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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Louisiana/Texas
BAYOU BLACK (Feb. 9, 2002)
Vining wins 2002 Wal-Mart BFL Louisiana Division opener
HOUMA, La. — Gary Vining of Morgan City, La., topped 62 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Bayou Black with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch earned him $2,257 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Vining caught his limit, which topped second-place boater Anthony Kyzar of Houma, La., by 8 ounces, using chartreuse and white spinner baits. Kyzar finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces worth $1,128.
Ernie Hamilton of Prairieville, La. (four bass, 9 pounds, 11 ounces, $677); Scott Dimaio of Denham Springs, La. (five bass, 9 pounds, 5 ounces, $542); and Conrad Picou of Carencro, La. (three bass, 8 pounds, 8 ounces, $496) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Nathan Bourque of Gonzales, La., earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished 12th with three bass weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Vining and 13th-place boater Eddie Meagher of Lafayette, La., tied for big bass honors. Each man received $155 for a 4-pound bass.
Dan Thornton of Ventress, La., claimed first place and $1,092 in the 60-competitor Co-angler Division with three bass weighing 7 pounds. He caught the bass on a spinner bait that he was casting to shallow cover.
Co-angler Jerry Harley of Morgan City, La., finished second with three bass weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces worth $546. Johnny Hilton of Ventress, La. (two bass, 5 pounds, 5 ounces, $328); Scott Kraemer of Houma, La. (three bass, 5 pounds, 2 ounces, $251); and Jordy Richardson of Gonzales, La., (two bass, 5 pounds, 2 ounces, $251) rounded out the top-five co-anglers.
Josh Stanford of Washington, La., earned co-angler big bass honors and $150 with a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass.
Just three five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Toledo Bend March 9 for the second of five Louisiana Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Bayou Black 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 Louisiana 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 Okie, Ozark 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.