Walmart Bass Fishing League - Northeast
CHAMPLAIN (Sept. 22-23, 2001)
WHITEHALL, N.Y. — Kevin Bishop of Hilton, N.Y., topped 112 competitors on Lake Champlain this weekend with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces to win $7,179 and 400 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division season finale.
After qualifying for the final round of the two-day Super Tournament in fourth place with an opening day catch of five bass weighing 16 pounds, 3 ounces, Bishop out fished runner up Gerald Adrian of Exton, Pa., by 1 pound, 2 ounces to take the win. Bishop also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Adrian qualified for the final round in 15th place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces and finished up with a final round catch weighing 18 pounds to win $3,590.
Robert Tarr of Canonsburg, Pa., took third place and collected $1,795 with 17 pounds, 7 ounces. Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt., placed fourth and earned $1,556 with 14 pounds, 14 ounces, while Christopher Wall of New Fairfield, Conn., placed fifth and earned $1,436 with 13 pounds, 15 ounces.
Tom Belinda of Hollidaysburg, Pa., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $1,120 with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass on opening day.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $3,590 went to Kenneth Davison of Barre, Vt., who topped 112 competitors with a final round catch of five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,795 went to Darby Comas of Enfield, Conn., with 12 pounds, 5 ounces, while Mike Hassen of Northern Cambria, Pa., took third place and $897 with 11 pounds, 9 ounces.
Rick Pocino or Burlington, N.J., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $565 with a 5-pound bass that he caught on opening day.
Bishop landed the Divisional Points Championship and $1,000 with 1,079 points won during five regular season tournaments. Michael Bahnweg of Union Dale, Pa., landed the Co-Angler Points Championship and $500 with 1,078 points.
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 BFL All-American, which features an estimated purse of $345,000 and ranks as one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling. 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.