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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Western
CAL DELTA (April 7, 2001)
Sakata wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League tournament on the California Delta
OAKLEY, Calif. — Tracey Sakata of Manteca, Calif., outpaced 90 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces to win $3,433 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Western Division tournament on the California Delta.
Sakata edged out Scott McClaskey of Chico, Calif., by 2 pounds, 6 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Big Break. McClaskey finished with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 13 ounces to win $1,717. Despite overcast skies, rain, and 53-degree temperatures, Sakata caught the majority of his bass by flipping watermelon-colored sinkos to bedding fish.
James Wilson of Brentwood, Calif., took third place and collected $858 with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. He also earned the boater Big Bass Award of $450 with a 9-pound, 13-ounce largemouth. David Mayo of Sacramento, Calif., placed fourth and earned $744 with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces, while Mike Reynolds of Modesto, Calif., placed fifth and earned $687 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,717 went to Dave Newton of Antioch, Calif., who topped 90 competitors with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces. He also won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $225 with a 7-pound, 12-ounce largemouth. Second place in the division and $858 went to Tiofilo Vidales of Castro Valley, Calif., with four bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces, while Fil Torres of Orland, Calif., took third place and $429 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces.
Boater Edward Christo of Fremont, Calif., won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished in sixth place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces.
Overall, 589 bass were caught during the tournament, including 73 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit Clear Lake May 19 for the fourth of five events in the Western Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 29-30 on Clear 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 Western Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 23-27 on Lake Shasta near Redding, Calif., where they will go up against top competitors from the Colorado River Division 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.