Lashlee wins $100,000 at Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Old Hickory Lake
GALLATIN, Tenn. – Pro Sam Lashlee of Camden, Tenn., caught a four-day total of 18 bass weighing 52 pounds, 10 ounces to win the Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Old Hickory Lake near Gallatin, Tenn. Lashlee took home a check for $100,000 for his win.
In the end, it came to a shoot-out at the final weigh-in between Lashlee and pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., one of the hottest anglers in professional bass fishing right now who, at only age 27, has more than $1 million in career earnings as well as back-to-back top-10 finishes at FLW Series events.
Lashlee, although he has proven to be very competitive in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and Stren Series, was hunting for his first major win in professional-level competition. “I’m just a country boy living a dream,” Lashlee said. “Luke said he was fishing against the best field of anglers he’s ever fished against in this tournament, so obviously I was fishing against the best I’ve ever fished against.”
All week, a few primary lures have been key to Lashlee’s success. He caught some bass early in the tournament on a Strike King Series 5 crankbait, but it’s been jigs and a hand-poured plastic worm rigged with a 5/16-ounce weight that have yielded most of his strikes. When the bite has been tough, Lashlee has tossed a 1/4-ounce Bitsy Bug with a 3X trailer. Other times, he’s been targeting bass on a main-river ledge with a 3/4-ounce Strike King football-head jig and 3X trailer in Texas craw color.
“I’ve kept close bottom contact with my jigs. I never felt a strike with the big jig – it’d just be heavy,” Lashlee said.
The ledge he’s been fishing is one that he’s fished nearly his entire life. “My family used to go out when I was a kid and we’d troll for stripers out of a houseboat on that ledge,” Lashlee said. “We caught a lot of big bass there too, and that’s where I caught most of my fish this week.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Clausen (20 bass, 47 pounds, 15 ounces, $50,000 ); Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va. (20 bass, 47 pounds, 13 ounces, $40,000); Michael Brown of Rocky Face, Ga. (20 bass, 47 pounds, 2 ounces, $30,000); and Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas (20 bass, 46 pounds, 7 ounces, $20,000).
Co-angler competition concluded on day three. Randy Duncan of Killen, Ala., caught a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Co-angler Division competition. Duncan earned a check for $20,000 for his win.
The new $6.5 million FLW Series features five $900,000 qualifying tournaments, each with a top award of $100,000, that advance anglers to the $2 million, 2007 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million cash.
The entire field competes for the first three days of FLW Series events. 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.
In FLW Series competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.
Coverage of the Old Hickory Lake FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program airing July 16. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely viewed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers 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, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, 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 exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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 Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.