Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
Mississippi River/Prairie Du Chien (Aug. 7, 2004)
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — Boater Division competitor Jim Maloney of Hampshire, Ill., earned $3,988 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division event on the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Great Lakes Division events. The regular season will wrap up Sept. 11-12 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Mississippi River in La Crosse.
Maloney bested 146 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a white Scum Frog. Maloney also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Heath Ahnen of Westby (five bass, 14 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,994); Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Ill. (five bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,356); Tom Monsoor of La Crosse (five bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,037); and Chip Hesse of Grandmound, Iowa (five bass, 13 pounds, 15 ounces, $877).
Tom Ball of Waterford earned $730 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass that he caught on a 1/4-ounce white spinnerbait.
Randy Schafer of Mokena, Ill., won the 146-competitor Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a white jig and earned $1,994 for the win.
Finishing second was Michael Grahn of Green Lake with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 12 ounces worth $997, and following him in third was Marvin Miller of Bettendorf, Iowa, with five bass that weighed 12 pounds, 6 ounces worth $678. Tied for fourth were Rex McTier of Endeavor and Rod Benion of Palo, Iowa. Both anglers caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 2 ounces to earn $478 each.
Miller and Michael Parve of West Bend tied for co-angler big-bass honors, each earning $182 for a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass.
Following the regular season, 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. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Choo Choo, Hoosier and Michigan divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American, one of competitive bass fishing’s most prestigious events. The winning boater at the All-American will take home $100,000 cash, and the winning co-angler will earn $50,000 cash.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded 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 Great Lakes 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.
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.