UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Hopkins leads Stren Series event on Lake Texoma

Hopkins leads Stren Series event on Lake Texoma
Stren Series

DENISON, Texas - Pro Ronnie Hopkins Jr. of Mounds, Okla., caught a four-bass limit weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces Friday to widen his lead in the $275,225 Stren Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Texoma. With a three-day catch of 14 bass weighing 42-04, he holds a 5-pound, 1-ounce lead over his closest competitor heading into the final day of competition.

"Today was a lot tougher than I expected," Hopkins said. "The wind didn't blow today and that messed my game plan up. All day I only had five bites and I caught four of them. I also had company on the spots that I had been fishing and they caught limits. Tomorrow, if the wind blows I think that I will catch some good fish and win the tournament."

Hopkins continues to catch his bass throwing a crankbait near rock piles and off shore structures.

"I only have one crankbait left and it is one that Toby Hartsell let me have. This crankbait is homemade and I caught all but one of my keepers on it."

Rounding out the top five pros are Douglas Jones of Fort Gibson, Okla. (14 bass, 37-04); Lendell Martin Jr. of Nacogdoches, Texas (15 bass, 34-11); Keith Combs of Temple, Texas (13 bass, 33-01); and Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. (15 bass, 32-08).

Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces in the Pro Division are Ben Matsubu of Hemphill, Texas; Craig Hatchel of Whitesboro, Texas; Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas; Ryan Lovelace of Denison, Texas; and Robert McFarlane of San Antonio, Texas.

Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas and Rick Turner of Tyler, Texas each earned $109 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass.

Overall there were 396 bass weighing 772 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 115 pros Friday. The catch included 35 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 Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 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 2008 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, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing's biggest prize - $1 million.

Bo Middleton of Elgin, Okla., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met, thanks to a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 26-04.

"I can't wait to go out there and fish tomorrow," Middleton said. "I have had a really good week, and I hope that I can come out on top tomorrow."

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Richard Carpenter of Sam Rayburn, Texas (10 bass, 23-08); Bart Blakelock of Lake Charles, La. (nine bass, 20-09); David Underwood of Waco, Texas (nine bass, 19-07); and Gilbert Herald of Pittsburg, Texas (11 bass, 18-07).

Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 15 pounds, 15 ounces in the Co-angler Division are Dan Wilson of Pilot Point, Texas; Kenny Moser of Alba, Texas; Ray Peace of Arlington, Texas; Naohiro Maruo of Takamatsu Kagawa, Japan; and Steve Sommer of Norman, Okla.

Blakelock earned $116 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass.

Overall there were 179 bass weighing 342 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 85 co-anglers Friday. The catch included seven 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 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 Saturday morning from Highport Marina located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive in Pottsboro, Texas. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 401 N. U.S. Highway 75 in Denison beginning at 4 p.m. The takeoff and weigh-in 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.

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 presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000.

Tags: press-release  2007-10-17-lake-texoma 

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