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The Final Charge

9/18/2007

The Toyota Women's Bassmaster Angler of the Year crown, qualifying berths in the WBT Championship and the last winner's trophy of the year are at stake when the 2007 season of the Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour, presented by Triton Boats, wraps up Sept. 20-22 in Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

Pros will compete on the Red River for the WBT event's trophy and a Triton/Mercury boat package valued at $50,000.

The Red River competition is the finish line for the season-long points race for the 2007 Toyota Women's Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year crown. The one pro who has accumulated the highest number of points will win the title and prize, a 2008 Toyota Tundra truck.

The outcome of the points race also sets the field for the 2008 Women's Bassmaster Tour Championship on South Carolina's Lake Keowee. The 12 pros and 12 co-anglers at the top of their respective division's points standings will qualify for the February event, which will be held in conjunction with the Feb. 22-24 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell, outside Greenville, S.C.

Sheri Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., has led the WBT points race since March, when she scored her first WBT victory at the Lake Dardanelle event.

"Red River is the tournament that will make me Angler of the Year — or not," said Glasgow, who has finished no lower than a top five in every event so far this season.

"Anything can happen. The tournament's not over until it's over."

WBT pro Judy Wong of Many, La., a professional guide on Toledo Bend Reservoir on the Texas-Louisiana border, scouted the Red River for three days last month before the official off-limits date of Aug. 30.

She said the Red River lived up to its name. "The water was stained — very, very red. The water level had come down from being very, very high, but the current was swift," said Wong, who was on the river when it was still swollen by above-normal summer rainfall draining into the river from Oklahoma, northern Texas and other upstream areas.

Glasgow noted that river conditions are changing daily. "First time I was there (in mid-August), the water was extremely high and swift, then I went back just before cutoff (Aug. 30) to check things out again... And the water level had dropped some," said Glasgow.

The river level continues to fall. On Sept. 7, the depth was 19.63 feet, well below the 30-foot flood stage, according to the Web site of the federal Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service operated by the National Weather Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Wong predicted many WBT contenders will share the water of Pool Five's clear-water oxbows, where the river's larger bass reside. The heavy boat traffic there may convince some contenders that locking through to Pool Four or even into Pool Three is a better option, she added.

Wong said she expects the thick vegetation of the river's oxbows to produce an early topwater bite, after which many anglers will switch to flipping patterns.

Radio stations KTAL 98 Rocks and KLKL Oldies 95.7 FM plan live remotes from the weigh-in site.

Launch time is set for 7:50 a.m. ET, at Red River South Marina in Bossier City. Daily weigh-ins at the marina will begin at 4 p.m. ET. Live, streaming video of the weigh-ins will be available on ESPNOutdoors.com all three days of competition, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.