Walmart’s 2014 FLW Tour Set to Visit Pickwick Lake


The fifth event in the 19th season of the major leagues of professional bass-fishing, the Walmart FLW Tour, kicks off June 5-8 with the Walmart FLW Tour at Pickwick Lake presented by Straight Talk Wireless. Hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, the tournament will feature 167 of the world’s best bass-fishing pros and 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.

“The most exciting thing about this event for me is that we finally get to fish offshore,” said Straight Talk Wireless pro J.T. Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., an eight-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “We’ve been beating the banks the past few events and I’m ready to fish some ledges. Fishing Pickwick the first week in June we can expect to see some pretty good fishing and some pretty big weights.

“I think 95 percent of the field will be fishing offshore,” Kenney continued. “I expect that it will get a little bit crowded in certain spots. I think the fish will still be grouped up in big schools because they don’t really spread out until later in the summer. It’s early enough in June that some guys are still going to be able to catch a few decent fish off the bank or mid-depth, but that’s not where I’m going to be.”

Kenney said that he expects the most popular baits of the week to be Strike King crankbaits and swimbaits. He also mentioned that some anglers will be throwing big flutter spoons and dragging jigs around as well.

“When the fish are on the ledges it’s more important to get around the right fish than what you’re catching them on. You can catch them on a lot of different baits,” Kenney said.

“For an angler to fish all four days, they’re going to need to average close to 18 pounds a day,” Kenney went on to say. “I’m going to predict that the winner of the tournament is going to have a four-day total of 84 pounds, 12 ounces. That’s my number.”

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 is hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country. Anglers could win as much as $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.

Anglers will take off from McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence at 6:30 a.m. each day of competition. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at McFarland Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road in Florence 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.

Coverage of the Pickwick Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 10 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.

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