wal-Mart FLW Series opener on Lake Lanier

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Local pro Tim Farley of Lula, Ga., is hoping to land his name in the record books as the first Wal-Mart FLW Series tournament winner, and if Wednesday's catch of five bass weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces on Lake Lanier is any indication, he appears to be well on his way to doing just that. After all, he has been fishing the lake since 1975, averaging more than 150 days per year on the water, so you'll be hard pressed to find anyone with more knowledge of the fishery.

"I probably culled a 12-pound limit today," said Farley, an FLW Outdoors newcomer who has won four boats on Lanier in the last three years. "I had over 14 pounds in the boat within the first 15 minutes this morning, and I probably have two or three other areas where I can catch the same thing. Hopefully I'll be able to hang on to the lead all four days."

Farley caught a mixed bag of largemouths and spotted bass on a 1/4-ounce Swarming Hornet Fishhead Spin rigged with a white Zoom Super Fluke Junior. At the end of the day, he weighed in three spotted bass and two largemouths, one of which registered 6 pounds, 1 ounce.

In the runner-up spot, just 1 pound, 8 ounces behind Farley, is Terry Baksay of Monroe, Conn., with five bass weighing 18-1.

"I'm doing what I love to do and it's working," said Baksay, who competing in his first professional tournament since September 2005. "I had a limit in less than 9 minutes this morning."

While he declined to give specifics on his technique with $100,000 on the line, Baksay did say that he was targeting spotted bass and was surprised by the number of largemouths he caught. "In practice, I never caught a largemouth," he said. "But the weather is warming up, and they are becoming a lot more active."

Baksay's limit included four largemouths and one spotted bass.

Tim Peek of Sharpsburg, Ga., is in third place with two largemouths and three spotted bass weighing 17-14 that he caught on an assortment of Performance Custom Baits while fishing an area that is "piled" with baitfish.

"I'm using five or six lures, but every single largemouth bit the same bait," Peek said. "Unless it gets crowded in the area I'm fishing, I have no doubt that I can catch my limit by 9 every morning."

Rounding out the top five pros are Weed Eater pro Ray Scheide of Russellville, Ark. (five bass, 15-15) and Mark Rose of Marion, Ark. (five bass, 15-6).

Five pounds, 3 ounces separate the top 10 pros.

Tim Shmigal of Akron, Ohio, landed the day's biggest bass in the Pro Division, a 7-pound, 5-ounce largemouth. He caught the bass on a suspending Lucky Craft Pointer under a dock in 30 feet of water.

Mary Divincenti of Clinton, La., is the highest ranking woman in the Pro Division at 31st-place with five bass weighing 13-1.

Ty Hester of Russellville, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13-5 followed by Jeff Shelton of Hanceville, Ala., with five bass weighing 12-7.

Hester caught his bass on a Brian's Bee crankbait and Spot Remover jig while fishing with BFGoodrich Tires pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. Martin is currently in 18th with five bass weighing 13-11.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Sean Stepp of Stafford, Va. (five bass, 11-11); Ronald Aikin of Valley Station, Ky. (four bass, 11-10) and Gregory O'Neal of Winchester, Tenn. (five bass, 11-9).

Two pounds, 13 ounces separate the top 10 co-anglers.

John Bruce of Dacula, Ga., and Scott Gibson of Biloxi, Miss., tied for the day's biggest bass in the Co-angler Division with a 5-pounder.

Judy Israel of Clewiston, Fla., who has already earned back-to-back top-10s on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour this season, is currently in seventh place with five bass weighing 10-13. She is the highest ranking woman in the Co-angler Division.

Overall, 1,237 bass weighing 2,694 pounds, 4 ounces were caught Wednesday, including 142 five-bass limits.

The new $6.5 million FLW Series features five $900,000 qualifying tournaments, each with a top award of $100,000, that advance anglers to the $2 million, 2007 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million cash.

Anglers fishing the FLW Series tournament on Lake Lanier will take off each morning at 7 from Little Hall Park in Gainesville. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 400 Shallowford Road SW in Gainesville beginning at 4 p.m. Children will be treated to the Fujifilm trout pond and rides in the Kellogg's Ranger boat simulator beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday prior to the final weigh-in at Wal-Mart. All events are free and open to the public.

The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. Co-angler winners are determined on day three by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

In FLW Series 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.

Coverage of the Lake Lanier FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing April 16. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely viewed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006. FLW Outdoors also recently announced the addition of a striped bass circuit, which will debut in May.

Tags: press-release  2006-03-08-lake-lanier 

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