Walmart Bass Fishing League - Regional
KENTUCKY LAKE (Oct. 20-22, 2002)
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. — William Cisler of Delton, Mich., topped 120 competitors on Kentucky Lake this weekend at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Kentucky Lake Regional presented by Yamaha. The postseason tournament featured the top 30 boaters from the Great Lakes, Hoosier, Illini and Michigan divisions. Cisler, who qualified for the regional through the Michigan Division, won a new Ranger boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha and a new Chevy truck. He also earned a berth in the prestigious 2003 All-American, where he will vie for a top boater award of $100,000 cash.
Cisler caught five bass weighing 11 pounds Saturday to lead the regional field. He caught his bass in rainy conditions using a soft jerkbait. On Thursday's opening day, he hauled in five bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce to place ninth and followed that up Friday with four more bass weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces to rank fifth. His win Saturday marks his first BFL win and his first chance to compete in the All-American.
The full field of anglers competed for two days to determine which six would advance to Saturday's final day of competition. The final six started at zero Saturday, competing for position and prize money, having secured their All-American berth.
Finishing in second and third were Curtis Samo of Creston, Ill., (four bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $5,000) and Chris Welch of Fall River, Wis., (three bass, 6 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,500). Rounding out the All-American qualifiers are Tim Wilson of Gas City, Ind., John Green of Lakeville, Ind., and Mark Dove of North Vernon, Ind.
Barry Baldwin of Dayton, Ohio, led the Co-angler Division with a final-round catch of four bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce. His victory earned him an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat and a spot in the All-American, where he will compete for a top prize of $50,000 cash. He caught most of his bass using a Pop-R.
Rounding out the top four co-anglers were Jeff Bishop of Clinton Township, Mich. (four bass, 4 pounds, 15 ounces); Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind. (two bass, 3 pounds, 11 ounces); and Stephen Roth of Syracuse, Ind., (two bass, 3 pounds, 2 ounces). Others who qualified for the All-American are Ken Heckel of Lamar, Ind., and Reid Culler of Hudson, Ind.
Anglers advanced to this weekend's regional competition by placing in the top 30 in the points standings within their respective divisions. Every angler who receives weight credit during the season earns points. Six regionals will each advance six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American, while a seventh regional will send three boaters and three co-anglers. Another six boaters and six co-anglers will advance to the All-American from the Chevy Trucks Wild Card, which will be held Nov. 5-9 on Georgia's West Point Lake. Anglers who fished all five regular-season tournaments within a division but did not advance to the regional can enter the Wild Card for a chance to compete in the All-American. The All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The site for the 2003 event will be announced next month.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, Alpo Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, U.S. Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.