FLORENCE, Ala. – FLW is set to return to tournament competition next week in Florence, Alabama, with the three-day Toyota Series event at Pickwick Lake, May 28-30. Hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, the event will feature a return to action for the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers.
The event will be the first FLW tournament held since the organization paused all competition in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament will be held under an abundance of caution, with limited attendance to anglers and essential tournament staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through “FLW Live” weigh-in broadcasts and coverage atFLWFishing.com.
“It’s definitely going to be an offshore deal, and it’s going to be a slugfest,” said Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit rookie Cole Floyd.
Floyd said that on Kentucky Lake, the fishing has been a little behind this year, but he thinks that only makes the timing better at Pickwick.
“I’ll usually start finding fish out on mid-range stuff now, or a week before now (mid-May),” said Floyd of the offshore bite. “It’s kind of behind here (at Kentucky Lake). We haven’t had a shad spawn yet, and usually it’s going on now. I’ve heard that it hasn’t quite happened yet there (at Pickwick), but I think this tournament will hit it right on the nail.”
For catching offshore fish, Floyd thinks that cranking will be clutch, as that’s usually one of the best early producers offshore on the Tennessee River. Other traditional ledge-fishing baits will work as well, including football jigs and other dragging baits. Swimbaits, hair jigs and fluke-style baits on Scrounger-style heads could also produce, and they have a history of success in the summer on Pickwick.
For the shallow-water stuff, Floyd said that big spinnerbaits can be very good around spawning shad. Big, shallow-running crankbaits may also be a good bet to catch the better-than-average largemouth that are shallow and gorging on big gizzard shad.
“I bet it’s going to be crazy. There will also be guys that catch them out of shallower stuff, too. They will be tough to beat if they find that stuff,” Floyd went on to say. “I bet the weights will be crazy. I’d say it’ll take high 60s to win over three days.”
Anglers will take off from McFarland Park, located at 200 Jim Spain Drive, in Florence at 6 a.m. CDT each day of competition. The weigh-ins will be broadcast at FLWFishing.com each day from McFarland Park, beginning at 2 p.m.
In Toyota Series regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Toyota Series on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).