Walmart Bass Fishing League - Music City
CENTER HILL (March 9, 2002)
SMITHVILLE, Tenn. — Tommy Stiles, McMinnville, Tenn., topped 78 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Center Hill Lake with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces. The catch earned him $2,742 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Stiles caught his limit a black and gold Rouge jerkbait with an orange belly. The catch topped second-place boater Lynne McWhorter, Algood, Tenn., by 2 pounds, 4 ounces. McWhorter finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces worth $1,371.
Jeff Neal, Livingston, Tenn. (five bass, 15 pounds, 13 ounces, $823); Gerald Savage, Winchester, Tenn. (five bass, 15 pounds, 12 ounces, $658); and Tim Staley, Dowelltown, Tenn., (five bass, 15 pounds, 3 ounces, $603) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Russ Weymouth, Gallatin, Tenn., earned boater big bass honors and $390 with a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass that he caught on a chartreuse grub while fishing in 15 to 20 feet of water. He finished 23rd overall with two bass weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce.
Brett Heckman, Franklin, Tenn., received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished 10th with a four-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces.
Stuart Shirley, Columbia, Tenn., claimed first place and $1,248 in the 71-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 10 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-anglers Stuart Staples, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Mike Vance, Smyrna, Tenn., by 4 pounds, 4 ounces thanks to his crankbait and finesse worm. Staples and Vance finished with identical four-bass catches weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces worth $499.
Co-anglers Mike Binkley, Springfield, Tenn.; Todd Hollowell, Old Hickory, Tenn.; and Glen Powers, Madison, Tenn., finished in a three-way tie for fourth place. Each man caught 6 pounds, 13 ounces and received $266. Binkley landed three bass, while Hollowell and Powers each had two bass.
Co-angler Shane Thompson, Cookeville, Tenn., earned big bass honors and $177 in his division with a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass. He finished ninth thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 13 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Percy Priest April 6 for the second of five Music City Division events. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 21-22 on Old Hickory 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 Music City Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition presented by BC Powder Oct. 29-Nov. 2 on Wheeler Lake near Rogersville, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Bulldog, LBL and Shenandoah 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.