Walmart Bass Fishing League - Ozark
Grand (March 20, 2004)
GROVE, Okla. — The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division season kicked off Saturday on Grand Lake near Grove, and Jay Hulsey of Bourbon, Mo., claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 2 ounces. He bested 198 Boater Division competitors to earn $4,986 and 200 points.
Hulsey caught his tournament-winning bass on a 1/4-ounce jig in about a foot of water. Hulsey is an Ozark Division standout who has finished outside the top 10 in year-end rankings only once since 2000, when he began fishing the division.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Larry Barr of Russellville, Mo. (three bass, 13 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,493); Russell Matt of St. Joseph, Mo. (five bass, 13 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,695); Terry McDowell of Cameron, Mo. (five bass, 12 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,296); and Andy Carroll of Fort Smith, Ark. (five bass, 11 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,097).
Jason Christie of Park Hill claimed Boater Division big-bass honors and $990 thanks to a 6-pound bass that he caught on a spinnerbait. Carroll earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Bill Lowery of Lake St. Louis, Mo., earned $2,493 as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to a three-bass catch that weighed 7 pounds. He edged past 198 Co-angler Division competitors thanks to a neon lizard that he fished in 5 feet of water.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Scott Miles of Bolivar, Mo. (one bass, 5 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,247); Brian Mustain of Bentonville, Ark. (three bass, 5 pounds, 12 ounces, $848); Steve Bradfield of Claremore (two bass, 5 pounds, 7 ounces, $648); and Robert Lindsey of Glencoe, Mo. (three bass, 5 pounds, 4 ounces, $548).
Miles earned $495 as the Co-angler Division big-bass winner thanks to his 5-pound, 13-ounce bass.
The Ozark Division’s next stop will be May 1 on Lake of the Ozarks. Each BFL division features four one-day events followed by a two-day Super Tournament to round out the regular season. The top 30 Ozark Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Toledo Bend regional near Many, La., Oct. 12-16, where they will compete against Arkie, Louisiana and Okie 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 Ozark 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.