Walmart Bass Fishing League - Bama
LAY LAKE (April 27, 2002)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Lee Pitts of Gaylesville, Ala., topped 117 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Lay Lake with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him $3,426 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Pitts, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit on an 8-inch blue and yellow worm that he was working near shallow grass. The catch topped second-place boater J.J. Jones of Fosters, Ala., by 12 ounces. Jones finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces worth $1,713.
Craig Duncan of Shelby, Ala. (five bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $925); Mark McCaig of Oxford, Ala. (five bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $925); and Lee Tavel of Warrior, Ala., (five bass, 13 pounds, 12 ounces, $754) rounded out the top five boaters.
Shannon Devere of Berea, Ky., earned boater big bass honors and $585 with a 6-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a chartreuse spinner bait. He finished in 11th place overall with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces.
Donnie Hendrickson of Sharpsburg, Ga., claimed first place and $1,713 in the 117-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Shane Patterson of Alexander City, Ala., by 1 ounce thanks to a white and chartreuse floating worm he was swimming through grass in 4 to 5 feet of water. Patterson finished with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces worth $856. He also earned big bass honors and $292 in the Co-angler Division with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
Edwin Hunt of Duluth, Ga. (five bass, 11 pounds, 15 ounces, $514); Dennis Turner of Jones, Ala. (five bass, 11 pounds, 12 ounces, $411); and Jeromey Mason of Columbiana, Ala., (five bass, 11 pounds, 7 ounces, $377) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Overall, 114 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Demopolis June 1 for the fourth of five Bama Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Lake Eufaula, 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 Bama Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 22-26 on the Pearl River near Slidell, La., where they will go up against top competitors from the Arkie, Cowboy and Mississippi 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.