Schooling fish will play major role in tournament
The Walmart FLW Tour on Wheeler Lake presented by Ranger will visit Decatur, Ala., Sept. 20-23 for the third open tournament of its 17th season. Hosted by the Decatur Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for top awards up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
“This is going to be a good tournament to fish,” said National Guard pro Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., who has five career FLW wins. “It’s going to be tough. It’s September and there’s no grass on the lake. It’s one of the tougher lakes on the Tennessee River system.”
Lucas said anglers will be spread out on the large body of water and targeting schools of fish. He added the bait of choice will be no surprise, especially after Paul Elias’ dominant victory on nearby Lake Guntersville in October of 2011.
“I can guarantee you everybody will be throwing an Alabama rig,” Lucas said.
Lucas said a large sack of bass would weigh 20 pounds, but he estimates the winning angler will need to bring 16 pounds a day to the scales in order to hoist the trophy.
“The weather is getting cooler at night, and that’s really going to help the bite,” Lucas said. “The fish are starting to school up, and with the Alabama rig really hitting the scene last year combined with the fact that there hasn’t been a major tournament on Wheeler could make for some decent fishing. I think guys will catch them all over, especially in the bottom end of the lake where fish go out and suspend over deeper points.”
In FLW Tour Open competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River.
Anglers will take off from Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St. in Decatur at 6:30 a.m. daily. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Ingalls Harbor beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. SW in Decatur beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Wheeler Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Oct. 28 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Logo courtesy FLW