Trisha Blake, President of FLW Outdoors Marketing Division stated, “The adjustments made to the rules for 2011 are a reflection of the open dialogue between anglers, our staff and sponsors. The modifications will benefit anglers immediately and for the long-term, and have a positive impact on everyone involved in the sport of fishing.”
Anglers will be allowed to wear their own jersey when they make the cut, barring a conflict with an exclusive sponsor of FLW Outdoors and in adherence to the rules. Anglers fishing on day three will be allowed to fish out of their own boat. On day four, anglers will be required to fish out of a tournament-provided boat and will be required to have a patch on their jersey representing the sponsored boat they are fishing from. If an angler does not have a compliant jersey, FLW Outdoors will provide a jersey and allow the angler to apply compliant patches.
Announced earlier this year, the 2011 Tour will expand to 10 tournaments, plus the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The Tour will consist of six FLW Tour Majors and four FLW Tour Opens. FLW Tour Majors, which will feature a 150-boat field, are open to professional anglers who enter all six tournaments. Pros fishing the FLW Tour Majors will receive priority when entering FLW Tour Opens and pros that enter all four FLW Tour Opens will receive priority over individual entrants. FLW Tour Opens will also feature a 150-boat field.
Pro anglers will compete for up to $125,000 and co-anglers will be vying for up to $25,000 in each tournament including Ranger Cup bonuses. With a full field, the paybacks will be $4,000 through 60th place on the pro side and $700 on the co-angler side. Entry fees are unchanged for 2011 at $4,000 per tournament as well as the $1,000 deposit for pros and $700 per tournament for co-anglers. Anglers can begin registering for the Tour on Monday, Oct. 18.
The full field will compete the first two days of each FLW Tour event. On day three, the top 20 pros and co-anglers will compete with the co-angler winner being crowned based on cumulative weight from all three days. Day four will feature the top 10 pro anglers with the winner determined by cumulative weight from all four days.
The 2011 FLW Tour Angler of the Year and the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup champion, in recognition of their success, will qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The prestigious Angler of the Year title for 2011 will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors and the pro winner will receive $100,000, while the co-angler title holder will win a new Ranger 198VX with a 200-horsepower outboard.
The top 30 pros and co-anglers from the FLW Tour Majors will qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, which will consist of 58 pros and 58 co-anglers. In 2012, the top 35 pros and co-anglers from the FLW Tour Majors, along with the top five from the 2011 FLW Tour Opens, will qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.
Each qualifying tournament will begin on Thursday and conclude on Sunday. The first two days’ weigh-ins for the FLW Tour Majors and Opens will be held lakeside. The final two days of weigh-ins for FLW Tour Majors will be held in convention centers or arenas in conjunction with the FLW Outdoors Expo. The final two days of weigh-ins for FLW Tour Opens will be held in Walmart parking lots. The complete schedule for the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour season is listed below and can be viewed at FLWOutdoors.com.
2011 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule
Date Fishery Location Tournament
Feb. 3-6 Lake Okeechobee Clewiston, Fla. FLW Tour Open
March 3-6 Beaver Lake Rogers, Ark. FLW Tour Major – Walmart Open
March 24-27 Lake Hartwell Greenville, S.C. FLW Tour Major
April 14-17 Lake Chickamauga Chattanooga, Tenn. FLW Tour Major
May 5-8 Table Rock Lake Branson, Mo. FLW Tour Major
May 19-22 Red River Shreveport, La. FLW Tour Major
June 2-5 Potomac River National Harbor, Md. FLW Tour Open
June 16-19 Kentucky Lake Murray, Ky. FLW Tour Major
Aug. 11-14 Lake Ouachita Hot Springs, Ark. Forrest Wood Cup
Sept. 15-18 Lake Champlain Plattsburgh, N.Y. FLW Tour Open
Oct. 20-23 Lake Guntersville Guntersville, Ala. FLW Tour Open