Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN (June 23, 2001)
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — Mike Felderman, 32, of Galena, Ill., outpaced 119 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces to win $4,280 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River.
Felderman edged out Mark Pattinson of Ridgeway, Wis., by 1 ounce in the one-day event that set out from Washington Street Park. Pattinson finished with a five-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces to win $2,140.
Ross Evans of Madison Lake, Minn., took third place and collected $1,070 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces. Curtis Samo of Creston, Ill., placed fourth and earned $928 with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces, while Graden Hansen of Waterloo, Iowa, placed fifth and earned $856 with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces. Hansen also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Chip Hesse of Grandmound, Iowa, won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $595 with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,050 went to Rudy Wozney of Arcadia, Wis., who topped 114 competitors with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,025 went to Kent Keeshan of Bettendorf, Iowa, with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces, while Chuck Loerzel of Yorkville, Ill., took third place and $513 with two bass weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces.
Dave Zugenbuehler of Madison, Wis., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $285 with a 5-pound, 3-ounce bass.
Overall, 261 bass were caught during the tournament, including 15 five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Wolf River Chain July 14 for the second of five events in the Great Lakes Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 8-9 on the Mississippi River, 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 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.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.