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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Arkie
LAKE DARDANELLE (June 22, 2002)
Mahan wins Wal-Mart BFL Arkie Division Tournament
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Matt Mahan of North Little Rock, Ark., topped 93 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Lake Dardanelle with five bass weighing 14 pounds. The catch earned him $2,988 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Mahan caught his limit flipping a black and blue jig on Piney Bay. The catch topped second-place boater Bill Fletcher of Hot Springs, Ark., by 7 ounces. Fletcher finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces worth $1,494. Fletcher also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Clint Stone of Delight, Ark. (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces, $896); Bryan Noll of Siloam Springs, Ark. (four bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $717); and Eric Ambort of Mabelvale, Ark., (five bass, 10 pounds, 10 ounces, $657) rounded out the top five boaters.
Romaine Guillory of Hot Springs, Ark., earned boater big bass honors and $465 with a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass that he caught using a plastic lizard. He finished in 20th place overall with two bass weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces.
Johnny Johnson of Pine Bluff, Ark., claimed first place and $1,462 in the 91-competitor Co-angler Division with three bass weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Randy Staggs of Atkins, Ark., by 1 pound thanks to an 8-inch camouflage Zoom worm he fished on Emerald Bayou. Johnson finished with a two-bass catch weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces worth $731. Staggs earned big bass honors and $228 in his division with a 4-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Donnie Cobb of Russellville, Ark., (three bass, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, $439) and Butch Butcher of Rison, Ark., (two bass, 5 pounds, 14 ounces, $351) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Co-angler Division. Tied for fifth with a 5-pound, 4-ounce catch were Jim Cummings of Murfreesboro, Ark., (two bass, $293) and Dave Gatlin of North Little Rock, Ark., (three bass, $293).
Overall, seven five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Hamilton Oct. 5-6 for the Arkie Division's season finale. The boater with the most points after the two-day 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 Arkie 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 Bama, 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.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, Alpo Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Coleman, 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, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards. Associate sponsors are Abu Garcia, Berkley, Eagle Claw, Hover-Lure, Laker, Maxwell House, Plano and Solar Bat.