Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
MISS RIVER/PRAIRIE DU CHIEN (Sept. 14-15, 2002)
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — Jeff Herburger of Dubuque, Iowa, topped 101 Boater Division competitors on the Mississippi River this weekend with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 5 ounces. He earned $6,186 and 300 points for the win at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division season finale.
After qualifying for the final round of the two-day Super Tournament in seventh place with an opening-day catch of five bass weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces, Herburger out-fished runner-up Jeff Ritter of Prairie du Chien, Wis., by 5 ounces to take the win. Herburger caught his limit on day two using a buzzbait.
Ritter qualified for the final round in sixth place with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces and finished up with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds to win $3,093.
Stuart Arthur of Milwaukee (five bass, 13 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,675); Bob Matthies of Cicero, Ill. (five bass, 13 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,418); and Clay Peterson of Madison Lake, Minn., (five bass, 12 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,160) rounded out the top five boaters.
Matthies earned a $500 bonus as the highest finisher in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Tony Puelz of Garnavillo, Iowa, won the boater big-bass award and collected $1,010 with a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass.
David Sabourin of Burlington, Wis., topped 101 competitors in the Co-angler Division to take first place and $3,093 thanks to a final-round catch of five bass weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,547 went to David Ondrla of Elmhurst, Ill., who also weighed in a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces (ties are broken based on the previous day's weight), followed by Mike Sather of Rothschild, Wis., in third place with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces, worth $838.
Robin Piwoni of Kenosha, Wis., won the co-angler big-bass award of $505 with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass that he caught using a top-water frog.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Great Lakes Division will advance to regional competition presented by Yamaha Oct. 15-19 on Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the Hoosier, Illini and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the BFL All-American, one of the most lucrative postseason 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, U.S. Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.