Walmart Bass Fishing League - Buckeye
LAKE ERIE (Aug. 10, 2002)
SANDUSKY, Ohio — Dick Shaffer of Celina, Ohio, topped 108 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Lake Erie with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 12 ounces. The catch earned him $3,228 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Shaffer, who has won four BFL tournaments since 1996, caught his limit using a tube in 12 to 18 feet of water. The catch topped second-place boater Rob Webber of Elyria, Ohio, by 1 pound, 12 ounces. Webber finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds worth $1,614.
Ron Tonn of Columbus, Ohio (five bass, 19 pounds, 9 ounces, $968); Joe Balog of Independence, Ohio (five bass, 18 pounds, 5 ounces, $775); and Patrick Shipley of Lockbourne, Ohio, (five bass, 18 pounds, $710) rounded out the top five boaters. Tonn also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Roy Pifer of Celina, Ohio, earned boater big-bass honors and $540 with a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass that he caught on a tube. He finished in 45th place overall with three bass weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces.
Daniel Cramer of Van Wert, Ohio, claimed first place and $1,614 in the 108-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Fred Williams of Dry Ridge, Ky., by 3 pounds, 2 ounces thanks to the tube he was using in 12 to 18 feet of water. Williams finished with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces worth $807.
Edward Gildernew Jr. of Zelienople, Pa. (five bass, 17 pounds, 5 ounces, $484); Eric Meachem of Marion, Ohio (five bass, 16 pounds, 2 ounces, $387); and Bill Gray of Troy, Ohio, (five bass, 15 pounds, 13 ounces, $355) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Donny Young of West Carrollton, Ohio, earned big-bass honors and $270 in his division with a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass. He finished 24th overall with a three-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces.
Overall, 62 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit the Ohio River Sept. 7-8 for the Buckeye Division's final regular-season event, a two-day Super Tournament. The boater with the most points after the 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 Buckeye Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 15-19 on Kerr Lake near Henderson, N.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Mountain, Northeast and Savannah River 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, U.S. Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.