Walmart FLW Tour Coming to Lake Hartwell
The Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy will visit Greenville, S.C., March 24-27 for the third tournament of the season. Hosted by the Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature as many as 320 top bass anglers casting for top awards up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.
Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., who is the reigning Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year, is coming off a win at the Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake presented by Straight Talk and is looking to continue his incredible run at the sport's highest level. Thrift's early-March win adds to the Chevy pro's streak of seven top-10 finishes, including four top-five finishes, and two wins in eight events dating back to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. Thrift said he will approach Hartwell the same way he approaches any event.
"You've still got to go out there and catch fish," Thrift said. "Every lake's different. The good thing about Hartwell is that it's the last week of March. The fish will either be spawning or in a full-on pre-spawn bite.
"It should be a fun tournament," Thrift added. "There should be a lot of fish caught."
Thrift predicts warm weather will increase the anglers' chances of sight fishing for spawning fish and said that many pros will power fish using a jig, spinnerbait or crankbait to target pre-spawn fish.
"It's going to be a good tournament and they'll be biting lots of different ways," said Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, N.C. "That's always good. People will be able to fish the way they want to fish."
Gagliardi said the abundance of docks gives anglers ample opportunities to fill their limit. Hartwell also features clay banks and said the lake offers anglers "a little bit of everything" except grass for anglers to target.
Anglers will take off from Portman Shoals Marina located at 1629 Marina Rd. in Anderson, S.C., at 7:30 each morning. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at Portman Shoals Marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's final weigh-ins will be held at the Carolina First Center located at One Exposition Drive in Greenville, S.C., beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Carolina First 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 compliments of The Greenville News. Fans can also register to win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of 92.5 WESC 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/LakeHartwell.
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.