The second event in the 19th season of the major leagues of professional bass-fishing, the Walmart FLW Tour, kicks off March 6-9 with the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Ranger Boats. Hosted by the Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 178 of the world’s best bass-fishing pros and 178 co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.
“I think that both the largemouth and spotted bass will play a factor in this tournament,” said Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, who finished in ninth place and 11th place when the FLW Tour previously visited Lake Hartwell in 2011 and 2012. “I think that we’re going to see anglers in the top 10 who weigh in only spotted bass, or only largemouth and still do really well. I like the type of fishery that Hartwell is, and I love the pre-spawn time of year. This tournament lines up really well for me.
Lefebre said that tournament anglers would be fishing multiple techniques and patterns, both deep and shallow.
“I don’t like to fish the deep end of the lake,” Lefebre said. “I’m always way up the river somewhere in the backs of the pockets targeting the shallow fish. The last couple of times that we have been here, everybody has been able to throw multiple baits and fish to their style
“Guys fishing deep will be using typical spotted bass tactics. Drop-shot rigs, spoons, deep-diving crankbaits and swimbaits will all be pretty popular for those anglers.”
Lefebre did not divulge any of his shallow water tactics, but in previous events anglers choosing to fish shallow have caught their fish using spinnerbaits, swimjigs or via flipping soft plastics.
“The last two times that we were here the lake was fishing completely opposite,” Lefebre went on to say. “The water was up the first year, and then real low when we came back. I would guess that the weights will be very similar to our prior events, maybe even a little better. I think that we’re going to see the winner finish with a four-day total of more than 75 pounds.”
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17 on Lake Murray and anglers could win as much as $500,000 – the sport’s biggest prize.
Anglers will take off from the Clemson Marina located at 150 Clemson Marina Drive in Seneca, S.C., at 7 a.m. the first three days of competition. On the final day of competition the top 10 anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. from the Clemson Marina. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Clemson Marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 1636 Sandifer Blvd. in Seneca beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at 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. Also on Sunday, country music star Chris Janson will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.
As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW Tour anglers will visit four area schools as part of the “Get Outdoors. Go Fish!” project from the FLW Foundation. At the assembly, anglers will talk to students about the different aspects of fishing and how it applies to different school subjects like science, technology, engineering and math. Students are asked to submit an essay to the FLW Foundation answering a question about the sport of fishing. One winner per school will be selected to go on a VIP fishing trip with an FLW Tour pro along with a parent or guardian on March 7 or 8.
Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs May 24 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.
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 Outdoors