FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
MISS RIVER / REDWING (Aug. 11, 2001)
Ritter wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League tournament on Mississippi River
RED WING, Minn. — Jeff Ritter of Prairie Du Chien, Wis., outpaced 67 competitors Saturday with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces to win $2,958 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River.
Ritter edged out Michael Hanson of Lansing, Iowa, by 11 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Colvill Park marina. Hanson finished with a three-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces to win $1,479. Ritter caught his bass using a pearl-colored super fluke near the Wabashaw Bridge.
Rick Miller of Blue Grass, Iowa, took third place and collected $739 with three bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces. Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., placed fourth and earned $641 with three bass weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Monsoor also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Larry Carlson of Rochester, Minn., and Nathan Huss of Plymouth, Wis., tied for fifth and earned $542 each with a catch of 7 pounds, 1 ounce. Carlson had two bass, and Huss had three bass. One of Carlson's bass weighed 4 pounds, 2 ounces and earned him the boater Big Bass Award of $335.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,457 went to Chuck Loerzel of Yorkville, Ill., who topped 66 competitors with three bass weighing 7 pounds. Second place in the division and $728 went to Rudy Wozney of Arcadia, Wis., with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces, while Corey Hawk of Fort Madison, Iowa, took third place and $364 with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces.
Chris Gulden of Saint Michael, Minn., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $165 with a 3-pound, 3-ounce bass.
Overall, 185 bass were caught during the tournament and more than 99 percent were released alive.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis., Sept. 8-9 for the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament, which will determine the Divisional Points Champion who will be 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 Great Lakes 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, Plains and Hoosier divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 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.