WAL-MART FLW SERIES FORMS DIVISIONS, EIGHT $1 MILLION TELEVISED EVENTS FOR 2007
New National Guard Western and BP Eastern divisions to pay $10,000 through 50th place in every qualifier
LAS VEGAS (July 20, 2006) – FLW Outdoors fulfilled the dreams of western anglers at ICAST today when it announced its 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Series schedule complete with a new National Guard Western Division and a BP Eastern Division, each with four $1 million events that qualify anglers for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup championship.
The introduction of two divisions adds three tournaments and $3.5 million to the FLW Series schedule as compared to its inaugural season this year and boosts the total purse to an incredible $10 million, including the Forrest Wood Cup, which offers top anglers from the FLW Series, Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, TBF (The Bass Federation) and Ranger Owners' Tournaments a shot at an astonishing $1 million payday.
Every FLW Series qualifier offers a $1 million purse with $10,000 cash being awarded through 50th place and $3,850 cash through 75th place in the Pro Division. Additionally, pros finishing 76th through 100th place will receive a $100 gas card from BP at each qualifier in the Eastern Division and a $100 Wal-Mart gift card in the Western Division.
"Since the introduction of the Stren Series Western Division in 2003, FLW Outdoors has developed a large, loyal following in the Western United States and has advanced a number of world-class pros to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour," said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans. "Now we are expanding the opportunities for these anglers to showcase their tremendous fishing ability on their home waters, which are some of the nation's best bass fisheries."
Like FLW Tour events, every FLW Series event is broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" program airing Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to more than 350 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 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
"Wal-Mart is pleased to provide a national forum that showcases the tremendous bass-fishing opportunities in the west along with the tremendous anglers who live there," said Wal-Mart Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager Bill Kerr. "It's one more example of our dedication to supporting pastimes that interest our customers while helping to grow the sport and providing fishing opportunities for anglers from coast to coast."
Ranger owners fishing the FLW Series will also receive lucrative new bonuses in 2007, with pros fishing for an additional $25,000 in each qualifier for a top award of $125,000 and co-anglers fishing for an additional $5,000 in each qualifier for a top award of $25,000. Anglers must be original owners of 2004 or later model year Ranger boats to qualify for bonuses.
FLW Series tournaments are four-day, cumulative weight events that begin on Wednesday and conclude on Saturday. Weigh-ins the first three days are held lakeside and the top 10 pros weigh in Saturday at Wal-Mart. Pros use their own boats on all four days of competition in the FLW Series. Every tournament has a 12-day off-limits period prior to four practice days.
Wal-Mart FLW Series competition in the BP Eastern Division kicks off Jan. 24-27 on Lake Okeechobee in Okeechobee, Fla., followed by a tournament on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark., May 9-12. The division's third stop will be held on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Sept. 5-8 with the final qualifier taking anglers to Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., Oct. 10-13.
Competition in the National Guard Western Division begins Jan. 31-Feb. 3 on Lake Havasu in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., followed by a tournament on the California Delta in Bethel Island, Calif., March 14-17. The division's third stop will be held on the Columbia River in Tri-Cities, Wash., Sept. 19-22 with the final qualifier taking place on Clear Lake in Kelseyville, Calif., Oct. 24-27.
After four qualifiers in each division, the top 30 pros and co-anglers will be invited to a three-day cumulative weight fish-off where the pros will fish head-to-head to determine who will advance to the Forrest Wood Cup. At the fish-off, the No. 1 Eastern Division pro seed will face the No. 30 Western Division pro seed and the No. 1 Western Division pro seed will face the No. 30 Eastern Division pro seed, etc. The top 30 co-anglers after the three-day competition along with the winners of these match-ups will proceed to the Forrest Wood Cup and the pro with the heaviest overall weight will earn $25,000. The co-angler with the heaviest overall weight will earn $5,000. The dates and location for the fish-off will be announced in the coming months.
The top 100 pros and co-anglers from each division of the 2007 FLW Series and the top 10 pros and co-anglers from each division of the 2007 Stren Series receive priority entry into the 2008 FLW Series. The top 30 pros and co-anglers from each division of the 2007 FLW Series receive priority entry into the 2008 FLW Tour.
Entry fees for 2007 are $3,500 per qualifier for pros and $700 per qualifier for co-anglers. Entry dates will be released soon.
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, visit 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.
2007 Wal-Mart FLW Series Schedule
BP Eastern Division
Date Lake/River City, State
Jan. 24-27 Lake Okeechobee Okeechobee, Fla.
May 9-12 Lake Dardanelle Russellville, Ark.
Sept. 5-8 Lake Champlain Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Oct. 10-13 Pickwick Florence, Ala.
National Guard Western Division
Date Lake/River City, State
Jan. 31-Feb. 3 Lake Havasu Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
March 14-17 California Delta Bethel Island, Calif.
Sept. 19-22 Columbia River Tri-Cities, Wash.
Oct. 24-27 Clear Lake Kelseyville, Calif.
2007 Wal-Mart FLW Series Payouts
$1 Million Qualifiers
Place Pro Bonus Co-angler Bonus
1 $100000 $25000 $20000 $5000
2 50000 10000
3 30000 9000
4 25000 8000
5 17500 7000
6 16000 6000
7 15000 5000
8 14000 4000
9 13000 3000
10 12000 2000
11-15 11500 1500
16-20 11000 1400
21-25 10750 1300
26-30 10500 1200
31-40 10250 1100
41-50 10000 1050
51-60 5000 1000
61-75 3850 750
Big Bass 500 Days 1, 2 & 3 250 Days 1, 2 & 3