Walmart Bass Fishing League - Mississippi
Pickwick (Feb. 28, 2004)
FLORENCE, Ala. — The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division season kicked off Saturday on Pickwick Lake near Florence, and Johnny Clark of Senatobia, Miss., claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces. He bested 168 Boater Division competitors to earn $4,378 and 200 points.
Clark caught his tournament-winning bass on a crankbait. Clark is a highly successful Mississippi Division angler, scoring six top-10 finishes, including the win, since 1997. He has also finished in the top 10 at the Chevy Trucks Wild Card twice for a career total of eight BFL top-10s.
Finishing second was Jason Hannah of Forest, Miss., with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces worth $2,189. In third was Yancy Windham of Gordo with five bass that weighed 11 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him $1,489. Newton Ford of Lena, Miss., claimed fourth place with three bass weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces worth $1,138. Tied for fifth were Shan Schoenrock of Carrollton (five bass) and Mike Hoover of Jackson, Tenn. (four bass). Both men caught 10 pounds, 7 ounces worth of bass that earned them $875.
Hannah claimed Boater Division big-bass honors and $840 thanks to a 7-pound, 9-ounce bass that he caught on a Rat-L-Trap. Ford earned $500 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.
Michael Marlin of Southaven, Miss., earned $2,132 as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to a five-bass catch that weighed 10 pounds, 9 ounces. He edged past 162 Co-angler Division competitors thanks to a Bandit crankbait that he was running over shallow water. Marlin took the crown in his first career BFL event.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Terry Ezzell of Russellville (four bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,066); Fred Murray of Olive Branch, Miss. (two bass, 7 pounds, 13 ounces, $725); Tootie Joiner of Carthage, Miss. (three bass, 6 pounds, 7 ounces, $554); and Jeremy Holderfield of Memphis, Tenn. (one bass, 6 pounds, 1 ounce, $469).
Holderfield earned $405 as the Co-angler Division big-bass winner thanks to the 6-pound, 1-ounce bass.
The Mississippi Division’s next stop will be March 27 on the Columbus Pool in Columbus, Miss. Each BFL division features four one-day events followed by a two-day Super Tournament to round out the regular season. The top 30 Mississippi Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Seminole regional near Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against Bama, Gator and Piedmont 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 Mississippi 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.