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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Buckeye

    GRAND LAKE (April 28, 2001)


    Jeffries wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League opener on Grand Lake

    Jay Jeffries of Celina, Ohio

    CELINA, Ohio — Jay Jeffries of Celina, Ohio, outpaced 162 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces to win $5,192 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on Grand Lake.

    Jeffries edged out Dirk Davenport of Delaware, Ohio, by 7 ounces in the one-day event that set out from St. Mary's East Bank marina. Davenport finished with a five-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 1 ounce to win $2,596. Jeffries caught his limit by flipping to rocks on the south side of the lake.

    Gary Hoffman of Stoutsville, Ohio, and Mike Weiler of Celina, Ohio, tied for third place and collected $1,211 apiece with 9 pounds, 15 ounces. Hoffman had five bass while Weiler had three bass. Wayne Donovan of Celina and Chuck Main of Ellwood, Pa., placed fifth and earned $952 apiece with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces.

    Weiler also won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $810 with a 3-pound, 15-ounce bass. Hoffman also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.

    Kevin Miller of Celina, OhioFirst place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,596 went to Kevin Miller of Celina, Ohio, who topped 162 competitors with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,298 went to Dean Hill of Hamilton, Ohio, with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces, while Roy Lester of Hamilton took third place and $649 with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

    Rob Sierchula of Huber Heights, Ohio; Gary Garren of Lebanon, Ohio; and Brad Baldwin of Dayton, Ohio, tied for the co-angler Big Bass Award. Each man collected $135 with a 4-pound, 1-ounce bass.

    Overall, 278 bass were caught during the tournament, including seven five-bass limits.

    On June 2, the BFL will visit Sandusky Bay for the second of five events in the Buckeye Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 8-9 on Sandusky Bay, 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 Buckeye 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, Piedmont 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.