(Oct 20, 2017 - PARIS, TN.)
The 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship, which will feature more than 200 of the best regional anglers from around the world, kicks off on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Nov. 2-4. The event is highlighted by a top prize of $95,000 in the Pro Division, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard, and an automatic qualification to the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup – the world championship of bass fishing.
Competitors qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship through five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – and an International division that features anglers from Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. The highest finishing pro from each U.S. division and the International division will qualify for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, along with the overall top five finishers not already selected as the highest finisher of a division. A total of 11 FLW Series boaters will advance to the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup.
“Kentucky Lake has been fishing tough lately, but it’s gotten a little better over the last week or two,” said 22-year FLW Tour veteran Terry Bolton of Paducah, Kentucky, who has logged 32 career top-10 finishes on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. “The more the temperature drops by the time the tournament starts, the better the fishing will be. If they can get some cloud cover and a little wind they’ll catch quite a few fish.
“This time of year it’s all about fishing flats,” said Bolton. “Whether they’re in the middle of the lake, in the mouths of creeks or in the back of creeks, it’s all about flats. The bites you get in the middle of the lake and in the mouths of creeks are generally bigger than in the backs of the creeks, but at times the back can produce some decent limits too.”
Bolton said covering a lot of water each day will be crucial for success. He predicted that it will take a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass nearing 50 pounds to win the tournament.
“I think it will be a power-fisherman’s tournament,” said Bolton. “The lake is low with the winter drawdown, so there isn’t a lot of cover in the water. Topwater baits will be big. Moving baits like lipless crankbaits and shallow-running crankbaits and spinnerbaits will also be the deal. There will be a few guys who will find groups of fish, but for the rest of the field it will be about covering a lot of water.”
Anglers will take off from Paris Landing State Park, located at 16055 Highway 79 N. in Buchanan, Tennessee, at 7:30 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-ins will be held at the state park beginning at 3:30 p.m. each day. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake is hosted by the Henry County Tourism Authority.
In Costa FLW Series regular-season competition, each division competes in three tournaments, with competitors vying for valuable points to earn their way into the top 40 and the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.