The new $1.8 million Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series will make its first Gulf Coast Division stop June 10 as teams compete for a guaranteed top award of $12,000 cash and a shot at the $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Championship. With money like that on the line, the FLW Kingfish Series stop in Cocodrie will be one of the richest regional kingfish tournaments in the state. Tack on Hydra-Sports, 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 933 Grand Caillou Road in Houma. The field, however, is capped at a maximum of 100 boats.
“The fishing at Cocodrie is excellent this time of year,” said Team Sea Cruiser captain Don Jackson of Metairie. “We’ll have several kings come in over 50 pounds, and probably 10 to 15 fish over 40 pounds.”
Blue runners will more than likely be the bait of choice, according to Jackson, who also fishes the Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour.
“Blue runners are plentiful around the oil rigs,” he said. “And some kings can be caught at a certain depth off the rigs as well. I think we are in for a very good tournament.”
Aside from cash, teams competing in Cocodrie 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 Coco Marina at 6 Saturday morning, June 10. 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 Houma Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting the Cocodrie event. For more information, visit their Web site at houmatravel.com
The next Gulf Coast Division tournament will be held July 22 in Galveston, Texas, followed by the final regular-season tournament in Port Aransas, Texas, Sept. 9. 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 FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.