Walmart Bass Fishing League - Michigan
DETROIT RIVER (Aug. 4, 2001)
BROWNSTOWN, Mich. — Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, outpaced 83 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 22 pounds to win $3,288 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament on Lake Erie.
Clapper edged out David Hayward of Sylvania, Ohio, by 2 pounds, 11 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Metro Park. Hayward finished with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces to win $1,644. He also earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Clapper caught his limit of bass using a tube jig and collected a $1,000 bonus as part of the GARMIN Grand Giveaway for winning the tournament while using a fixed-mount GARMIN sonar.
Rick Roberts of Macomb, Mich., took third place and collected $822 with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces. Andy Sanders of Ottawa, Ohio, placed fourth and earned $713 with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces, while Niles Taber II of Manitou Beach, Mich., placed fifth and earned $658 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.
Cecil Cole of Durand, Mich., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $415 with a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a tube jig.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $1,644 went to Benny Gray of Ypsilanti, Mich., who topped 83 competitors with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces. Second place in the division and $822 went to Jim Parker of Jonesville, Mich., with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces, while Orlando Villarreal of Hudsonville, Mich., took third place and $411 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces.
Terry Venhuizen of Hudsonville won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $207 with a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass that he caught on a tube jig.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake St. Clair Aug. 18 for the fourth of five events in the Michigan Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 15-16 on the Detroit 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 Michigan Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, N.Y., where they will go up against top competitors from the Northeast, Buckeye and Piedmont divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 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.