MCABEE LEADS WAL-MART FLW SERIES EVENT ON CLEAR LAKE
KELSEYVILLE, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2007) - Pro Randy McAbee Jr. of Bakersfield, Calif., landed five bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces Wednesday to lead day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on Clear Lake. He now holds a 1-pound lead in the $1 million tournament featuring 196 pros and 196 co-anglers representing 19 states and Japan.
Sieg Taylor of Clearlake, Calif., trails McAbee in the No. 2 spot with five bass weighing 26-11.
"Even with all of the boat pressure, I went to my first spot and nobody was there," said Taylor, who notched a 2005 Stren Series win at Clear Lake. "The same thing happened at my second spot. I had it pretty much to myself." Taylor said his confidence was shaken during the first day of competition after he lost a good fish.
"I panicked and she came off," Taylor said. "She would have gone 10 pounds, maybe even 12 easy. My heart just sank to my stomach. I had that image in my head for an hour. But it dissipated with every fish that I caught."
Taylor said he caught 12 good fish throughout the course of the day and hopes to repeat his performance on Thursday.
"I'm just going to go out and have fun," Taylor said. "I didn't prefish here. I think prefishing is overrated, at least for me, anyway.
"I know where these fish are this time of year, and I just try to go out and drop the bait on their heads," Taylor added.
Rounding out the top five pros are Mike Folkestad of Yorba Linda, Calif. (five bass, 24-13); Jeff Billings of Clearlake, Calif. (five bass, 23-6) and Brian Carpenter of Livermore, Calif. (five bass, 23-4).
John Alimpic of Angwin, Calif., earned the day's $488 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a bass that weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces.
Overall there were 953 bass weighing 2,754 pounds even caught by 195 pros Wednesday. The catch included 184 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fishoff and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million - the sport's biggest award. The top 30 pros from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff, which will be held Jan. 17-19, 2008. The location for the fishoff has not yet been announced. Thirty winners from the fishoff will advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
National Guard team angler Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 20-8 followed by Paul Fontaine of Brentwood, Calif., in second place with five bass weighing 20-5.
"We ran over to some deeper rock piles, and first thing off the bat I caught a 2 ½-pounder and then the 7 ½-pounder," said Lucas, who is coming off of an FLW Series win last month at the Columbia River. "I threw a worm all day and caught fish all day and culled my last fish about five minutes before I came in. It was just slow and steady fishing all day long and I didn't waste time fishing inefficient areas."
Lucas caught his bass while fishing with pro Del Orton of Boise, Idaho, who is currently in 141st place with five bass weighing 12-6.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Hideki Maeda of Japan (five bass, 18-1); Kenny Williamson of Peoria, Ariz. (five bass, 17-14) and Shawn Carnahan of Chandler, Ariz. (five bass, 17-11).
Christopher Dixon of Northridge, Calif., earned $295 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 10-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Chris Neau of Castro Valley, Calif.
Overall there were 838 bass weighing 2,021 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 192 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 135 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000. Like the pros, the top 30 co-anglers from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff for a shot at the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7:30 each morning from Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa located at 8727 Soda Bay Rd. in Kelseyville. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 15960 Dam Rd. in Clearlake, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Wal-Mart.
Activities in the Family Fun Zone include the Fujifilm trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
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. The entire field competes for the first three days, and co-angler competition concludes on day three with the winner determined 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. FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Coverage of the Clear Lake FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing Dec. 30. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in Europe, Africa and Asia, making it the most widely distributed weekly fishing program 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 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, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Source: flwoutdoors.com (2007-10-25)