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Walmart FLW Tour Winner Claims $125K Prize

ROGERS -- Starting at the crack of dawn, bass-fishing anglers were casting for cash.
ROGERS -- Starting at the crack of dawn, bass-fishing anglers were casting for cash.

"We've got 173 of the best bass fishing anglers in the world out competing on Beaver Lake for 125,000 dollars," Public Relations Director, Joe Opager said.

And that prize helps pull in fisherman from around the world.

"We've got co-anglers fishing in this event from China, Japan. Some of our pros are from Canada, all over the United States," Opager said.

Like professional angler, Richard Peek from Alabama whose co-angler is from China.

"He came a long way so I hope we can catch some fish for him today," Peek said.

Which Peek said is a bigger challenge this year due to the brutal winter.

"This year the main thing is it was cold here so long, the water temp is still really, really cold. It should be a lot warmer, the fish should be further along than they are. It's still a decent lake, it's just hard to find the big fish year round," Peek said.

But the tour brings in more than just people. It brings in profit, too.

"This tournament alone is estimated to bring in 1.6 million dollars to the local northwest Arkansas area. Our anglers are buying gas, staying in your hotels, eating at your restaurants. It's not just our anglers, it's their families and all of the FLW tournament staff so we definitely see a huge impact on the communities when we come to town," Opager said.

After Sunday's final weigh in at the John Q. Hammons Center, Matt Arey of Shelby, North Carolina was crowned champion and claimed the $125,000 grand prize.

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