DETROIT, Mich., After two days of preliminary competition among 300 anglers in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour's Forrest Wood Open, all but 10 professional and 10 co-angler bass anglers have been eliminated. Those anglers will advance to the second round of competition tomorrow in the nation's richest bass tournament being held on the Lake St. Clair near Detroit. The event features history's largest purse $1 million and one of competitive angling's largest first place cash awards $200,000.
David Walker of Cannon, Kentucky, has been named the 1999 Land O'Lakes Angler-of-the-Year for amassing the highest point total(313) in the first six 1999 Wal-Mart FLW Tour events. Walker will be featured on a special edition Wheaties,Breakfast of Champions, cereal box to be distributed nationally later this year. Walker is only the second angling champion to grace the famous cereal box in its 75-year history. He also has made the top 10 cut and will fish in tomorrow's second round.
The anglers from each division (Pro and Co-angler) will compete Friday, for one day, with the top five Pros based on total catch weight, advancing to the "Final Five" final round of competition on Saturday, where they will compete for $200,000. Co-angler competition will conclude at the end of day three with the winner receiving $40,000. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Sterling Heights Wal-Mart, located at 44575 Mound Road. Friday's weigh-in will begin at 5:00 p.m.; Saturday's will begin at 3:30 p.m.
The top five anglers in the Pro and Co-Angler divisions will qualify for the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship, presented by CITGO, September 22-25, 1999, on Ft. Gibson Lake in Wagnoner, Oklahoma, where the winning angler will receive the largest cash award in competitive fishing $250,000. The highest-finishing Ranger boat owner in the tournament will qualify to enter the $3.5 million Ranger M1 Millennium tournament November 4-7, 1999, to be held at Florida's Cypress Gardens. The M1 tournament will be the richest bass event in history, with the winning Pro angler receiving up to $1 million for first place.
The Ranger owner who catches the largest bass in each division over the course of the season will also qualify for the Ranger Millennium tournament.
Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, son of world famous bass angler Roland Martin, has won the Spiderwire Co-Angler-of-the-Year points race with 341 points. He will receive an Evinrude-powered Ranger bass boat for winning the title.
Randy Morris of Garfield, Arkansas, landed a 5 pound, 7 ounce bass on day one to win the Coca-Cola Big Bass award for the event. The angler (pro or non-boater) who catches the big bass of each event receives $1,000 from Coca-Cola. Jim Moynagh of Hopkins, Minnesota, has won the year-long Coca-Cola big bass contest with a bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces, caught during the Lake Lanier event. He will receive $5,000 for the win.
Sponsors of the 1999 Wal-Mart FLW Tour include: Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Land O'Lakes, CITGO Petroleum Products, Chevy Trucks, Uniroyal Tires, Fujifilm, EverStart Batteries, Eveready Flashlights, Black and Decker, Coleman Company, Ranger Boats, Mitchell Rods and Reels, Spiderwire, Evinrude Outboard Motors, Evinrude Electric Trolling Motors, Eagle Electronics, Timex Expedition, Wrangler, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, US Bank-VISA, and Wheaties. The Forrest Wood Open is presented by EverStart Batteries.