Walmart Bass Fishing League - Bama
Lake Martin (Sept. 25-26, 2004)
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — Boater Chris Ingram of Eclectic earned $7,423 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Bama Division Super Tournament on Lake Martin. His two-day total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces topped 136 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Ingram caught 13 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 15 pounds, 11 ounces to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on jigs and jerkbaits in the midlake area. Ingram is a two-time Bama Division points champion, having taken the title in 1996 and 1999.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Kelley Jaye of Dadeville (22 pounds, 9 ounces, $3,711); Steven Ingram of Tallassee (21 pounds, 5 ounces, $2,010); Whit Whitaker of Tallassee (21 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,701); and Sam Bass of Section (19 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,392).
Whitaker earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $250 from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. Monty Ledbetter of Auburn earned $1,360 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught on a brown jig.
Chad Ledbetter of Notasulga earned $3,711 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 5 ounces. He caught his bass on jigs and jerkbaits. The win came in Ledbetter’s second career BFL event. He fished both events on Lake Martin and finished in the top 20 in each.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Howard of Alexander City (14 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,856); James Dodson of Northport (14 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,005); Scott Curvin of Jacksonville (13 pounds, 11 ounces, $851); and Elroy Womack of Lincoln (13 pounds, 10 ounces, $696).
Gerald Thompson of Bridgeport claimed co-angler big-bass honors with a 4-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught on a crankbait. He earned $680 for his big bass.
Each of the BFL’s 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Mike Keel of Auburn earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Bama Division with 993 points for the season. Womack earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 943 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Bama Division will advance to the Lake Seminole regional, which will be held Oct. 5-9 in Bainbridge, Ga. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Gator, Mississippi and Piedmont divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, making it one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
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.