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2016 Walmart FLW Tour Preview

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Preview
Dayton, Tenn., showed out for the final weigh-in.

A lot is at stake when the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour kicks off at Lake Okeechobee on Feb. 4, and FLW wants fans to be just as prepared for the new campaign as the 171 pros who are signed up to compete.

That’s why we’ve prepared this complete guide to the 2016 Tour season. It covers everything a fishing fan might want to know about the six regular-season Tour qualifying events, the Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake in August and the two all-new autumn Invitational tournaments.

There are blogs and columns penned by industry experts and Tour stars, as well as pundits’ picks for AOY, staff predictions, a roster breakdown and more.

Browse through the following links to see what’s in store for the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Then follow FLW on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPeriscope and Snapchat all season long.

 

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Roster

 

Columns and Blogs

Pundit Picks for AOY

  • Our experts predict who will be 2016’s top performer.

15 Predictions for the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour

  • Will records fall? Will stars be made? FLW’s media team thinks so. Find out what else they predict for 2016.

Knight’s Next Course – By Sean Ostruszka

  • He won the Cup, but Tennessee’s Brad Knight isn’t finished. He’s set his sights on even greater goals for 2016 and beyond.

Blog: Setting Sights on AOY No. 2 – By Scott Martin

  • Scott Martin has already won the Forrest Wood Cup and Angler of the Year, but now he’s angling to break records and establish new “firsts.”

AOY Keys: Surviving Okeechobee – By Curtis Niedermier

  • To win the AOY title, you have to make it through the opener, and that’s no easy task.

Is This Cody Meyer’s Year? – By David A. Brown

  • Cody Meyer narrowly missed winning AOY in 2014, and the schedule is remarkably similar in 2016. If he can shake the disappointment of a near-miss and draw new strength from his growing family, Meyer might be the real favorite to win the AOY title this season.

Opinion: 5 Reasons Champlain is a Perfect Finish – by Jody White

  • Smallmouths, largemouths, grass, rock, deep, shallow – Champlain has it all. But to win requires big weights and often equally big risks, making it the perfect place to settle an AOY race.

7 Reasons Why This will be the Most Interesting Cup Ever – By Curtis Niedermier

  • FLW’s managing editor predicts that Wheeler Lake and Huntsville, Ala., will host a championship that will forever be remembered.

Blog: The Annual Debate on Beaver Lake – By Matt Arey

  • FLW’s new “Mr. Beaver Lake” Matt Arey breaks down the unique challenges of the Tour’s annual stop at Beaver Lake, and details how he’s managed to win back-to-back events there.

 

Lake-by-Lake Previews

Lake Okeechobee – Clewiston, Fla. – Feb. 4-7, 2016

Preview  Details  

Lake Hartwell – Anderson, S.C. – March 17-20, 2016

Preview  Details

Beaver Lake – Rogers, Ark. – April 14-17, 2016

Preview  Details

Pickwick Lake – Florence, Ala. – May 5-8, 2016

Preview Details

Kentucky Lake – Gilbertsville, Ky. – June 9-12, 2016

Preview  Details

Lake Champlain – Plattsburgh, N.Y. – June 23-26, 2016

Preview Details

Forrest Wood Cup – Wheeler Lake – Huntsville, Ala. – Aug. 4-7, 2016

Preview Details

Invitational – Lake Norman – Cornelius, N.C. – Sept. 15-17, 2016

Preview Details

Invitational – Norris Lake – Clinton, Tenn. – Oct. 20-22, 2016

Preview  Details

 

Details

The Tour Format

  • Learn about how an FLW Tour event works, Cup qualification and the new Invitationals.

Walmart FLW Tour Facts, Figures and History

2016 Walmart FLW Tour Rules


Tags: wheeler-lake-2016-walmart-flw  flw-staff  pre-tournament  2016-08-04-forrest-wood-cup 

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play. READ MORE »

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Transition Time at Grand Lake

Grand Lake has been flooded for most of the summer, and, as a result, it hasn’t received as much fishing pressure as is typical for one of the premier fisheries in the region. Weights for the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, have the potential to be outstanding for this time of year, but it may all come down to what the weather decides to do leading up to the event. READ MORE »

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

The Cal Delta is Looking Good

This week the Costa FLW Series Western Division will conclude with the final event of the season on the California Delta. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole, should showcase a different side of the Delta, given that most of the Western Division tournaments on the famed fishery take place in the spring. That said, last year’s event on the Delta fell on nearly identical dates as this year and could be a good tease for how things may shake out this time around. READ MORE »

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Big Smallmouths, Big Water for Season Finale

Any tournament with smallmouths in it is a good one, but when the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits heads to the St. Lawrence River it's usually a show-stopper. This year’s event, which is presented by Realtree Fishing, shouldn’t be any different as the Northern Division looks to close its season out on one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world September 19-21. READ MORE »

