(Nov 16, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN)
Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced Wednesday that Portugal has become the latest country to sign an exclusive licensing agreement and will begin offering Portuguese anglers the opportunity to compete in FLW-sanctioned bass fishing tournaments in 2018. The agreement was signed by FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel and José Neves, CEO and President of FLW Portugal.
Portugal will run a series of FLW tournaments that advance anglers, who are citizens of Portugal, to the International Division at the Costa FLW Series Championship beginning in 2018. One angler will compete as a pro, with FLW providing a fully-rigged Ranger boat, and one angler will compete as a co-angler.
“Bass fishing in Portugal is gaining more and more followers each year, and I strongly believe that the opportunities that FLW provides for international competitors make them the right partner for our anglers,” said Neves. “Largemouth bass are considered an invasive species in our country, so the more the fishing community can do for the sport of competitive angling the more bass will gain in popularity and in importance to tourism. We are excited to send our anglers to compete in Guntersville, Alabama at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship.”
The top pro award at the Costa FLW Series Championship is $95,000, including a Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard if the pro is Ranger Cup qualified, and the top co-angler award is a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard. The highest finishing pro from the International Division at the Costa FLW Series Championship will advance to the following year’s Forrest Wood Cup for the chance to compete on the sport’s biggest stage.
South Africa’s Michael Matthee was the highest finishing International pro at the 2017 Costa FLW Series Championship and will now represent the FLW International Division at the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Matthee is also the first International pro to finish in the top 10 at the Costs FLW Series Championship. He finished ninth.
“Since the launch of the International program three years ago we have showcased multiple anglers from around the world competing at the FLW Series Championship,” said Fennel. “We are happy to announce that Portugal will be joining us in 2018 and the talented Portuguese anglers will have world-class tournaments to demonstrate their skill. We look forward to welcoming them to the FLW family.”
Portugal is now the seventh country to sign on for the international sanctioning program, joining Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea.
Additional FLW qualifying tournaments in other countries will continue to be forthcoming. Watch FLWFishing.com for details. For more information about FLW Portugal visit Facebook.com/FLWPortugal.
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.