Fishing & Boating News

WAL-MART OPEN COVERAGE ON FSN BEGINS JULY 1

One-hour show to cover $1.5 million bass fishing tournament on Beaver Lake

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(Jun. 20, 2007 - Minneapolis) Tune in Sunday, July 1, to "FLW Outdoors" on FSN for complete coverage of the $1.5 million Wal-Mart Open. The event, held on Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., awarded the winning bass pro a first-place check of $200,000. The one-hour show is the first of a two-part series covering stop No. 4 on the $9.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Beaver Lake is an annual stop, but the fishing this year was quite different compared with years past. In the past, the tournament was typically held in early April during the midst of the spawn. This year's event was held in mid-May, making Beaver Lake seem like a new body of water for most of the 400 competitors. While most anglers are targeting largemouth bass, some are tapping into the lake's ever-growing population of smallmouth. On day one, a largemouth angler took the early lead. Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. Montgomery slipped to third at the conclusion of the two-day opening round. However, the new first-place pro, Jay Yelas, is sharing water with Montgomery. In fact, the top three places are held by pros that are catching schooling fish first thing in the morning. The problem is that the bite dies after about 9 a.m., and then the fishing is extremely slow. Yelas is catching his bass on a mixture of swimbaits and topwaters. He's fishing a large boat dock that has spawning shad all around it. Beneath that dock, the natural food chain is at work. At night, shad gather around the dock to spawn on the floats, and at the break of day, hordes of largemouth bass rush the dock for an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. This schooling pattern has netted Yelas a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. The Tyler, Texas, pro is currently in the lead in the 2007 Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year race, and this event is his third FLW Tour top-10 in a row. In the Duracell Angler Spotlight, BP pro Ray Scheide talks about his beginnings on the FLW Tour. Scheide started his career in a big way with a win on Lake Okeechobee in his first season. From there, he went on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. But as of late, Scheide has been steadily improving. He finished second at the 2006 FLW Tour Championship, just ounces away from a $500,000 payday. On Beaver Lake, he currently sits seventh with a two-day total of 18 pounds, 15 ounces. Another BP pro, Alfred Williams, is also in the hunt. On day two, Williams caught the heaviest five-bass limit of the day. His five Beaver Lake largemouths weighed 13 pounds, 6 ounces and qualified Williams for the final round in ninth place. The veteran angler from Jackson, Miss., takes viewers behind the scenes, showing how a professional angler prepares the night before a big tournament. In addition, Gain pro Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio, participates in this edition of Fishing 101. Vatalaro, who finished third at the National Guard Open on Lake Norman, teaches viewers a special way to rig a fluke to target smaller, less aggressive bass. 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. FLWOutdoors website also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes on "FLW Outdoors." 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.