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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
WEISS LAKE (April 13, 2002)
Daniel wins Wal-Mart BFL Choo Choo Division tourney
CEDAR BLUFF, Ala. — Craig Daniel of Cullman, Ala., topped 170 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Weiss Lake with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 7 ounces. The catch earned him $4,433 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Daniel, who also $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit on a black lizard, orange and green tube, and black and blue jig while fishing in less than 3 feet of water. The catch topped second-place boater Ricky Dale Smith of Anniston, Ala., by 1 pound, 14 ounces. Smith finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces worth $2,216.
Edward Ricklefs of Jasper, Tenn. (five bass, 18 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,330); Lance Wiseman of Cedar Bluff, Ala. (five bass, 17 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,064); and Randy Verboon of Harvest, Ala., (five bass, 16 pounds, 7 ounces, $975) rounded out the top five boaters.
Darryl Stewart of Slocomb, Ala., earned boater big bass honors and $850 with a 5-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught on a pumpkin seed lizard while fishing grass lines in 2 feet of water. He finished in sixth place overall with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces.
Butch Jones of Dothan, Ala., claimed first place and $2,203 in the 169-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Russ Ritter of Lexington, Ala., by 2 ounces. Ritter finished with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces worth $1,102.
Sam Sharp of Hillsboro, Ala. (three bass, 11 pounds, 9 ounces, $661); Jerry Hancock of Marietta, Ga. (five bass, 10 pounds, 6 ounces, $529); Scott Bray of Mount Carmel, Tenn., (five bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $441) and Ted Fuehner of Independence, Ky., (three bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $441) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler David Dennis of Fort Payne, Ala., earned big bass honors and $422 in his division with a 6-pound, 9-ounce bass. He finished 23rd with two bass weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces.
Overall, 121 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Pickwick Lake May 4 for the third 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.