Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors to hold kingfish series

MINNEAPOLIS - Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors, a tournament organization, recently launched a new $1.1 million kingfish series to compliment the successful $1.7 million Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, which filled its 100 boat fields within 48 hours of its introduction earlier this year, according to a statement from the organization yesterday.

The new Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series is the third saltwater tournament circuit introduced by FLW Outdoors in less than 12 months.

Debuting in 2006 as a qualifying circuit for the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, the new series will have five divisions: North Carolina, South Carolina/Georgia, Florida - East Coast, Florida - West Coast and Mississippi/Louisiana/Texas. Each division will feature three $100,000 qualifying events.

The tournaments will be one-day, Saturday events, and each team will be allowed to weigh one kingfish. The team with the heaviest kingfish will win as much as $30,000 in each event, with cash awards going to the top 20 teams.

"The new Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series will help satisfy the overwhelming demand for professionally operated weekend kingfish tournaments,” said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors.

"The new Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series will allow kingfish anglers everywhere to compete in lucrative, one-day events," Evans said. "Our goal is to do for competitive kingfishing what we have done for professional bass and walleye fishing. We want to meet existing demand and help grow the sport through high-profile, family-oriented competition."

Each tournament will feature a field of 100 boats with priority entry for Seaswirl, Hydra-Sports and Wellcraft boat owners. In the 15 qualifying events, the winner is guaranteed $12,000 in cash, based on a full field. Additionally, a contingency bonus of $9,000 in cash will be offered from Seaswirl, Hydra-Sports and Wellcraft as the series' official boat sponsors. Additionally, Yamaha will offer a $9,000 cash bonus if the winner owns and uses Yamaha engines in the tournament for a total top award of $30,000. Guaranteed cash and contingency bonuses will be offered through 20th place in each qualifying event. Entry fees for each event are $500 per team.

The top 20 teams in each division at the end of the season will qualify for the three-day, no-entry-fee $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Championship, where the full field of 100 boats will compete on days one and two and the top five teams will advance to day three. The top five teams in each division at the end of the season will also qualify to fish in the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour in 2007.

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