Walmart Bass Fishing League - Piedmont
NEUSE RIVER (July 20, 2002)
RALEIGH, N.C. — Gary Cline of Lexington, N.C., topped 152 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Neuse River with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him $4,101 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Cline caught his limit using a pink floating worm. The catch topped second-place boater Joey Padgett of Willard, N.C., by 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Padgett finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces worth $2,050.
Tied for third with a 9-pound, 8-ounce catch were Chris Elliott of Raleigh, N.C., (five bass, $1,107) and Ronald Wolfarth of Locust, N.C. (four bass, $1,107). Jeremy Ives of Burgaw, N.C., finished fifth with a five-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces worth $902. Ives also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Larry Inman of Greensboro, N.C., earned boater big bass honors and $760 with a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass that he caught using a buzzbait. He finished in sixth place overall with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces.
Sixteen-year-old Zach Morrison of Hampstead, N.C., claimed first place and $2,050 in the 152-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Robert Layne of Mebane, N.C., by 6 ounces thanks to a Gambler worm that he was fishing in shallow water. Layne finished with a five-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,025.
Hume Hawkins of Fayetteville, N.C. (five bass, 8 pounds, 3 ounces, $615); Keith Joyce of Apex, N.C. (three bass, 6 pounds, 14 ounces, $492); and David Farman of Semora, N.C., (three bass, 6 pounds, $451) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Joe Manley of Wilmington, N.C., earned big bass honors and $380 in his division with a 3-pound, 9-ounce bass. He finished eighth with two bass weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces.
Overall, 14 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Clark Hill Sept. 21-22 for a two-day Super Tournament, the Piedmont Division's final regular-season event. The boater with the most points after the two-day Super Tournament will be declared the Yamaha “Be the Best” Points Leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 Piedmont Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 22-26 on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, Ga., where they will go up against top competitors from the Carolina, Gator and Choo Choo divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American – one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling.
2002 BFL awards could reach $7 million based on full fields.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, GARMIN, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.