Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
WOLF RIVER CHAIN/WINNECONNE (July 14, 2001)
WINNECONNE, Wis. — Bob Matthies of Cicero, Ill., outpaced 123 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce to win $4,344 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Wolf River Chain.
Matthies edged out Rick Miller by 1 pound, 2 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Wolf River Resort marina. Miller finished with a five-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces to win $2,172. Matthies caught his limit, including a 3-pound, 15-ounce bass worth $310 as the biggest bass in the boater division, by fishing a 6-inch green-pumpkin colored worm near shallow grass. He also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Pat Buenzli of Prairie du Chien, Wis., tied Matthies for the big bass award and earned $310 despite finishing in 70th place.
Mike Feldermann of Galena, Ill., and Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., tied for third place and collected $1,013 each with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces. Marty Clauson of Montello, Wis., placed fifth and earned $869 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,850 went to Tom Ball of Waterford, Wis., who topped 98 competitors with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces. Second place in the division and $925 went to Mike Sather of Rothschild, Wis., with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces, while Paul Novak of Waterford, Wis., took third place and $463 with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces.
Tou Lee of La Crosse, Wis., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $242 with a 4-pound bass.
Overall, 384 bass were caught during the tournament, including 17 five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Mississippi River Aug. 4 for the third 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.