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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes

    Mississippi River/Clinton (June 5, 2004)


    Van Houten wins BFL event on Mississippi River

    Boater Mike Van Houten of Ankeny was the winner of the June 5 BFL Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River near Clinton.

    CLINTON, Iowa — Boater Mike Van Houten of Ankeny earned $4,015 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River near Clinton. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Great Lakes Division events and featured 149 boaters vying for the win, which earned Van Houten 200 points in the Boater Division.

    Van Houten’s winning catch of five bass weighed 17 pounds, 4 ounces. Included in that stringer was a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass that earned Van Houten $745 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner.

    Finishing second was Dave Getz of Park Ridge, Ill., with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces that earned him $2,008. Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Ill., claimed $1,365 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces. In fourth was Marty Clauson of Montello, Wis., with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces worth $1,044, and finishing fifth and earning $883 was Steven Johnson of Lake Villa, Ill., with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces.

    Getz earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.

    John Essmann of Elkhorn, Wis., bested 141 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $1,926 as the co-angler winner, thanks to four bass weighing 11 pounds, 5 ounces.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Florian Litzinger of Eagan, Minn. (four bass, 11 pounds, $963); Tim Whitmore of Des Moines (five bass, 10 pounds, 9 ounces, $655); Charlie Benson of La Crosse, Wis. (four bass, 9 pounds, 13 ounces, $501); and Jeff Turner of Plainfield, Ill. (four bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $424).

    Litzinger earned $353 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 8-ounce bass.

    The Great Lakes Division’s next event will be held July 10 on the Wolf River Chain near Winneconne, Wis., followed by an event on the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wis., Aug. 7. The Great Lakes Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 11-12 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis.

    Following the regular season, the Great Lakes Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.

    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. The top 30 Great Lakes Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kentucky Lake regional presented by Yamaha near Gilbertsville, Ky., Oct. 12-16, where they will compete against Choo Choo, Hoosier and Michigan division anglers for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.

    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 click here.

    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’s sponsor page.