The Walmart FLW Tour’s second event of the 2013 season, the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, will be March 7-10. Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, the tournament will feature a full field of 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.
“The fishing is going to be as good as it can get at Smith,” said Twix pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala. “There are an awful lot of big (spotted bass) and big largemouth in that lake. It’s a real clear fishery and what some people may consider to be a tough place to fish. But, I think we’re going to hit it at the best possible time we can.
“There’s definitely going to be a pre-spawn bite,” Newton added. “You may see largemouth prevail for a day or two, but not all four days. That will mix things up and let us fish differently than we have in the past when we’ve been there.
“The spots are going to play a big role in this tournament, but largemouth will be a factor,”The” Newton went on to say. “In the past you really needed a good largemouth or two a day, and that’s something that’s very possible. There are some good largemouth to be caught, that’s for sure.”
Newton said Lewis Smith Lake is a predominantly clear body of water, with water clarity changing the further anglers get into the creeks. Newton said anglers will have a variety of bait choices during the tournament but expects crankbaits and jerkbaits to be very popular among competitors. Newton added that other baits that will come into play include plastic worms as well as jigs.
Newton speculated that the winning angler will need “a little more than 15 to 16 pounds a day” to take home the championship title.
“I was fishing Lewis Smith before the off-limits period began,” Newton said. “The fishing seemed pretty good to me. I didn’t catch lots of fish, but the quality fish were definitely biting then.”
In FLW Tour 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 Smith Lake Dam Access located at 7482 Smith Lake Dam Road in Jasper, Ala., at 7 a.m. the first two days of competition. On the last two days takeoff will be at Smith Lake Dam Access at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Smith Lake Dam Access beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 1801 Highway 78 E. in Jasper 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.
As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW Tour anglers will visit Cordova High School on March 6 from 10:40 to 11:20 a.m. to talk to students about the various aspects of science and technology that apply to the world of professional fishing. Topics will include mathematics, biology on the water, advance sonar technology and the business side of fishing. Cordova seniors and the Fishing Team are encouraged to write and submit an essay (500 words or less) on the following topic: “How does science, technology, engineering and math apply to the sport of fishing?” The deadline for the essays is March 1. All students who submit an essay will receive an FLW hat. Members of the FLW Foundation Board of Directors will judge the essays, and two winners will be announced at the angler visit on March 6. The two winners will each receive an autographed FLW team fishing jersey as well as a half day of fishing with an FLW pro on Lewis Smith Lake on March 10 along with a parent or guardian.
Coverage of the Lewis Smith Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs April 14 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “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.
Logo courtesy FLW Outdoors