Walmart Bass Fishing League - Arkie
Hamilton (Sept. 25-26, 2004)
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Boater Adam Wright of Benton earned $5,806 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division Super Tournament on Lake Hamilton. His two-day total of 19 pounds, 8 ounces topped 89 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Wright caught 11 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 8 pounds, 1 ounce to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a Horny Toad and an Eakins Jig. Wright 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 bonus from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. Garmin also awarded him $1,000 for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Wright also earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion among Arkie Division boaters. He earned 1,046 points during the 2004 season by finishing in the top 10 in three of five regular-season tournaments.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Thomas Boatwright of Hot Springs (19 pounds, 7 ounces, $2,903); Greg Gulledge of Monticello (16 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,572); Gerad Williams of Pearcy (15 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,331); and Jamey Black of Sheridan (14 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,089).
Steve Sommer of Norman, Okla., earned $890 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a 9-inch red shad worm.
Josh Tittle of Lake Village, Ark., earned $2,903 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 11 pounds, 9 ounces. He caught his bass on a Horny Toad. This is Tittle’s second BFL victory on Lake Hamilton in two consecutive seasons.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Stetson Blaylock of Benton (10 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,452); Samuel Smothers of Sheridan (9 pounds, 8 ounces, $786); Mark Diffee of Hot Springs (8 pounds, 3 ounces, $665); and Jeff Barfield of Nashville (7 pounds, 5 ounces, $544).
Tony Smith of Benton claimed co-angler big-bass honors with a 3-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught on a 7 1/2-inch red shad worm. He earned $445 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.
Wayne Piker of McRae earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 990 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Arkie Division will advance to the Toledo Bend regional, which will be held Oct. 12-16 in Many, La. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Louisiana, Okie and Ozark 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.