Walmart Bass Fishing League - South Carolina
SANTEE COOPER (April 27, 2002)
MANNING, S.C. — Greg Rikard of Leesville, S.C., topped 149 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Santee Cooper lakes with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 4 ounces. The catch earned him $4,020 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Rikard, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit using a floating worm and a buzzbait around cypress trees. His catch topped second-place boater Don Graham of Huntersville, N.C., by 2 pounds, 6 ounces. Graham finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces worth $2,010.
Keith Kirby of Gaffney, S.C. (five bass, 16 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,085); William Smith of Moncks Corner, S.C. (five bass, 16 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,085); and Steve Thornhill of Pineville, S.C., (five bass, 16 pounds, 3 ounces, $884) rounded out the top five boaters. Lindwood Thornhill of Pineville, S.C., finished sixth with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces.
Smith earned boater big bass honors and $745 with an 8-pound, 5-ounce bass that he caught on a Texas-rigged black and emerald worm while fishing cypress trees in Lake Moultrie.
Hunter Spivey of Newberry, S.C., claimed first place and $2,010 in the 149-competitor Co-angler Division with four bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Robert Young of Fletcher, N.C., by 6 pounds, 12 ounces. Young finished with a two-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces worth $1,005.
Kenneth Canup of Matthews, N.C. (three bass, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, $603); Lee Inman of Inman, S.C. (three bass, 8 pounds, 2 ounces, $482); and Bobby Fowler of Winder, Ga., (two bass, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, $442) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Marty Sweeting of Harrisburg, N.C., earned big bass honors and $372 in his division with a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass. He finished seventh thanks to the one fish.
Overall, 26 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Hartwell May 18 for the third of five Carolina Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Oct. 5-6 on Lake Wylie, 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 Carolina 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 Choo Choo, Gator and Piedmont 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.