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Another Potomac Rumble Looms

Moving south from Lake Champlain, the second stop of the 2019 Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits is on the Potomac River. The tournament, which is presented by Lowrance and runs Aug. 22-24, should offer a fairly standard set of August conditions for the anglers, with plenty of quality largemouths to go around. READ MORE »

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Smith Honored with Sportsmanship, Community Leadership Award

Capt. Blake Smith was presented with the 2019 Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship & Community Leadership Award by the award’s namesake, Forrest Wood, at the 2019 FLW Cup pre-tournament banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. Smith, of Lakeland, Fla., has fished the FLW Tour since 2015. READ MORE »

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Day 3 of Practice with Scanlon

Casey Scanlon won the FLW Tour season finale at Lake Champlain, which he almost had to do to make the FLW Cup. Now that he’s here at Lake Hamilton, he’s got a shot at $300,000 and a possible edge over the competition due to his momentum and extensive Ozark experience. READ MORE »

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Hard Lessons and the FLW Cup

Two terrible tournaments to end the season cost Miles Burghoff his shot at the Polaris Rookie of the Year title. This week at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, he's hoping to apply the lessons learned at the end of the season to his preparation for the championship event. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

Riding Around Practice on Day 2

In a Ranger Z520L with a 250-hp Evinrude G2, it takes about 15 minutes to run from Carpenter Dam, which impounds Lake Hamilton, to the Blakely Mountain Dam that separates Hamilton from Lake Ouachita. If you stop and chat with 11 pros along the way, however, you’ll need most of the morning, but you’ll also wind up with a pretty sound idea of what’s going on at Hamilton for this week’s FLW Cup. READ MORE »

The First Morning with B. Lat

The First Morning with B. Lat

You won’t hear Brian Latimer complain about hot weather and tough fishing in Arkansas during this week’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. For B. Lat, sweating it out on the water is vastly better than working in the heat installing landscaping and mowing lawns for a living, which is what he was doing just a few years ago. A lot’s changed since those days. Now, Latimer is an FLW Tour champion, with a growing fishing media company and his first shot at a Cup title. READ MORE »

FLW Cup Schedule of Events

FLW Cup Schedule of Events

The FLW Cup goes down August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. As the crowning event of the FLW Tour season, there’s naturally a lot that goes with it, from takeoffs, the FLW Expo, a Trace Adkins concert and of course the weigh-ins at the Bank OZK Arena. Below you’ll find everything you’ll need to follow or attend the Cup, from the times to each event and seminar to each giveaway going on. Keep in mind, everything is free to attend and all times are Central. READ MORE »

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

Pre-Practice Report from Hamilton

For some, preparation has been in the form of map study and online research, while others have made the trek to Lake Hamilton to get eyes on the playing field, which went off limits July 22. READ MORE »

The FLW Cup Playing Field

The FLW Cup Playing Field

It’s been 14 seasons since the FLW Cup has been held at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark. In the years since, FLW fans have likely developed some familiarity with nearby Lake Ouachita, which has been a frequent destination for the Cup and, in fact, hosted last year’s championship event. Hamilton is less-known because it hasn’t gotten the nod to host the finale since July 2005, when George Cochran won his third bass-fishing world championship . READ MORE »

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

McCaghren Ready for Hamilton

Billy McCaghren spends a lot of his free time coaching 8- to 10-year-old boys on how to swing and catch; but when the FLW Cup visits Hot Springs August 9-11, the Arkansas pro is hopeful that some of his young baseball players will be able to swing by and see the Lake Hamilton bass he plans on catching. READ MORE »

Summertime on Champlain

Summertime on Champlain

For three years running now, the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits has kicked off on Lake Champlain. The tournament, which is presented by Polaris, should offer great fishing like usual, but it’s going to be far different than the last two FLW Series tilts on the big Northern lake. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Champlain

FLW Live is back for the season finale of the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. The event, which is presented by T-H Marine and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau runs Thursday, June 27 through Sunday, June 30. READ MORE »

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Exploring Champlain with Strelic

Living about as far as possible from Champlain, Wade Strelic is looking to finish his rookie season strong at the FLW Tour finale. Hailing from Alpine, Calif., near San Diego, Strelic is sitting 28th in points and has made the check cut in three out of six events so far – another good derby will lock him in to the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Nelson Wraps Champlain Practice

Ron Nelson is easily in the group of favorites in the event and a bonafide Northern expert, so I was eager to hop in the boat for a morning with the smallie snatcher. Champlain isn’t fishing quite like it was the years he won, but Nelson is still guaranteed to have a lot of eyes on him come day one. READ MORE »

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Scouting for Smallies with Felix

Over the years, a lot of anglers have established impressive records on Lake Champlain, but few have done it as quickly and authoritatively as Austin Felix. READ MORE »