Rob Russow must have a good fantasy life. The rising fishing star from Brookfield is 10th in the current rankings of FLW Fantasy Fishing.
Russow, who just graduated from Illinois where he was president of the Fighting Illini Bass Club, is as good at fishing as fantasy fishing. He already has six top 10 finishes in various levels of FLW competition. His FLW profile is here.
Through four events of FLW Fantasy Fishing, James Brown, 26, of Lodi, Calif., is leading the worldwide online fantasy game with 18,386 points. The grand prize is $1 million.
Russow, who headed to Arkansas to chase his fishing dreams, is 10th with 12,580 points.
Here's the latest update from FLW Fantasy Fishing
California Man Grabs Lead in the Race to Claim $1 Million FLW Fantasy Fishing Championship New father from Lodi , Calif. , dreams of becoming a pro bass angler
Minneapolis (June 4, 2008) – Better known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World,” and the birthplace of winemaker Robert Mondavi, Lodi, Calif., may soon be gaining attention for another reason – home of the world’s FLW Fantasy Fishing champ.
After four tournaments in FLW Fantasy Fishing (www.fantasyfishing.com), James Brown, 26, a resident of Lodi , Calif. , is leading the worldwide online fantasy game with 18,386 points. At stake is a $1 million grand prize and bragging rights as the champion of the most lucrative fantasy sports game in the world.
For those wondering exactly what fantasy fishing is, think fantasy football…but with fish – bass fishing, to be exact (not to be confused with fly-fishing). Virtual players select a team of 10 pro bass anglers from among 200 pros participating in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, a seven-tournament series offering the richest payouts in pro fishing.
Brown gained first place in the overall FLW Fantasy Fishing tournament series after knocking out Rick Persyn, a resident of Spencerville , Ind. , located near Fort Wayne , Ind. , thanks to an outstanding performance in the fourth FLW Fantasy Fishing tournament. Based on the Wal-Mart Open, the fourth FLW Tour tournament was conducted on Beaver Lake near Rogers , Ark. , after which Persyn dropped from first place to 11th place in the overall race for the FLW Fantasy Fishing championship.
Brown came in second place for the Wal-Mart Open, winning a $5,000 Wal-Mart gift card, missing first place by 157 points and the opportunity to claim the tournament’s $100,000 prize. Interestingly, Brown has participated in all four FLW Fantasy Fishing events and only now just won a prize. For the season-opening Lake Toho tournament, he placed 6,689th, for the Lewis-Smith tournament, he placed 870th and for the Lake Norman tournament, he came in 968th place.
“It really seems hard to believe,” said Brown, an avid bass angler who dreams of going pro someday. “With three more tournaments to go, a lot could happen, but a million dollars would go a long way toward helping me start a pro bass fishing career, not to mention buying lots of diapers and baby supplies for our new baby.”
Brown and his wife, Tessa, were recently blessed with their first child, Taitam, the name that Brown chose for his FLW Fantasy Fishing team. A foreman with Central Valley Septic, the longtime Lodi resident can often be found fishing the Sacramento Delta for bass in his Ranger Z20 bass fishing boat.
“I’d also buy another wedding band for my wife’s wedding ring and take her to Jamaica , where we spent our first honeymoon,” added Brown.
Going into the fifth FLW Fantasy Fishing tournament, the current leader board stands as follows:
1. James Brown, Lodi , Calif. , 18,386 points
2. Eric Naig, Spirit Lake , Iowa , 17,059 points
3. Eugene Syring, Roscoe , Ill. , 16,294 points
4. Jason Berg, Minnetonka , Minn. , 13,304 points
5. Donald Helsabeck, Winston-Salem , N.C. , 13,158 points
6. Frank Savino, Hudson , Wis. , 13,111 points
7. Peter Koenig, North Port , Fla. , 13,002 points
8. Brent Seehusen, Clear Lake , Iowa , 12,758 points
9. Rachel Watson, Altha , Fla. , 12,593 points
10. Rob Russow, Brookfield , Ill. , 12,580 points