Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
Wheeler (April 3, 2004)
ROGERSVILLE, Ala. — Boater Corey Bradley of Chattanooga, Tenn., earned $5,000 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division event on Wheeler Lake. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Choo Choo Division events and featured 200 boaters vying for the win, which earned Bradley 200 points in the Boater Division.
Bradley’s winning catch of five bass weighed 13 pounds, 12 ounces. This is his first year to fish from the front of the boat in the Boater Division. He ranked seventh last year in Choo Choo Division co-angler standings.
Finishing second was Barry Godbee of Cullman with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces that earned him $2,500. Robert Grape of Southside claimed $1,700 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces. In fourth was Jonathan Newton of Rogersville with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces worth $1,300, and tied for fifth and earning $1,000 each were Rusty Strickland of Athens and Michael Fitzpatrick of Cartersville, Ga. Both anglers caught four bass that weighed 10 pounds, 15 ounces.
Godbee earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Greg Buie of Athens and Mike Davis of Sheffield tied for Boater Division big-bass award honors. Both earned $500 for a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Roger Smart of Woodville bested 198 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,493 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Victor Rowe of Ooltewah, Tenn. (five bass, 9 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,247); Alan Ray Smart of Pisgah (two bass, 9 pounds, 4 ounces, $848); Allan Garner of Estill Springs, Tenn. (five bass, 8 pounds, 8 ounces, $648); and Chris Scott of Florence (four bass, 8 pounds, 3 ounces, $548).
Smart and Jay Brewer of Collinwood, Tenn., both earned $247 as the co-angler big-bass award winners with a 5-pound, 13-ounce bass.
The Choo Choo Division’s next event will be held May 1 on Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, followed by an event on Neely Henry in Gadsden June 26. The Choo Choo Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on Guntersville Lake near Guntersville.
Following the regular season, the Choo Choo 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 Choo Choo 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 Great Lakes, 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 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.