Walmart Bass Fishing League - Bama
NEELY HENRY (Aug. 25, 2001)
GADSDEN, Ala. – Brian Randall of McCalla, Ala., outpaced 138 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces to win $4,717 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament on Neely Henry Lake.
Randall edged out Greg Watson of Warrior, Ala., by 5 ounces in the one-day event that set out from the Gadsden City Dock. Watson finished with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces to win $2,358. Randall caught his limit, including a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass that earned him $690 as the biggest bass in the Boater Division, using a crankbait in Canoe Creek.
Felton Langley of LaFayette, Ala., took third place and collected $1,179 with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces. Dale Rowland of Shelbyville, Tenn., placed fourth and earned $1,022 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 11 ounces, while Carey Cranford of Gadsden, Ala., placed fifth and earned $943 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces.
Rowland also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,358 went to Stephen Hiott of Trussville, Ala., who topped 138 competitors with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 13 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,179 went to Ronnie Harrison of Attalla, Ala., with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces, while Gaius Guthrie of Kimberly, Ala., took third place and $590 with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces.
John Calhoun of Alpine, Ala., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $345 with a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass that he caught while fishing brush piles and shallow stumps in Canoe Creek with a crankbait.
Overall, 613 bass were caught during the tournament, including 56 five-bass limits.
The BFL will visit Guntersville Lake Sept. 29-30 for the final regular season tournament in the Bama Division. The boater with the most points after the two-day Super Tournament will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points 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 Mountain, Bulldog and Gator divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $345,000 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.