Walmart Bass Fishing League - South Carolina
LAKE MURRAY (Feb. 24, 2001)
PROSPERITY, S.C. — Rodney Bell, 35, of Salisbury, N.C., outpaced 200 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces to win $6,000 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Carolina Division opener on Lake Murray.
Bell edged out Norm Attaway of North Augusta, S.C., by 1 pound, 10 ounces in the one-day event that set out from P and L Landing. Attaway finished with a four-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces to win $3,000. Bell caught his limit under partly cloudy skies using crankbaits and jigs while fishing rocky corners and brush.
Maynard Edwards of Lexington, N.C., took third place and collected $1,500 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces.
Nelson Walker of Manning, S.C., placed fourth and earned $1,300 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces. He also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and another $1,000 for catching the tourney's biggest bass, an 8-pound, 1-ounce heavyweight that he caught on a crankbait.
Randall Driggers of Turbeville, S.C., placed fifth and earned $1,200 with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $3,000 went to Dustin Clontz, 27, of Albemarle, N.C., who topped 200 competitors with four bass weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,500 went to Charles Wood of Thomasville, N.C., with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces, while Benny Rigney of Piedmont, S.C., took third place and $750 with four bass weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces.
John Wiese, 19, of Charlotte, N.C., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $500 with a 7-pound, 14-ounce bass that he caught on a Shad Rap while fishing grass and rocks around mid lake.
Overall, 320 bass weighing 1,085 pounds, 1 ounce were caught during the tournament, including 19 five bass limits.
On March 24, the BFL will visit Lake Santee Cooper for the second of five events in the Carolina Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 29-30 on Lake Wylie, 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 Carolina Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Ozark, Choo Choo and Illini 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.