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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Bama

    MARTIN (March 3, 2001)


    Ingram wins Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Bama Division Opener on Lake Martin

    John Higdon shows off his first-place trophy after winning the co-angler division of the March 3 Wal-Mart BLF tour event on Lake Martin. Higdon, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., won $2,567 after landing five fish weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces.

    Alexander City, Ala. – Steven Ingram, 25, of Tallassee, Ala., beat out 169 competitors with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces to win $5,417 and 200 points on the boater side of the March 3 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division opener on Lake Martin.

    Ingram edged out Donnie Johnston of Alexander City, Ala., by 1 ounce in the one-day event that set out from Wind Creek State Park. Johnston finished with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces to win $2,708. Ingram caught his limit, including a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass worth $845 as the biggest bass in the Boater Division, under an overcast sky using a lizard on points and in the back of coves.

    Lewis Lecroy of Ohatchee, Ala, took third place and collected $1,354 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. Charles Steele of Attalla, Ala., placed fourth and earned $1,174 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces, while J.D. Ward of Anniston, Ala., placed fifth and earned $1,083 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces. Steele also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.

    First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,567 went to John Higdon, 48, of Knoxville, Tenn., who topped 159 competitors with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,283 went to Donnie Hendrickson of Sharpsburg, Ga., with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce, while Skeeter Collins of Vinemont, Ala., took third place and $599 with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces.

    John Howard, 48, of Alexander City, Ala., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $392 with a 3-pound, 12-ounce bass.

    Overall, 1,082 bass weighing 1,722 pounds, 2 ounces were caught during the tournament, including 142 five bass limits.

    On April 7, the BFL will visit Weiss Lake for the second of five events in the Bama Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 29-30 on Guntersville 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 Bama Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 23-27 on Wateree Lake near Camden, S.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Bulldog, Mountain and Gator 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.