Pro Tom Mann, Jr. of Buford Ga., caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday, Sept. 19 to win $122,007 in the final Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournament of the season on Clarks Hill…
Pro Tom Mann, Jr. of Buford Ga., caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday, Sept. 19 to win $122,007 in the final Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournament of the season on Clarks Hill Lake with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 51-2.
The catch gave him a commanding 11 pound, 4-ounce win over Chris Martinkovic of Liberty Township, Ohio, who caught a total of 18 bass weighing 39-14 and earned $48,503.
This is the most perfect tournament I have ever fished, said an emotional Mann, Jr. My whole goal this week was to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup and I did that on the second day. Now, to win the tournament is truly unbelievable. I executed perfectly every day this week, and this morning was the first day I actually lost a fish.
Mann, Jr. opened the tournament in a three way tie for seventh place Wednesday with 5 bass weighing 11-9 that he caught three of his five bass using a Rapala Skidder Walk. On Thursday he added another 5 bass weighing 11-13 using a double super fluke rig to move into third place. He then caught 5 bass weighing 13-3 Friday to make his move into first place of the crucial top 10. On Saturday he sealed his victory by using a double fluke rig and ¼ ounce Buckeye Spot Remover with Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm.
Rounding out the top five pros are Keith Williamson of Lincolnton, Ga. (19 bass, 39-4, $38,803); Craig Johnson of Martinez, Ga. (19 bass, 39-1, $29,102) and Keith Hutto of Evans, Ga. (18 bass, 36-10, $19,401).
Martinkovic, who finished second, also fished using a super fluke in 30 feet of water. He said that today one got away and he missed landing three which could have made the difference in the tournament. Martinkovic has worked his way up the FLW ranks by starting his fishing career in the Walmart BFL at the age of 16.
The Land O Lakes Angler of the Year title was also announced at the end of the Walmart FLW BP Eastern Series Clarks Hill Lake event. With his victory today, Tom Mann, Jr., claimed the honor. The Angler of the Year title annually goes to the FLW BP Eastern Series Pro Division angler who has the highest year-end point total in the standings at the conclusion of the regular season. Mann, Jr. secured the crown on Clarks Hill Lake by a mere one point in a race that went down to the last day of the regular season. Mann finished in the top 10 in three of four Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournaments.
It is truly a thrill for me to win the AOY title, said Mann, Jr. After 26 years of fishing and to be able to fish for the Forrest Wood Cup in my home lake is a dream come true. Ive fished a lot of events on Lake Lanier and ninth place is the lowest finish I have ever recall recording.
Mann, Jr. will be the pre-tournament favorite going into the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup which will be held in Atlanta, Ga., on Lake Lanier Aug. 5-8.
The remaining top ten pros are Matthew Wilbanks of Gainesville, Ga. sixth, Trad Whaley of Abbeville, S.C., seventh, Team Iams pro Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio, eighth, Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Mo., ninth and O T Fears, III of Sallisaw, Okla., finished tenth.
Overall there were 28 bass weighing 56 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included only 2 five-bass limits.
Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., won the Co-angler Division and $23,897 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces followed by Jason Law of Brunswick, Ga., in second place with 13 bass weighing 21-3 worth $9,448.
Coverage of the Clarks Hill Lake tournament, hosted by the Columbia County Georgia Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated FLW Outdoors, will air Oct. 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. FLW Outdoors, hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, 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
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Players Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.