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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Savannah River
CLARK HILL (Feb. 9, 2002)
Christian wins 2002 Wal-Mart BFL Savannah River Division opener
McCORMICK, S.C. — Tony Christian of Hull, Ga., topped 129 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Clark Hill Lake with four bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The catch earned him $3,705 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Christian 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 Fishfinder or combination GPS/Sounder. His winning catch, which came on a black/blue Strike King pig and jig, topped second-place boater David Williams, of Maiden, N.C., by 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Williams finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce worth $1,853.
Glenn Rivers of Greensboro, Ga. (four bass, 11 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,112); Charles Brown of North Augusta, S.C. (four bass, 10 pounds, 7 ounces, $889); and Chris Toole of North Augusta, S.C., (five bass, 10 pounds, 5 ounces, $815) rounded out the top-five boaters.
Fourteenth-place boater Richard Buller of Washington, Ga., earned big bass honors and $645 with a 5-pound, 10-ounce bass.
Dustin Clontz, of Albemarle, N.C., claimed first place and $1,781 in the 124-competitor Co-angler Division with three bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce. He soundly defeated second-place co-angler Jeff Murray of Aiken, S.C., by 3 pounds, 12 ounces thanks to a crankbait pattern that produced fish in 10 feet of water. Murray finished with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces worth $890.
Evan Buller of Washington, Ga. (three bass, 6 pounds, 1 ounce, $534); Dan Grapes of Hendersonville, N.C. (one bass, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, $427); and Mark Osborne of Union, S.C., (three bass, 4 pounds, 13 ounces, $392) rounded out the top-five co-anglers.
Grapes earned co-angler big bass honors and $310 with his catch.
Overall, seven five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Keowee Lake March 23 for the second 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.