Rogers is a Favorite Stop for Many in FLW Tournament

The fifth tournament in the 2017 FLW Tour takes place in Rogers this week, April 27-30, and is a favorite stop for many of the pro anglers and their families. The FLW Tour has visited Beaver Lake 18 times previously with 2017 marking the 19th visit in FLW's 22-year history. Andy Morgan, one of the FLW’s most successful anglers, has been fishing Beaver Lake since the tour first came to the area in 1998. His first Tour victory came in 2007 at Beaver Lake.

“It’s pretty exciting to come see the growth of the area,” says Morgan. “It’s grown into a piece of the schedule you look forward to.” In addition to great fishing, he says there is everything you want in food from barbecue to Ruth’s Chris and lots to do in the area. “It’s a little bit of the country but it’s city too,” Morgan says.

Meagan Smith, wife of pro angler Capt. Blake Smith, says you can’t beat the views in the area. “This is God’s country,” she explains. “It’s amazing here.”

This is the third year for their family to be here for the FLW Tour, and they look forward to it now. While Blake is fishing, she takes their three young girls to attractions in the area, like Highrise Extreme Sports, a trampoline park, in Rogers. “We always stay at Coppermine Lodge. It’s right on the lake.” She says she could drink her coffee and drink in the views from there all day long.

Hosted by Visit Rogers, the FLW tournament features 322 of the world's best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division. In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.

The full field of 322 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday's weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by General Tire is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division.

Beaver Lake is in as good of shape as I've ever seen it," said Old Spice pro Greg Bohannan of Bentonville, a four-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. "I know the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has been stocking shad in the lake and the fish are as healthy as they've ever been. If you look at the weights over the past 10 years, it's been a steady increase. So the lake is in great shape. This tournament is going to be a fun event."

This year's trek to Beaver Lake is about a month later than FLW usually visits, according to a FLW press release, and Bohannan suggests that the lake will be just a little different for the FLW Tour anglers. Substantial rain has the lake on the rise as well, making fishing challenging this week.

There are several ways to experience the fun the tournament brings to Rogers.

Beginning at 6:30 a.m. each day, you can watch anglers take off from the Prairie Creek Park Marina located at 9300 N. Park Road in Rogers.

With thousands of dollars on the line, weigh-ins get pretty exciting. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will be held at Prairie Creek Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's final weigh-ins will be held at Walmart, located at 2110 W. Walnut St., in Rogers beginning at 4 p.m.

The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. The Expo is free at Walmart from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

For youth, the FLW Foundation's Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Lake Bentonville Park, located at 2204 SW I St., in Bentonville on Saturday, April 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to area youth 15 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by General Tire will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 18 from 6 a.m.-7 a.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

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