Walmart Bass Fishing League - Michigan
Grand River (Aug. 7, 2004)
WEST OLIVE, Mich. — Jim Liechty of Fort Wayne, Ind., earned $3,906 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division event, held on the Grand River near West Olive. He caught five bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Liechty is riding quite a hot streak, having won the July 10 Michigan Division event on the Detroit River and following that up with an EverStart Series victory on the same fishery two weeks later. For this Saturday’s win, Liechty also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $500 from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. Garmin also awarded him $1,000 for using only Garmin electronics during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Mark Flick of Delton (five bass, 12 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,953); Brian Rand of Mattawan (five bass, 11 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,328); Daniel Boersema of Muskegon (five bass, 11 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,016); and Thomas Overholt Jr. of Grand Rapids (four bass, 11 pounds, 1 ounce, $859).
Overholt earned $715 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner thanks to a 3-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught on a football jig.
Mike Haws of Osceola, Ind., claimed $1,817 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught on Senko.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Simeon Stearns of North Vernon, Ind. (five bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces, $908); Stephen Roth of Syracuse, Ind. (four bass, 8 pounds, 11 ounces, $618); Rick Kovary of Waterford Township (two bass, 6 pounds, $472); and Kevin Burkhalter of Decatur, Ind. (three bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $400).
Kovary also earned $323 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass he caught on a tube.
The Michigan Division’s next stop will be Aug. 21 on the Detroit River in Trenton, and the regular season will come to a close Sept. 18-19 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Detroit River in Trenton.
Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 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 anglers from the Choo Choo, Great Lakes and Hoosier divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive 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 Michigan 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.