CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – One of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing, the Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, will visit Nickajack Lake in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 27-29.
Hosted by the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee, Friends of the Festival and Hamilton County Parks, the tournament will feature the top 49 boaters and top 49 co-anglers from across the country casting for top awards of up to $120,000 in the Boater Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division, plus the opportunity to compete in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on the Red River Aug. 15-18.
FLW Tour pro Jacob Wheeler won the 2011 BFL All-American on Cross Lake in Shreveport, La. He used that victory to kick-start his professional career and won the sport's most coveted award — the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. — the next year. Wheeler now has accumulated more than $737,000 in career winnings.
"Winning the All-American was at that point the biggest thing to happen to me in my fishing career," Wheeler said. "It was a dream come true. It allowed me to pursue my lifelong dream of fishing professionally. Without that win I would not be where I am today.
"You don't get those opportunities very often," Wheeler continued. "It is the chance of a lifetime. My advice for the anglers fishing the All-American would be to just focus on the next cast. Of course, there's going to be lots of preparation and getting equipment ready, but those guys will have to make every cast count. There will be a lot of media and a lot of cameras and action everywhere, but you just have to block it out somehow, because the fishing is what it's all about."
Anglers will take off from Ross's Landing located at 200 Riverfront Pkwy. in Chattanooga at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will also be at Ross's Landing the first two days of competition beginning at 3 p.m. and at the Walmart located at 3034 Rhea County Highway in Dayton, Tenn., the final day of competition beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart in Dayton on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. which includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the BFL All-American will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs Aug. 18 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com.