Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
Neely Henry (June 26, 2004)
GADSDEN, Ala. — Boater Division competitor Danny Buckner of Woodville earned $4,898 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division event on Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Choo Choo Division events. The regular season will wrap up Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on Guntersville Lake in Guntersville.
Buckner bested 193 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces – a 6-pound, 10-ounce margin of victory. For the win, Buckner received a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $1,000 from Bombardier because his boat is powered by an Evinrude Direct Injection outboard. Garmin also awarded him $1,000 for using only Garmin electronics during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Randy Smith of Henagar (five bass, 15 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,449); Adam Brown of Attalla (five bass, 15 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,665); Jason Whisonant of Hayden (five bass, 15 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,273); and Kenny Pannell of Springville (five bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,078).
Terry Tucker of Gadsden earned $965 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass.
Tilghman Turner of Grant won the 190-competitor Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce. This is his first season to fish the BFL, and he earned $2,411 for the win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Anthony Ingle of Trion, Ga. (five bass, 12 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,205); Wesley Helton of Cleveland, Tenn. (five bass, 12 pounds, 2 ounces, $820); Jeffery Beegle of Anniston (five bass, 11 pounds, 10 ounces, $627); and Danny Moss of Glencoe (five bass, 11 pounds, 5 ounces, $530).
Michael Hester of Ohatchee caught a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass to win Co-angler Division big-bass honors and $475.
Following the regular season, 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. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Great Lakes, 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 Choo Choo 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.