Fishing & Boating News

Winning pro to claim $100,000 first-place purse

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(Nov. 06, 2007 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN) Tune in Sunday, Nov. 18 to "FLW Outdoors" on FSN for complete coverage of the smallmouth slugfest from the Columbia River in Tri-Cities, Wash. The show, which concludes with the winning pro claiming a cash prize of $100,000, will highlight one of the best bass fisheries in the Western United States. The Columbia River was stop No. 3 of four regular-season Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western Division events. In FLW Series competition, a full field of pros and co-anglers competes for the first three days. Co-angler winners are determined on day three 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. The stories evolve and the suspense grows throughout the one-hour show until the final weigh-in results are announced. Despite its abundant smallmouth population, the Columbia River is uncharted waters for major bass fishing tournaments. But with the finest anglers in the world competing for a total purse of $1 million, this event has put the Columbia River on the map. After three days of competition, pro Charlie Weyer of West Hills, Calif., is in the driver's seat with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Traveling 50 miles each way, Weyer is targeting smallmouths on rock piles abutting grass patches in 16 to 25 feet of water. His key baits are a Carolina-rigged lizard and a tube in a green-pumpkin color. Although things have gone nearly perfect for three consecutive days, the forecast on day four calls for strong winds, which could make his long run difficult and leave him with little fishing time. Tune in to see the former Bassmaster champion hone in on his first FLW Outdoors win. Coming into the third qualifying event of the year on the Columbia River, pro Clayton Meyer of San Diego, Calif., had hoped to scratch out a top-50 finish and a $10,000 check. However, by the end of the day-three weigh-in, Meyer had shifted his focus significantly. With a three-day catch of 38 pounds, 9 ounces, Meyer is only 5 pounds off the lead and owns sole possession of second place. Interestingly, Meyer and Weyer are fishing in the same general area. Unlike Weyer, who is fishing deep, Meyer is focusing his efforts in 8 to 14 feet of water using a combination of Carolina rigs, tubes and finesse worms. On the strength of a three-day catch of 37 pounds, 5 ounces, pro Jason Hickey moved up to third place overall and, most importantly, within striking distance of Weyer. The Weiser, Idaho, native is targeting roaming schools of smallmouths with a lipless crankbait. He's around quality fish, but the problem is that they aren't staying on the hook. If Hickey can get all his bites in the boat on day four, he could be the one claiming a six-figure payday. FSN broadcasts "FLW Outdoors" Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern time. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLWOutdoors.com 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. "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.