Fishing & Boating News

NATIONAL GUARD OPEN TO HIT THE TUBE

June 3 show to cover $1.5 million bass fishing tournament on Lake Norman

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(May. 23, 2007 - Minneapolis) Tune in Sunday, June 3, to "FLW Outdoors" on FSN for complete coverage of the $1.5 million National Guard Open. The event, held on Lake Norman near Charlotte, N.C., awarded the winning bass pro a guaranteed first-place check of $150,000. The one-hour show is the first of a two-part series covering stop No. 3 on the $9.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour. The bass fishing tournament, which ranks as the richest ever held in the state of North Carolina, featured 400 anglers from 37 states, Australia, Italy and Japan. Just as predicted, five-bass limits poured out of Lake Norman during the first two days of competition. A number of productive patterns are taking form as the tournament progresses. The top 10 consists of pros sight-fishing, walking topwater baits, dead-sticking weightless plastics and pitching jigs to docks. At the conclusion of the opening round, local pro Hank Cherry is on top of the leaderboard with 10 bass that weighed 26 pounds, 13 ounces. One of several pros on the dock pattern, he's skipping a 1/2-ounce jig as far back as possible. He's also got a plan to trick bigger bass. Each day the Maiden, N.C., native has caught two good fish on an 8-inch swimbait. These kickers have drawn raucous applause from the hometown crowd, eager to see one of their own in the winner's circle. Pedigree pro Greg Pugh has flourished with a different method. The bulk of the spawn is over, but Pugh thinks there are a few more bass trying to move up with the next moon phase. Applying that theory, the Cullman, Ala., angler is sight-fishing in the middle portions of the lake. On day one, it produced a limit weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces. That same pattern produced 10-12 on day two, pushing his opening-round total to 25 pounds, 6 ounces. Pugh thinks he has a few more fish on bed for the finals, but their size is dwindling every day. Tune in to see if he can sight-fish successfully for a third consecutive day. Chevy pro Larry Nixon, one of the true legends of the sport, is also in the hunt at Lake Norman. Nixon quietly snuck into the last qualifying position with 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces. In the Duracell Angler Spotlight, FSN takes a closer look at General Nixon and his numerous successes, as the Beech Branch, Ark., native tells viewers how it all started. FSN also sits flashes back to the third event of the 2006 FLW Tour season. The tournament, held in Florence, Ala., on Pickwick Lake, was won by rookie pro George Jeane Jr., who overcame over a star-studded top-10 field. In addition, Hamburger Helper pro David Cooke of Mooresville, N.C., participates in this edition of Fishing 101. Cooke, who also calls Lake Norman home, takes viewers on a visit to Brian's Crankbaits to see how custom crankbaits are made. FSN is the industry leader in providing the most up-to-date technology in TV production. FSN puts viewers in the boats with the pros, shadowing them from sunrise until the final weigh-in using innovative camera work that gives fishing fans the most intimate viewing experience available. FSN broadcasts "FLW Outdoors" Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon ET. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLW Outdoors also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes. FSN is broadcast to more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces more than 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including "Best Damn Sports Show Period" and "Beyond the Glory" documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to more than 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 service men and women 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 FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, call (270) 252-1000.