Walmart Bass Fishing League - Savannah River
HARTWELL (April 20, 2002)
HARTWELL, Ga. — Tony Christian of Hull, Ga., topped 119 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Lake Hartwell with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces. The catch earned him $3,484 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Christian, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and a $1,000 bonus from GARMIN for using a fixed-mount GARMIN GPS/Sounder, caught his limit on a Zoom trick worm while fishing wood cover.
The catch, which included a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass worth $595 as the biggest bass in the Boater Division, topped second-place boater Ryan Bowman of Seneca, S.C., by 6 pounds. Overall, Christian pocketed $6,079 in the one-day tournament.
Bowman finished the tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces worth $1,742. Rusty White of Rock Hill, S.C. (five bass, 13 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,045); Marty Quesada Jr. of Appling, Ga. (five bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces, $836); and Aaron Curry of Canton, N.C., (five bass, 12 pounds, 14 ounces, $766) rounded out the top five boaters.
Charles Hale of Six Mile, S.C., claimed first place and $1,742 in the 119-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Brian Estes of Milledgeville, Ga., by 4 pounds, 3 ounces thanks to a 7-inch Zoom pumpkinseed colored worm he was fishing off rock points in 8 to 12 feet of water. Estes finished with a five-bass catch weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces worth $871.
James Elgin of Iva, S.C. (four bass, 8 pounds, 8ounces, $523); Ronnie Harrison of Greenville, S.C. (five bass, 8 pounds, 7 ounces, $418); and Kevin Chandler of New London, N.C., (five bass, 8 pounds, 1 ounce, $383) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Lanier Mason of Danielsville, Ga., earned big bass honors and $297 in his division with a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass. He finished 14th thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 42 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Russell June 22 for the fourth of five Savannah River Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Clark Hill, 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 Savannah River Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 15-19 on Kerr Lake near Henderson, N.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Buckeye, Mountain and Northeast 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.