Oneida Lake To Host Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Empire Division Tournament

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The Empire Division of the $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® will visit Oneida Lake in Brewerton Aug. 30 for the fourth of five regular-season events. As many as 200 boaters and 200 co-anglers are expected to compete in the tournament, which will award as much as $45,000 in cash, including a top award of $6,000 in the Boater Division.

If the winner is a participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, he will receive a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats and $500 from Yamaha if his boat is powered by Yamaha. Ranger will award $500 to the highest-finishing Ranger Cup participant if not the winner, and Yamaha will kick in $250 if the boat is powered by Yamaha. Bombardier will award $1,000 to the winning boater if the winner’s boat is equipped with a qualifying Evinrude E-TEC or Direct Injection outboard. That’s a potential top award of $8,000 for anglers who meet contingency guidelines.

The winning co-angler will earn as much as $3,000 cash.

Snickers Big Bass awards of up to $1,000 and $500, respectively, will also be awarded in the Boater and Co-angler Divisions.

Anglers may register for the tournament online at FLWOutdoors.com or by calling (270) 252-1000. Onsite registration will be held Aug. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 3018 East Ave. in Central Square. Entry fees are $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers.

Oneida Shores County Park in Brewerton will host the takeoff and weigh-in at 6:15 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Wal-Mart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.

The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series™ for 2009 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®.

Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishingâ„¢, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.

A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Sept. 20-21.

Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in the Empire Division will advance to the Albemarle Sound Regional Championship in Elizabeth City, N.C., Oct. 9-11 and will compete against anglers from the Northeast, Shenandoah and South Carolina divisions for an All-American berth.

In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.

As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.