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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
LAKE GUNTERSVILLE (March 9, 2002)
Tavel wins Choo Choo Division opener
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Lee Tavel from Warrior, Ala., topped 200 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Lake Guntersville with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 13 ounces. The catch earned him $5,000 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Tavel caught his limit on a chartreuse crankbait that he was casting to rocks in 5 feet of stained water. The catch topped second-place boater Brent Crow, Hartselle, Ala., by 1 pound, 9 ounces. Crow finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces worth $2,500.
Chris Fallin, Bessemer, Ala. (five bass, 21 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,500); A.B. Battles, Southside, Ala. (five bass, 20 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,200); and Marty Boatright, Cleveland, Ala., (five bass, 20 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,100) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Mickey Locke, Boaz, Ala., earned boater big bass honors and $1,000 with a 10-pound, 10-ounce bass that he caught on a chartreuse and white spinner bait that he was working over grass in 8 feet of water. He finished in 16th place overall with three bass weighing 17 pounds.
Steve Vaughan, Cartersville, Ga., received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished eighth with a five-bass catch weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces.
Nathan Miller, Acworth, Ga., claimed first place and $2,500 in the 200-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Ken Willis, Attalla, Ala., by 4 pounds, 12 ounces thanks to a red Rat-L-Trap that he was fishing in shallow grass. Willis finished with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces worth $1,250.
Kyle McKinney, Rockmart, Ga. (five bass, 16 pounds, 1 ounce, $750); Jerry McCafferty, Muscle Shoals, Ala. (four bass, 14 pounds, 14 ounces, $600); and Roger Norris, Ohatchee, Ala., (five bass, 14 pounds, 8 ounces, $550) rounded out the top-five co-anglers.
Co-angler Eddie Woods, Cullman, Ala., earned big bass honors and $500 in his division with a 9-pound, 14-ounce bass. He finished 20th thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 45 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Weiss Lake April 13 for the second of five Choo Choo Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 28-29 on Lake Guntersville 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 Choo Choo Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 22-26 on Lake Seminole near Bainbridge, Ga., where they will go up against top competitors from the Carolina, Gator and Piedmont 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.