Walmart Bass Fishing League - Piedmont
GASTON (April 7, 2001)
LITTLETON, N.C. — Bruce Richardson, 45, of Sykesville, Md., outpaced 201 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces to win $6,000 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Piedmont Division opener on Lake Gaston.
Richardson edged out Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Va., by 15 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Eaton's Ferry Marina. Poirier finished with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces to win $3,000. Richardson caught his limit using a red crankbait in shallow stained water.
Jimmy Coleman of Monroe, Va., took third place and collected $1,500 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. He also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Danny Spurrier of Lexington, N.C., placed fourth and earned $1,300 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces, while Chris Jennings of AltaVista, Va., placed fifth and earned $1,200 with five bass weighing 14 pounds.
James Henderson Jr. of Evington, Va., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $1,000 with an 8-pound bass that he caught on jig while fishing docks.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $3,000 went to Charles Edmonds, 54, of Warrenton, N.C., who topped 201 competitors with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,500 went to Jere Hayslett of Alexandria, Va., with five bass weighing 10 pounds, while Richard Graham of Blacksburg, Va., took third place and $750 with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces.
Tobin Maddox of Laurel, Md., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $500 with a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass that he caught while fishing jigs around docks in relatively deep water.
Overall, 504 bass were caught during the tournament, including 22 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit the Potomac River near Leesylvania State Park May 5 for the second of five events in the Piedmont Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 22-23 on Kerr Lake, 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 Piedmont Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, N.Y., where they will go up against top competitors from the Northeast, Buckeye and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.