Fishing & Boating News

FLW Announces 2019 Costa FLW Series Schedule,

McWha Named New Director

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

(Aug 23, 2018 - Minneapolis, MN)

 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the 2019 Costa FLW Series schedule, which will consist of three events in each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the no-entry-fee Costa FLW Series Championship to be held on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky.

Also announced for 2019, longtime Director of Tournament Operations for the FLW Series Ron Lappin will step down in his current role following the conclusion of the 2018 season and will be succeeded by current T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Tournament Director Mark McWha. Lappin, along with his wife Joan, however, will still be onsite at 2019 FLW Series events in a new role as Assistant Director of Tournament Operations for the FLW Series, a position created to ensure a seamless transition for McWha and allow the Lappins more flexibility as they prepare for retirement.
“I probably know the anglers on a more personal basis than anyone at FLW, except [FLW emcee] Chris Jones,” said Lappin, who has headed the FLW Series since 2007. “I think when you’ve got someone with my experience helping with the transition to a new Director of Tournament Operations, the anglers know that the playing field will remain consistent.

“I’ve got the utmost confidence in Mark McWha and his ability to do the job well,” continued Lappin. “I’ve watched him over the years at tournaments and in the office – he manages tournaments and his staff very much like I do. He has the respect of the anglers, and he understands that they can fish any circuit they want, so it’s a privilege to us when they choose to fish with FLW.”

McWha has served FLW as a tournament director since 2006.

“I have some extremely big shoes to fill in trying to follow Ron Lappin, but I’m very confident in my abilities and look forward to traveling the country working with some of the top anglers from around the world,” McWha said. “Having Ron and Joan on-site throughout the season as a resource to myself and the anglers will make the transition smoother. I’m excited to get the 2019 season under way in January.”   

The top 40 pros and co-anglers in the final point standings in each division after three qualifying tournaments will advance to the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship, provided they fished all three qualifiers in a division.

Complete rules and entry dates will be announced in early October.

2019 Costa FLW Series Schedule:
Central Division                    Fishery                                  City                        Local Host
    •    April 4-6                  Kentucky Lake                       Gilbertsville, Ky.      Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau              
    •    May 9-11                 Table Rock Lake                    Branson, Mo.          Explore Branson                   
    •    Oct. 10-12               Lake of the Ozarks                 Osage Beach, Mo.  Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association            
Northern Division
    •    July 18-20               Lake Champlain                      Plattsburgh, N.Y.     City of Plattsburgh/Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau       
    •    Aug. 22-24              Potomac River                       Marbury, Md.          Charles County Board of Directors
    •    Sept. 19-21             St. Lawrence River                  Massena, N.Y.        Town of Massena   
Southeastern Division
    •    Jan. 31 - Feb. 2       Lake Okeechobee                  Clewiston, Fla.        Hendry County Tourist Development Council/Martin & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina                          
    •    March 21-23            Lake Chickamauga                 Dayton, Tenn.         Fish Dayton/Rhea County Economic and Community Development       
    •    April 25-27              Santee Cooper                       Summerton, S.C.     Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce              
Southwestern Division
    •    Jan. 3-5                  Lake Amistad                         Del Rio, Texas        Del Rio Chamber of Commerce             
    •    June 13-15              Grand Lake                            Grove, Okla.           City of Grove                        
    •    Oct. 3-5                  Sam Rayburn Reservoir          Brookeland, Texas  Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce             
Western Division
    •    Feb. 28 - March 2    Lake Mead                             Las Vegas, Nev.      City of Henderson Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism                 
    •    May 16-18               Clear Lake                              Lakeport, Calif.       Konocti Vista Casino Resort, Marina & RV Park
    •    Sept. 26-28             California Delta                      Bethel Island, Calif. Russo’s Marina & Sugar Barge Resort, Marina & RV Park                  
Costa FLW Series Championship
    •    Oct. 31 - Nov. 2       Lake Cumberland                   Burnside, Ky.          Somerset Tourist and Convention Commission/Burnside Tourism Commission

The full schedule and details for each fishery will be posted at

For complete details and updated information visit

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.