Walmart Bass Fishing League - LBL
KY/Barkley (March 13, 2004)
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. — The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League LBL Division season kicked off Saturday on Kentucky and Barkley lakes near Gilbertsville, and Greg McSwain of Paris, Tenn., claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces. He bested 205 Boater Division competitors to earn $5,000 and 200 points.
McSwain caught his tournament-winning bass on a crankbait. This is McSwain’s first win and first top-10 finish in his second year of BFL competition.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Robert Rodgers of Kuttawa (five bass, 18 pounds, 3 ounces, $2,500); Ryan Chandler of Hobart, Ind. (five bass, 16 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,700); Craig Hipsher of Franklin, Ohio (five bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,300); and Cory Knoke of Kuttawa (five bass, 15 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,100).
Robert Henson of Hazelwood, Mo., claimed Boater Division big-bass honors and $1,000 thanks to a 6-pound, 11-ounce bass that he caught by slow-rolling a chartreuse and white spinnerbait. Rusty Rommel of Poplar Bluff, Mo., earned $500 from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $250 from Yamaha because his boat was powered by a Yamaha outboard.
Brian Clark of Xenia, Ohio, earned $2,500 as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to a three-bass catch that weighed 14 pounds. He edged past 205 Co-angler Division competitors thanks to a crankbait and jerkbait he fished in Barkley Lake.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jonathan Hampton of Hollow Rock, Tenn. (two bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,250); Terry Harris of Clarksville, Tenn. (three bass, 10 pounds, 2 ounces, $850); Jeff Faust of Trenton, Ill. (two bass, 8 pounds, 15 ounces, $650); and Adam Spalding of Louisville (four bass, 8 pounds, 14 ounces, $550).
Hampton earned $500 as the Co-angler Division big-bass winner with a 7-pound bass he caught on a Bandit crankbait.
The LBL Division’s next stop will be May 1 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Cadiz. Each BFL division features four one-day events followed by a two-day Super Tournament to round out the regular season. The top 30 LBL Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wheeler Lake regional near Rogersville, Ala., Oct. 19-23, where they will compete against Bulldog, Mountain and Shenandoah division anglers for a slot in the 2005 All-American. The winning boater at the All-American receives $100,000 cash, making it one of the most lucrative and prestigious championship events in bass fishing.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The LBL Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.