Walmart Bass Fishing League - Northeast
CAYUGA (Aug. 25, 2001)
SENECA FALLS, N.Y. – Dean Meckes of Clayton, N.Y., outpaced 181 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces to win $5,598 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Cayuga Lake.
Meckes edged out Bud Schosger of Painted Post, N.Y., and Kevin Bishop of Hilton, N.Y., by 1 pound, 7 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Cayuga State Park. Schosger and Bishop finished with identical five-bass catches weighing 16 pounds, 3 ounces to win $2,099 each. Bishop also earned the boater Big Bass Award and collected $905 with a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass. Additionally, he earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program thus boosting his total take for the tournament to $3,504.
Meckes caught his limit by flipping a 5-inch black and red tube bait into deepwater weed beds in the north end of the lake.
Christopher Wall of New Fairfield, Conn., took fourth place and collected $1,213 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces. Donald Rotondo of Seneca Falls, N.Y., placed fifth and earned $1,120 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,799 went to Eric Foltin of Lebanon, Pa., who topped 181 competitors with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,400 went to Chad Montgomery of Cortland, N.Y., with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces, while Michael Trickler of Waterloo, N.Y., took third place and $700 with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces.
Gerald Praefke of Jessup, Pa., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $452 with a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Overall, 939 bass were caught during the tournament, including 109 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit Lake Champlain Sept. 22-23 for the final regular season event in the Northeast Division. The boater with the most points after the two-day Super Tournament will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Northeast 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 Buckeye, Piedmont and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $345,000 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.