With money like that on the line, the FLW Kingfish Series stop in Beaufort, S.C., will be one of the richest regional kingfish tournaments in the state. Tack on Hydra-Sports, Seaswirl, Wellcraft, Yamaha and Evinrude bonuses totaling $18,000, and the winner's take could be as much as $30,000 cash - a sum that ranks the tournament as one of the most lucrative regional kingfish events in the nation.
It's not too late to get in on the action. Openings are still available in the tournament, which has a $500 entry fee. Teams may register online at FLWOutdoors.com or by calling 270-252-1000. Entries will also be accepted during on-site registration from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 350 Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort. The field, however, is capped at a maximum of 100 boats.
"There's going to be plenty of fish," said Team Land O' Lakes Captain Dan Gourley of Hilton Head Island, S.C. "You can go out to the reefs and wrecks and get more than 10 bites a day, but the bigger fish will probably be caught closer to shore."
Gourley, who has four top-10 finishes on the FLW Kingfish Tour, said menhaden and pogies will be the two key baits in the event. Anglers who are able to find big balls of glass minnows and Spanish mackerel will have the best odds of hooking up to a quality king.
"It's going to take a 44-pound king to win, and a 30-pound fish to make the top 10," he said.
Aside from cash, teams competing in Beaufort will be vying for valuable points that could earn them a trip to the no-entry-fee, $300,000 FLW Kingfish Series Championship in Orange Beach, Ala., Oct. 26-28, which will be televised nationwide as part of "FLW Outdoors" on FSN (Fox Sports Net). This broadcast will reach approximately 80 million households in the United States plus 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making "FLW Outdoors" the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sundays at 11 a.m. Eastern time.
Teams will take off from the Downtown Marina located at 1006 Bay Street in Beaufort at 6:15 Saturday morning, June 24. The scales open at 3 p.m. and teams must check-in by 5 p.m. The morning start and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
One hundred and fifty points are awarded to the winning team in each tournament, 149 points for second, 148 points for third, and so on. The top 20 teams from each division will advance to the FLW Kingfish Series Championship. Additionally, the points champion from each division will receive a full year of free entries into the division of their choice for the 2007 FLW Kingfish Series. The top five teams from each division also qualify for the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, where they can compete for a share of $330,000 in every qualifier.
The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event. For more information, visit their Web site at www.beaufortsc.org.
The next South Carolina/Georgia Division tournament will be held Aug. 5 in Charleston, S.C., followed by the final regular-season tournament in Brunswick, Ga., Aug. 26. Every qualifying event will feature a $100,000 purse based on a full field of 100 boats.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit www.FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.