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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Gulf Coast
MOBILE DELTA (March 23, 2002)
Zellers wins Wal-Mart BFL Gulf Coast Division tourney
SPANISH FORT, Ala. — Kevin Zellers of Semmes, Ala., topped 59 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him $2,234 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Zellers caught his limit under windy conditions using an 8-inch Zoom lizard while flipping duck blinds near John's Bend. The catch topped second-place boater Gary Brown of Gautier, Miss., by 8 ounces. Brown finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces worth $1,117. He also earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Ricky Smith of Collinsville, Miss. (five bass, 6 pounds, 13 ounces, $670); Roger Branch of Gulfport, Miss. (five bass, 6 pounds, 4 ounces, $536); and David Henson Jr. of St. Stephens, Ala., (four bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, $492) rounded out the top five boaters.
Andy Silcox of Mobile, Ala., earned boater big bass honors and $295 with a 4-pound, 1-ounce bass. He finished in 10th place overall thanks to the one bass.
Chris Hults of Gautier, Miss., claimed first place and $1,117 in the 59-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Chris Bowers of Pearl, Miss., by 12 ounces. Bowers finished with a three-bass catch weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces worth $559.
Glen Meranto of Bay Saint Louis, Miss. (two bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $335); Josh Williams of Moss Point, Miss. (two bass, 5 pounds, 3 ounces, $268); and Pete Gregor of Gautier, Miss., (four bass, 4 pounds, 6 ounces, $246) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Meranto earned co-angler big bass honors and $147 with a 3-pound, 14-ounce bass.
Overall, five five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Bay St. Louis April 13 for the third of five Gulf Coast Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 28-29 on the Pearl River 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 Gulf Coast 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 Ozark 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.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Coleman, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Maxwell House, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards. Associate sponsors are Abu Garcia, Berkley, Eagle Claw, Laker, Plano and Solar Bat.