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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Plains

    LAKE OF THE OZARKS (Feb. 17, 2001)


    Pape wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Plains Division opener


    LAURIE, Mo. — Jerry Pape of Lake Quivira, Kan., outpaced 79 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces to win $3,277 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Plains Division opener on Lake of the Ozarks.

    Pape edged out Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., and Lonnie McKinney of Lake Ozark, Mo., by 2 pounds, 15 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Millstone Lodge. Fitzpatrick and McKinney tied for second with five-bass limits weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces worth $1,228. Pape caught his limit fishing a tube bait around bluff banks in 15 to 20 feet of water.

    Bruce Gier of Eldon, Mo., placed fourth and earned $710 with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces. He also won an additional $500 for his participation in the Ranger cup incentive program. Mike Foree of Beaufort, Mo., placed fifth and earned $655 with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces. Foree also won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $395 with a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass that he caught on a lucky craft jerkbait.

    First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,638 went to Mark Borchers of Akron, Iowa, who topped 79 competitors with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Second place in the division and $819 went to Barry Goen of Hartsburg, Mo., with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces, while Mark Madison of Raymond, Neb., took third place and $410 with three bass weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces.

    Dave Knutstrom of Stronghurst, Ill., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $197 with a 3-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a Zoom tubebait while fishing rocky banks in 15 feet of water.

    Overall, 130 bass weighing 300 pounds, 7 ounces were caught during the tournament, including six five bass limits.

    On March 17, the BFL will visit Smithville Lake for the second of five events in the Plains Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 8-9 on Truman 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 Plains 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, Hoosier, and Great Lakes 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.