The FLW Tour will visit Lake Norman March 24-27 for the second stop of the FLW Tour circuit. The Lake Norman event is presented by the National Guard and hosted by the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Lake Norman and Visit Charlotte. This is the largest Pro Angler bass tournament scheduled for Lake Norman this year. This is the fourth year that this event has been held at Lake Norman.
Anglers will take off from Blythe Landing, located on N.C. 73 in Cornelius, at 7:15 each morning. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday weigh-ins will be held at Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center located at 4751 N.C. 49 North in Concord.
Fans will be able to experience a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at the arena on Friday from 5 - 9 p.m. and Saturday prior to the final weigh-in from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Family Fun Zone includes Ranger boat simulators, opportunities to interact with professional anglers, games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors and chances to learn more about the sport of fishing. All activities are free and open to the public.
"We have a full field of 150 pros and 150 co-anglers set to compete in the event, and it's shaping up to be a good one," said Chad Gay, public relations manager for FLW Outdoors.
The pros have to qualify and pay a $4,000 entry fee to fish in this event, and the co-anglers pay $700 to fish from the back of the boat.
By a drawing, participants are paired with a different pro each of the first three days to try to win the $25,000 first-place, co-angler prize. Competitors' scores are determined by the number and weight of bass caught by the co-angler and the pro. This year 30 co-anglers are from North Carolina, and 13 are local area anglers.
"Of course, the regular big names are always a threat on Lake Norman, but local knowledge could pay off this time," said Gay in an e-mail. "I look for a strong performance from Chris Baumgardner of Gastonia. Last year's winner, 22-year-old Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., won the event in only his second pro start."
There will be lots of local representation joining Chris Baumgardner. Matt Arey and Bryan Thrift, of Shelby, Todd Auten, of Lake Wylie, David Fritts, of Lexington, Brent Long, of Cornelius, and Brian Travis, of Conover, will try their best to take home the $125,000 first-place, pro prize.