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FLW Tour to Visit Lake Norman

April 10, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The $9.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour will stop in Charlotte, N.C., April 26-29 for its third regular-season tournament, the $1.5 million National Guard Open hosted by the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Charlotte Sports Commission, the Lake Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau and Visit Charlotte. The tournament, which ranks as the richest ever held in the state, will feature 400 anglers from 37 states, Australia, Italy and Japan fishing for top awards of $200,000 cash in the Pro Division and $40,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

“Lake Norman is a big and fairly shallow lake,” said Hamburger Helper pro David Cooke of Mooresville, N.C., who has earned five top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition. “I think with even 200 boats the lake should fish big and shouldn't have a lot of pressure. The hot patterns will likely be sight-fishing and flipping docks in 4 to 6 feet of water. Anglers may also target postspawn fish on long, shallow main-lake points. The main tackle used will be finesse gear, mainly shaky-head worms.

“April is a perfect time to fish Lake Norman. We should see a number of big fish weighed in. In fact, Lake Norman holds the North Carolina state record for a spotted bass weighing in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces. I think it will take 12 to 15 pounds a day to make the top-10 cut. There will be mixed bags of spots and largemouths. No species will be the dominate one.”

Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. each day from Blythe Landing located at 15901 NC Highway 73 in Huntersville, N.C. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m.

Ben Mynatt Chevrolet, located at 281 Concord Parkway South in Concord, N.C., will host Chevy Pro Night featuring Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon, Luke Clausen, Kim Stricker, Dion Hibdon and David Fritts from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. These anglers, who together account for eight FLW Tour victories and more than $3 million in winnings, will visit with fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. Fans attending Chevy Pro Night at Ben Mynatt Chevrolet can also register to win fishing rods, fishing tackle, die cast Ranger boats and a trip for two to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup championship and outdoor show in Hot Springs, Ark., where they could ultimately win a $53,000 Ranger Z20 powered by Yamaha.

Saturday and Sunday's weigh-ins will be held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center located at 4751 Highway 49 N. in Concord, N.C., beginning at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Family Fun Zone is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other manufacturers while children are treated to fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. The first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Saturday will also receive a free FLW Outdoors hat. On Sunday, the first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone will receive a free rod and reel combo. The drawing for a free vacation getaway to Hot Springs will be held immediately following Sunday's 4 p.m. weigh-in. Participants must be present to win.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 400 anglers competes in the two-day opening round for one of 10 slots in Saturday's competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday's weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.

The total purse for the Lake Norman tournament is $1.5 million, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro Division. This makes the event the most lucrative bass tournament ever held in North Carolina.

Coverage of the National Guard Open will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 3 and 10 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

With a $9.5 million cash purse, including three $1 million qualifiers and three $1.5 million opens during the regular season, this is the most lucrative FLW Tour season to date. Each event leads up to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol, which will be held Aug. 2-5 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark. The prestigious championship and outdoor show hosted by the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau will feature 81 pros, 81 co-anglers and bass fishing's largest cash award – a potential $1 million first-place prize for the winning pro.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com .

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

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