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Kremer Leads Stren Series Event on Santee Cooper Lakes

April 11, 2007

MANNING, S.C. – Pro Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 28 pounds, 3 ounces Wednesday to lead the opening day of the $275,225 Stren Series Southeast Division tournament presented by Yamaha on the Santee Cooper Lakes.

Kremer also earned $280 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 2-ounce bass.

“I had an excellent day today,” said Asa Godsey, who is currently in second place and amassed over $90,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “I'm really tickled to be where I am. I think I have enough fish in the area I am fishing to keep me in this. The key is to fish slow. I know the fish are there and I just have to catch them.”

Godsey is throwing a soft-plastic stick bait around shallow cover with a slow presentation to catch his bass.

Rounding out the top five pros are Asa Godsey of Clewiston, Fla. (five bass, 20-2); Scott Browning of Franklin, N.C. (five bass, 19-11); Craig Dowling of Many, La. (five bass, 19-4); and Clark Smith Jr. of Pell City, Ala. (five bass, 18-14).

Overall there were 497 bass weighing 1,445 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 159 pros Wednesday. The catch included 50 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 519VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Mobile, Ala., Nov. 8-11 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit's five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing's biggest prize – $1 million.

Howard Hammonds of Portersville, Pa., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 519VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met. He caught three bass weighing 13-5 while fishing with pro Tony Couch of Buckhead, Ga., who is currently in 12th place.

“Today was absolutely fantastic,” said Hammonds, who has two career top-10 finishes with FLW Outdoors. “I fished with Tony Couch today and he was a great partner. We worked together and fished very methodically.”

“The bite wasn't as good as it should be. The rain and cloud cover hurt us,” he said.

Hammonds was throwing Texas-rigged soft-plastics around submerged bushes in three to four feet of water targeting staging fish.

Hammonds also earned $142 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jeff Stoner of Wellsville, Pa. (four bass, 12-8); Cruz Cope of Treadway, Tenn. (five bass, 10-11); Will Hardy of Harlem, Ga. (four bass, 10-7); and Billy Carroll of Fayetteville, N.C. (four bass, 9-15).

Overall there were 188 bass weighing 448 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 101 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included four five-bass limits.

The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.

Anglers will take off at 6:30 each morning from John C. Land III Landing located at County Road S-14-260 in Summerton, S.C. Thursday and Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 481 West Boyce Street in Manning, S.C., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.

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 .

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

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