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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Mississippi
PICKWICK (March 16, 2002)
Tidwell wins 2002 Wal-Mart BFL Mississippi Division opener
FLORENCE, Ala. — Monroe Tidwell of Leighton, Ala., topped 126 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Pickwick Lake with three bass weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him $3,619 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Tidwell caught his fish, including a 6-pound, 8-ounce bass that earned him big bass honors and $630, on Bandit crankbaits and spinner baits. The catch topped second-place boater Danny Walden of Columbus, Miss., by 2 pounds, 5 ounces. Walden finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce worth $1,810.
Emery Burch III of Hattiesburg, Miss. (five bass, 11 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,086); Leon Tidwell of Muscle Shoals, Ala. (five bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $869); and Stoney Hardy of Olive Branch, Miss., (four bass, 10 pounds, 9 ounces, $796) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Ricky Smith of Collinsville, Miss., received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished sixth with a five-bass catch weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces.
Jay Swindle of Magee, Miss., claimed first place and $1,698 in the 116-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Johnny Clark of Senatobia, Miss., by 9 ounces. Clark finished with a five-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces worth $849.
Jimmy Mason of Rogersville, Ala. (five bass, 8 pounds, 14 ounces, $509); David Sims of Brandon, Miss. (three bass, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, $391); and E. Larry Smith of Memphis, Tenn., (four bass, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, $391) rounded out the top-five co-anglers.
Co-angler Kraig Duncan of Memphis, Tenn., earned big bass honors and $290 in his division with a 6-pound bass. He finished 10th thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 23 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Ross Barnett Reservoir April 20 for the second of five Mississippi Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Columbus 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 Mississippi 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, Bama and Cowboy 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.