Walmart Bass Fishing League - Arkie
OUACHITA (Feb. 24, 2001)
MT. IDA, Ark. — Wesley Henigan Jr. of Benton, Ark., outpaced 134 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce to win $4,648 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Arkie Division opener on Lake Ouachita.
Henigan edged out Kendall Smith of Benton by 11 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Mountain Harbor Resort. Smith finished with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces to win $2,324. Henigan caught his limit between thunderstorms using a crankbait in 8 feet of water.
Greg Hackney of Oak Ridge, La., and Steve Howard of Conway, Ark., tied for third place and collected $1,084 each with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. Al Fisher of Hackett, Ark., placed fifth and earned $930 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces.
Greg Ault of Hot Springs, Ark., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $680 with a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,207 went to Richard Wood of Clarksville, Ark., who topped 134 competitors with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. Wood caught his limit, including a 9-pound, 7-ounce heavyweight, using a spinnerbait while fishing near Crystal Springs. The bass earned him an additional $315 as the co-angler Big Bass.
Second place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,103went to Chad Carter of Benton with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces, while Jeff Sanders of Clarksville took third place and $552 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces.
Boater Mike Brower Jr. of Texarkana, Texas, won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished in 10th place with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces.
Overall, 457 bass weighing 1,342 pounds, 7 ounces were caught during the tournament, including 27 five bass limits.
On March 31, the BFL will visit Greers Ferry for the second of five events in the Arkie Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 15-16 on the Arkansas River, 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 Arkie Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 16-20 on the Red River in Shreveport, La., where they will go up against top competitors from the Cowboy, Okie and Mississippi 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.