FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
Tournaments :: news
Walmart Bass Fishing League - Ozark
GRAND LAKE (March 16, 2002)
Schmidt wins $7 million Wal-Mart BFL Ozark Division opener
GROVE, Okla. — Jeff Schmidt of Warrensburg, Mo., topped 191 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Grand Lake with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him $4,848 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Schmidt, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, caught his limit while fishing secondary wind-blown points with a Lucky Craft Pointer. The catch topped second-place boater Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo., by 13 ounces. Endicott finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces worth $2,424.
Mark Curry of Ash Grove, Mo. (four bass, 17 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,454); Kurt Evans of Hardy, Ark. (four bass, 16 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,164); and Toby Hartsell of Grove, Okla., (five bass, 16 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,067) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Donnie Snelling of Montreal, Mo., earned boater big bass honors and $955 with a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass that he caught on a Lucky Craft Pointer while fishing steep pea gravel points. He finished in 10th place overall with three bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces.
John Kite of Festus, Mo., claimed first place and $2,342 in the 183-competitor Co-angler Division with four bass weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Preston Long of Springdale, Ark., by 14 ounces. Long finished with a four-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 4 ounces worth $1,171.
Johnny Porter of Springdale (three bass, 9 pounds, 15 ounces, $703); Jeff Peterson of Jay, Okla. (three bass, 8 pounds, 7 ounces, $562); Billy McCaghren Jr. of Mayflower, Ark. (three bass, 7 pounds, 12 ounces, $468); and Kory Mitchell of Springfield, Mo., (three bass, 7 pounds, 12 ounces, $468) rounded out the top-five co-anglers.
Co-angler James Jackman of Brookfield, Mo., earned big bass honors and $457 in his division with a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass. He finished 13th thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 10 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake of the Ozarks April 20 for the second of five Ozark Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Table Rock Lake 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 Ozark Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 29-Nov. 2 on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark., where they will go up against top competitors from the Louisiana, Okie and Gulf Coast 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.