The Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Eufaula presented by Straight Talk Wireless will visit Eufaula, Ala., May 16-19 for the fourth event of its 18th season. Hosted by the Eufaula Barbour Chamber of Commerce, 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.
“This one is going to be a really good tournament,” said Straight Talk Wireless pro Scott Canterbury, who won an EverStart series tournament on Lake Eufaula in 2011. “It’s been tough on Eufaula for the past couple of years, but the lake has really come on. The fishing has been phenomenal this year, and we’re hitting it at the perfect time. The water levels are up and there are going to be a lot of big fish caught. It’s going to be a fun event.”
Canterbury, a Springville, Ala., native, said that anglers will have plenty of water to fish and would be employing a variety of tactics.
“It’s a huge, huge lake,” Canterbury said. “There are miles of shoreline grass and cover. The fish have been up in the grass, but the weather leading up to the tournament is really going to be the factor on if those fish start to move out to the ledges.
“It’s a great ledge-fishing lake,” Canterbury continued. “The Lowrance electronics that we use are going to be a big deal in this tournament. A lot of the anglers here know a lot of key places, but using our electronics to find those deep ledges and brushpiles is going to be a key.”
Canterbury said that anglers will have a few different techniques to employ at the Eufaula event and anglers would be able to play to their strengths.
“They’re going to catch them shallow in the grass on buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and swimming jigs,” Canterbury said. “There are going to be guys that catch them out deep cranking big, deep-diving crankbaits, too.”
Canterbury said he believes that it will take right around 80 pounds throughout the four-day event to earn the trophy.
“A good weight on Eufaula is 18 to 20 pounds,” said Canterbury. “But there are going to be some big stringers. A local tournament last week took 27 pounds to win. I would not be surprised at all to see a few 25-pound stringers cross the stage.”
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 Lakepoint Resort State Park located at 104 Lakepoint Drive in Eufaula at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Lakepoint Resort State Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 3176 S. Eufaula Ave. in Eufaula beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also 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 Lake Eufaula tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs June 23 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors