UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Hawkes wins Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland in a landslide

SOMERSET, Ky. - Yamaha pro Mike Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces to give him a four-day total of 18 bass weighing 46 pounds, 15 ounces to win the Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake Cumberland near Somerset, Ky. Hawkes, who qualified for the 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, won by more than 10 pounds to earned $100,000.

Anglers did not experience Lake Cumberland at its finest this past week. Numerous factors contributed to challenging conditions: sluggish, recently spawned bass; water levels that recently increased dramatically; wood debris covering sections of the lake, which was washed in from heavy rains; and changing weather conditions. FLW Series pros, nevertheless, are the best bass anglers in the world and caught quality fish - particularly dozens and dozens of impressive smallmouth bass weighing between 4 and 6 pounds.

Most competitors pulled out the finesse tackle for the event. Using finesse worms on drop-shot rigs and 1/8-ounce jigheads was the primary tactics during the event. Most anglers used 6- and 8-pound-test line on spinning tackle. A few pros focused on sight-fishing.

"I went to all new water today," Hawkes said. "I did it a little yesterday when I was struggling, but you have to have confidence that you can catch fish no matter where you go. In this tournament, you couldn't stay on one spot because there weren't enough fish stacked up.

"When the sun was out this week I was using a Reaction Innovations Flirt - a finesse worm in watermelon-candy color. I rigged it wacky style and on a jighead. When the clouds came out I switched to Zoom Fluke Jr. in shad color and pitched it in the backs of pockets."

Hawkes started the first two, sunny days fishing a handful of isolated areas in 8 to 12 feet of water that were about the size of a pontoon boat. He would work each area very slowly with the finesse worm, let it rest for an hour, and return later. He caught about 14 pounds each of the first two days. On day three, however, his areas ran dry and Hawkes moved shallower to try to take advantage of the rainy conditions but only caught 5 pounds, 14 ounces. That is when he utilized the Fluke. On day four, which was sunny, Hawkes went back to the deeper water with the finesse worm.

Hawkes has two top-10 finishes in Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition and two top-10s in Stren Series competition. This win boosts his FLW Outdoors career earnings to nearly $300,000.

Rounding out the top five pros are Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. (10 bass, 36 pounds, 8 ounces, $50,000); Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash. (15 bass, 36 pounds, 3 ounces, $40,000); Sean Hoernke of Magnolia, Texas (12 bass, 36 pounds, 2 ounces, $30,000); and Steve Wright of Oskaloosa, Iowa (15 bass, 34 pounds, 14 ounces, $20,000).

Local angler David Lawson of Richmond, Ky., earned $20,000 Friday as the winner of the Co-angler Division. He caught six bass over three days weighing 20 pounds, 15 ounces, winning by more than 6 pounds.

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.

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 Cumberland 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 June 4. "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.

The next FLW Series event will be held on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn., May 31-June 3.

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  2006-05-03-lake-cumberland 

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