Pros will fish for a top award of $50,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Additionally, the top finishing pros and co-anglers from each of the five divisions and the top five overall pros and co-anglers will advance to the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup.
“I feel like it is probably going to be a tough tournament,” said Walmart pro Mark Rose, who won a 2012 Walmart FLW Tour event on Wheeler Lake. “I don’t think it will take as much weight to win as when I won there in 2012. This time of the year, the Tennessee River can be tough. But, there will be a lot of fish caught and you’ll see a lot of 11 to 12 pound limits.
“My game plan is to try and find the last school left offshore,” Rose said. “But, it’s going to be hard to do. Once the bait starts leaving, the fish go with them. The nights are getting colder and that means bass and shad are moving off the ledges. There will be a lot of fish in the backs of pockets and on the flats.
“I’m sure fishing up river will be a factor as well,” continued Rose. “There is a lot of current on the Tennessee River, and running up to where the most current is could be the deal. I’d look for that to be a really big player in this tournament.”
Rose said that shad imitating baits would be key players in this event. He pegged shallow running crankbaits, Strike King Red Eye Shad lipless crankbaits, buzzbaits and Strike King Sexy Dawg topwater baits as potential winners.
“I like fishing on Wheeler in the fall, because you can stumble on them in the middle of wide open areas,” Rose explained. “A lot of the fishing in the summer is really obvious. But in the fall you can find fish in the middle of nowhere and have them all to yourself.”
Rose said he thought the winner of this three-day event would have to bring about 15 pounds of bass to the scale each day.
Anglers will take off from Joe Wheeler State Park located at 4601 McLean Drive in Rogersville, Alabama, at 7:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the launch site, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 2701 Cloverdale Road in Florence, Alabama, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo includes a casting pool, interactive games and activities provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. The first 200 fans in attendance will also receive a $5 Walmart gift card courtesy of KIX 96. All activities are free and open to the public.
The Rayovac FLW Series Championship at Wheeler Lake is hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors