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Kremer Leads Stren Series Event on Santee Cooper Lakes

April 12, 2007

MANNING, S.C. – Pro Joseph Kremer of Osteen, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday to retain the lead in the $275,225 Stren Series Southeast Division tournament presented by Yamaha on the Santee Cooper Lakes. With a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 43-5, he now holds an impressive 7-pound, 12-ounce lead over second place pro Tony Couch of Buckhead, Ga., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 35-9 during the first two days of competition.

“Things went pretty well today,” said Pedigree pro Greg Pugh, who is currently in fifth place. “The sun really helped me out today. I have been sight-fishing and it brought the fish up to where they needed to be. I have been scrambling all over this lake for beds and I think I have found the right ones. When I was on my way back in today, I stopped at a few of my other sports I haven't fished yet and there were some good fish on beds. My plan for tomorrow is to go back and do the same thing I have been doing and see if I can't catch them again. ”

Pugh has been sight-fishing the last two-days targeting spawning bass throwing jigs and an array of soft-plastics.

Rounding out the top five pros are Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C. (10 bass, 32-4); Clark Smith Jr. of Pell City, Ala. (10 bass, 32-2); and Pedigree pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (10 bass, 31-5).

Ellis also earned $280 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to an 8-pound, 12-ounce bass.

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.

Brad Rodrigue of Pierre Part, La., 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 two bass weighing 7-11 while fishing with pro Lloyd Picket of Bartlet, Tenn., Wednesday and four bass weighing 16-14 while fishing with pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., Thursday for a total of six bass weighing 24-9.

Rodrigue also earned $142 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 7-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on a crankbait.

“Me and my partner took a little gamble this morning,” said Roqrigue who has amassed over $20,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors fishing only as a co-angler. “We ran up river instead of fishing the lake and things worked out really well. I had a great partner that knew what he was doing.”

Rodrigue was throwing crankbaits in creeks with freshwater runoff and submerged structure that dumped into the main channel of the river to catch three of his four fish. On the way back in at a final stop, he caught one more flipping the bank with soft-plastics

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Lloyd Meyers Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla. (five bass, 17-12); Aaron Fahnestock of Enterprise, Ala. (five bass, 16-6); Jeff Stoner of Wellsville, Pa. (five bass, 14-3); and David Iglesias of Crystal River, Fla. (three bass, 13-14).

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-14-260in Summerton, S.C. 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 Walmart.com .

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

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