Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
MISSISSIPPI RIVER CLINTON (Aug. 4, 2001)
CLINTON, Iowa — Gary Hinds of Sandwich, Ill., outpaced 76 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces to win $3,152 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River.
Hinds edged out Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Ill., by 7 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Clinton Park. Eaves finished with a five-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 1 ounce to win $1,576. Hinds caught his limit in the shallows of pool No. 14 using crankbaits, spinnerbaits and ring worms.
Michael Hanson of Lansing, Iowa, took third place and collected $788 with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces. Bill Baker of Rockford, Ill., placed fourth and earned $683 with four bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce, while Reitz Clayton of Morton, Ill., placed fifth and earned $630 with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Clayton also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Jay Burggraf of Cordova, Ill., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $380 with a 3-pound, 11-ounce bass that he caught on a homemade jig.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,576 went to Bill Salzmann of Galena, Ill., who topped 76 competitors with four bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Second place in the division and $788 went to Tom Ball of Waterford, Wis., with three bass weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces, while Peter Reese of Wautoma, Wis., took third place and $394 with three bass weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
Billy Grimes of Letts, Iowa, won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $190 with a 3-pound, 2-ounce bass that he caught in pool No. 13.
Overall, 157 bass were caught during the tournament, including four five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn., Aug. 11 for the fourth of five events in the Great Lakes Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 8-9 on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis., will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Great Lakes Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 16-20 on the Ohio River near Paducah, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the LBL, Plains and Hoosier divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American. The top two boaters and co-anglers may also qualify for the Ranger M1 tournament in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 27-March 2, 2002, where they can win up to $1 million in the world's richest freshwater tournament.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.