Fishing & Boating News
(Mar. 27, 2011 - Greemville, S.C.) Sgt. 1st Class Mark Thompson of Anderson, S.C., and Sgt. 1st Class Robert Osteen of Sumter, S.C., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Lake Hartwell Saturday. The team, fishing with Indiana National Guard pro Wes Thomas of Hanover, Ind., caught three bass for a total of 9 pounds, 9 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers.
"This feels fantastic," said Thompson. "I couldn't have fished with anyone that would have been more fun and more knowledgeable about it.
"I didn't know what to expect," Thompson added. "I've seen FLW on TV, but I'd never really thought about being in (a tournament). It exceeded my expectations."
"At first I thought it was going to be one person per boat with a pro, and then they told us we were going to team up and that was even better," said Osteen. "Me and Mark go way back and we hunt and fish and do everything together. We're just like brothers. It was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be even with the wind and the rain."
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the South Carolina National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.In this tournament, Walmart FLW Tour pro anglers took teams of two, which consist of members of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three bass. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
Thomas said the team caught their fish on a shaky-head rig, although their biggest fish came on a BOOYAH spinnerbait.
"We pulled up on the first place and in less than 15 minutes of fishing we had three nice fish in the boat," Thomas said. "Then I went to a place where I had caught some big fish in practice and we caught that big one that put us over the top.
"These guys fished hard all day long and didn't miss a beat," Thomas added. A total of 23 service men, 11 teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams was:
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy and hosted by the Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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