WAL-MART FLW TOUR MOVES CHAMPIONSHIP TO JULY


MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 26, 2003) - FLW Outdoors, widely recognized for its family-friendly and innovative programs designed to introduce more youths to the sport of fishing, announced Friday that the dates of the 2004 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship and Outdoor Show have changed from Sept. 8-11 to July 28-31 in order to better serve tournament anglers, fans and families.
   FLW Outdoors Chairman Irwin Jacobs said the idea of holding a summer championship has been under consideration for some time and is the next logical step in the evolution of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. "From the very beginning, the foundation of FLW Outdoors has been firmly rooted in the ideals of family," Jacobs said. "Families play an important role in FLW Tour events and are essential to the future well being of the sport of fishing. Moving the FLW Tour Championship and Outdoor Show to July, when most schools are out of session and entire families can experience the thrill of championship fishing, makes sense and is the right thing to do."
   The views of anglers who have competed in previous FLW Tour championships were also taken into consideration. "Over the years many anglers have suggested that we hold the FLW Tour Championship in either July or August so their families can join them at the event," FLW Outdoors president Charlie Hoover said. "By moving the FLW Tour Championship and Outdoor Show to July, we not only fulfill the anglers' requests but also eliminate the two month break before the championship that was also a concern for anglers."
   FLW Outdoors' focus on family can be seen through many of its programs including the FLW Tour Family Fun Zone, FLW Outdoors Magazine for Kids and its association with Wal-Mart's Take a Kid Fishing program. The Family Fun Zone - where children learn about conservation, fishing and the outdoors through hands-on activities -  is an integral part of each FLW Tour event and especially so at the FLW Tour Championship and Outdoor Show.
   The location for the 2004 FLW Tour Championship remains the same, Logan Martin Lake near Birmingham, Ala. "The state of Alabama has played a pivotal role in the growth of tournament bass fishing in the United States and for FLW Outdoors," Hoover said. "We are pleased to be holding the FLW Tour Championship on one of the country's greatest bass fisheries, Logan Martin Lake in Alabama."
   Sixteen FLW Outdoors tournaments are scheduled for Alabama lakes during the 2004 season.