FLW Tour Makes Stop At Table Rock

Table Rock Lake
Rob Newell/FLW

The Walmart FLW Tour on Table Rock Lake presented by AMP Energy visits Branson, Mo., May 5-8 for the fifth stop of the season. Hosted by Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature as many as 300 top bass anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

?We have had a pretty hard winter this year,? said Chevy pro Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., who won the 2000 Forrest Wood Cup. ?Up until about a week ago it has been pretty cold, and then last week it turned to summer. The bass are playing a little bit of catch-up right now and will be in pre-, post- and actual spawning stages. These are Northern bass and things happen pretty fast, so in two weeks? time the spawn could be over. Unlike the Southern bass that can take weeks to spawn, up here it only takes a few days.

?The biggest challenge is going to be finding the big bass,? Hibdon went on to say. ?Catching keepers shouldn?t be a problem. You?re going to see a lot of 12-pound stringers cross the stage, but it is going to take one or two nice big bass per day to win on Table Rock, and those are going to be the ones that will be hard to find.

?Targeting points and middle bays will bring the most success,? added Hibdon. ?Topwaters and crankbaits should work. You might also see anglers using shaky heads for spotted bass, which could play a big role in this tournament. The unusual weather is going to allow anglers to fish different styles and use a variety of baits. Anglers should have about three or four different patterns in their arsenal to be successful.?

Anglers will take off from Table Rock State Park Marina located at 5272 Highway 165 in Branson at 6:30 each morning. Thursday and Friday weigh-ins will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday?s final weigh-ins will be held at the Branson Convention Center located at 200 Sycamore St. in Branson beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Branson Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The first 300 kids 14 and under on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of US 97. Fans can also register to win a Can-Am ATV presented by the News Leader which will be given away following the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, visit FLWOutdoors.com/TableRockLake.

In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. This year?s Cup will be in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita where they could win as much as $600,000 ? the sport?s biggest award. Anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg?s that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors.

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