Last FLW Major Set For Pickwick Lake

The Walmart FLW Tour on Pickwick Lake presented by AMP will visit Florence, Ala., July 21-24 for the eighth event of the year, which also is the final qualifying event for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. Hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, the tournament will feature the country's 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.

"This tournament is probably going to fish a lot like the Kentucky Lake event," said AMP pro Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark. "It's a Tennessee River lake, so guys are going to fish ledges and drops, but I think there will be quite a few more shallow fish on Pickwick."

Blaylock said the quality and quantity of shallow fish will depend on how much current is running on Pickwick during the tournament. Blaylock said the fish will be searching for shallow shade from trees or docks to seek relief from the 85- to 90-degree water.

"Somebody, and maybe even more than a couple of people, will make the top 10 fishing shallow," Blaylock said. "But most everybody else will be fishing ledges, main-lake humps and river channels."

Blaylock said Pickwick will tend to fish small with the number of competitors on the lake during the event.

"There will be a lot of guys fishing the same stuff," Blaylock said. "The key will be getting an early draw so you can get on your spot before anybody else and kind of mark your territory."

Blaylock said he expects weights to be similar to the Kentucky Lake event and said anglers will need 20 pounds a day to win. He said traditional deep baits such deep-diving crankbaits, large plastic worms and football-head jigs will be the norm for anglers.

"I think one of the shallow bites will be a shaky-head (rig)," Blaylock said. "And there may be some guys throwing a (topwater) frog or a (Rebel) Pop-R. There's definitely going to be some fish shallow and guys are going to catch them.

"It's summer time on the Tennessee River and it's going to be won deep," Blaylock added. "That's how I plan to fish it, and hopefully I'll find a couple of schools of 3- to 5-pound fish."

Anglers will take off from McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence. Ala., at 6 each morning. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at McFarland Park beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's final weigh-ins will be held at Walmart located at 3100 Hough Rd. in Florence beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at Walmart 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 KIX 96 FM. 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.

In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, 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 title that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors.

Other events surrounding the FLW Tour event on Pickwick Lake include Chevy Pro Night, Walmart Pro Night and a community event called Pets and Pros.

Chevy pro night will be Saturday, July 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bentley Chevrolet located at 1950 Florence Blvd. in Florence. Chevy pro anglers will be on hand to sign autographs, take pictures and talk fishing to fans of all ages. There will be free hot dogs, hamburgers and sodas as well as drawings for prizes.

Walmart Pro Night will be Saturday, July 16, from 2-4 p.m. at various Walmart locations. Walmart FLW Tour pro anglers will be on hand to sign autographs, take pictures and talk fishing to fans of all ages.

Pets and Pros will benefit Lauderdale County Animal Control, which has had their resources stretched the past few months because of tornados and violent weather in the region. On Saturday, July 23, volunteer FLW Tour pros will assist in the pet adoption process from noon to 4 p.m. at the Walmart located at 3100 Hough Rd. in Florence. FLW Outdoors also will be donating a pallet of IAMS dog food to Lauderdale County Animal Control. Anyone adopting a pet will be able to take home 10 FREE sample bags of IAMS dog food.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook and on Twitter.

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