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FLW OUTDOORS ANNOUNCES 2005 WALLEYE TOUR SCHEDULE, NEW NAME
BENTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2004) – FLW Outdoors announced its 2005 walleye
tour schedule Wednesday complete with a new name, new television coverage,
a $2.6 million all-cash purse and a no-entry-fee championship. The tour,
formerly known as the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, will celebrate its fifth
season as the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour while offering the world’s top
pro anglers a shot at $90,000 in three of four qualifiers and $100,000
in the fourth qualifier.
Competition in the five-event FLW Walleye Tour begins
April 6-9 on Bull Shoals in Bull Shoals, Ark., followed by a stop on Lake
Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio, April 27-30. The third qualifier will be held
May 18-21 on Green Bay in Green Bay, Wis., followed by the fourth and final
qualifier – the new FLW Walleye Tour Open – on Devils Lake in Spirit Lake,
N.D., June 15-18.
Nearly $70,000 was added to the purse for each of the
first three qualifiers, boosting the potential payout in each event to
$471,000 compared to $401,750 in 2004. The winning pro in each of these
events earns $40,000 cash based on a full field of 150 boats plus a $30,000
cash bonus from Ranger Boats and a $20,000 cash bonus from Evinrude or
Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met. The winning co-angler receives
$9,000 cash plus a $5,000 bonus from Ranger Boats and a $3,000 bonus from
Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met.
The fourth and final qualifier of the 2005 season features
a $140,250 increase in purse size compared to 2004, as anglers will compete
for a share of $542,000 in the new FLW Walleye Tour Open. The winning pro
in this event earns $45,000 cash based on a full field of 150 boats plus
a $33,000 cash bonus from Ranger Boats and a $22,000 cash bonus from Evinrude
or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met. The winning co-angler receives
$10,000 cash plus a $6,000 bonus from Ranger Boats and a $4,000 bonus from
Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met.
“The introduction of all-cash purses is another milestone
for the growth of professional walleye fishing,” said Mark Dorn, director
of walleye operations for FLW Outdoors. “Never before have walleye anglers
had so much opportunity in the sport they love. We are proud to be on the
leading edge of a rapidly growing sport, and we are proud to offer competitors,
sponsors and fans a quality product unlike any other.”
Awards and bonus are presented through 50th place in every
qualifier and the FLW Walleye Tour Open. Additionally, the winning pro
can earn a $1,000 bonus from Garmin if the pro’s boat is equipped with
only Garmin electronics and at least one unit is a Fishfinder 240, Fishfinder
250 or 250C, Fishfinder 320C, GPSMAP 178 or 178C, GPSMAP 188 or 188C or
any Garmin chartplotter that is interfaced with the GSD 20 for sonar.
The top 50 pros and top 50 co-angler based on point standings
in the FLW Walleye Tour will advance to the new, $650,000 FLW Walleye Tour
Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 28-Oct. 1
where they will compete for top awards of $125,000 and $22,000, respectively.
The pro champion earns $75,000 cash plus a $25,000 cash bonus from Ranger
Boats and a $25,000 cash bonus from Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines
are met. The co-angler champion receives $11,000 cash plus a $6,000 bonus
from Ranger Boats and a $5,000 bonus from Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency
guidelines are met.
In addition to being a no-entry-fee event, the FLW Walleye
Tour Championship awards pros a minimum of $1,350 just for qualifying.
Co-anglers receive a minimum of $500.
Every FLW Walleye Tour event will be televised in 2005
as part of an expanded lineup of FLW Outdoors programming on Fox Sports
Net. Lindner Media Productions headed by Al Lindner, Ron Lindner, and Dan
Sura will produce all walleye coverage for FLW Outdoors.
“We are trilled to welcome Lindner Media Productions to
the team for 2005,” Dorn said. “They wrote the book on walleye fishing
and have an unmatched level of experience in covering tournaments. The
addition of walleye shows to the FLW Outdoors lineup of programming represents
a fantastic opportunity for competitive anglers and fans alike.”
Pro entry fees remain unchanged at $1,250 for each qualifier
while co-anglers enjoy a reduced entry fee of $350, down from $500 in 2004.
Entry fees for the new FLW Walleye Tour Open are $1,500 for pros and $500
Ranger owners may begin submitting entries at 8 a.m. CST
Jan. 6. Champion, Stratos and Skeeter owners may begin submitting entries
at 8 a.m. CST Jan. 7, and all other entries will be accepted beginning
at 8 a.m. CST Jan. 10. To enter a tournament, call FLW Outdoors at (270)
252-1000 or log on to FLWOutdoors.com.
In FLW Walleye Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are
randomly paired each day and compete for a combined boat weight. One hundred
and fifty pros and 150 co-anglers comprise a full field in regular-season
events. The full field competes for three days to determine the top 10
pros and top 10 co-anglers who advance to the final round. Weights carry
over to the final round, and the winners are determined by the heaviest
accumulated weight from all four days. Each angler who receives weight
credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner,
199 to second, 198 to third, and so on. These points determine angler standings.
In the FLW Walleye Tour Championship, the top 50 pros
and top 50 co-anglers compete for two days. Berths in the semifinal round
are awarded to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers based on the heaviest
accumulated weights from days one and two. Weights are cleared, and the
top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers continue competition on day three. The
winning co-angler is determined by the day’s heaviest weight. The top 10
pros continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by
the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors,
the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. Other FLW Outdoors
tournament trails include the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League for weekend anglers;
the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-fishing series;
the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart
Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament
Trail; the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, and the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies
support FLW Outdoors and its eight tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been
the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW
Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and
services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com. For more information
on the Garmin Grand contingency program, visit garmin.com.
2005 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Schedule
April 6-9 Bull Shoals Bull
April 27-30 Lake Erie Port Clinton,
Presented by Yamaha
May 18-21 Green Bay Green Bay, Wis.
FLW Walleye Tour Open
June 15-18 Devils Lake Spirit Lake,
Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Championship
Sept. 28-Oct. 1 Mississippi River