(Dec 23, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN)
FLW announced today the complete professional angler roster of 171 for the upcoming 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, the 21st season of the FLW Tour. The 2016 FLW Tour will feature six regular-season tournaments, along with the addition of two fall Invitational tournaments, with competition kicking off Feb. 4-7 at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida.
The top 100 pros and top 10 co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, the top 10 pros from each of the five 2015 FLW Series divisions, the 2015 TBF National Champion, and the 2015 All-American boater champion all received priority invitations to join the Tour.
“We couldn’t be more excited to kick off our FLW Tour season in just six short weeks at Lake Okeechobee,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW President of Operations. “We have a fantastic mix of anglers and the race for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup is going to be more exciting than ever.”
In addition to the $125,000 pro paycheck that is awarded to FLW Tour winners, FLW will pay out at least $10,000 to pros down to 50th place and $4,000 to pros and $700 to co-anglers based on one additional payout per boat over a 160-boat field. The season opener on Lake Okeechobee, scheduled to fish 171 boats, will pay out 61 places.
The 2016 FLW Tour roster is headlined by 2015’s Angler of the Year (AOY) Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, and Forrest Wood Cup champion Brad Knight of Lancing, Tennessee. Martin and Knight will be joined by fellow FLW Tour AOY winners Andy Morgan, (2013, 2014), David Dudley (2008, 2011, 2012), Bryan Thrift (2010), Clark Wendlandt (1997, 2000, 2009), Jay Yelas (2002, 2007), Anthony Gagliardi (2006), Shinichi Fukae (2004), Dan Morehead (2003) and Peter Thliveros (1996).
Eight former Forrest Wood Cup champions will also be competing on Tour this season, including David Fritts (1997), Darrel Robertson (1999), Dudley (2003), Scott Suggs (2007), Martin (2011), Jacob Wheeler (2012), Gagliardi (2014), and Knight. (2015).
The Tour will also feature such bass fishing legends such as Larry Nixon, Jimmy Houston and Gary Yamamoto competing for the sport’s top prizes against established stars and promising rookies, like 2014 FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year Braxton Setzer and 2014 FLW College Fishing National Champion Austin Felix.
The entire 2016 Walmart FLW Tour roster can be found at FLWFishing website.
In FLW Tour competition anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Huntsville, Alabama, Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake and is hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Anglers could win as much as $300,000 – professional bass fishing’s richest prize.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.