Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
Guntersville (Oct. 2-3, 2004)
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Boater Tim Buckner of Scottsboro earned $8,727 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division Super Tournament on Guntersville Lake. His two-day total of 43 pounds, 2 ounces topped 175 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Buckner caught 23 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 19 pounds, 10 ounces to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a black and white frog in the grass. He defeated his nearest competition by more than 4 pounds. Buckner 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 Edward Ricklefs of Jasper, Tenn. (38 pounds, 13 ounces, $4,364); Bryan Gregory of Fort Payne (35 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,364); Kenneth Owens of Wise, Va. (34 pounds, 7 ounces, $2,000); and Marshall Deakins of Dunlap, Tenn. (34 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,636).
Marty James Colley of Ashville earned $1,750 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 7-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught on a green pumpkin jig.
Jeremy Gurley of Pell City earned $4,295 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 2 ounces. He caught his bass on a black and yellow buzzbait in the midlake area. Gurley earned the win in his first career BFL event.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ronni Parker of Sheffield (19 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,147); David Davenport of Dunlap, Tenn. (18 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,163); Chris Scott of Florence (18 pounds, 3 ounces, $984); and Lee McClain of Attalla (18 pounds, 1 ounce, $805).
Doug Hill of Trafford claimed co-angler big-bass honors with an 8-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught midlake in the grass. He earned $845 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.
George Thorne of Albertville earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Choo Choo Division with 952 points for the season. Mark Thompson of Scottsboro earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 1,122 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Choo Choo Division will advance to the Kentucky Lake regional presented by Yamaha, which will be held Oct. 12-16 in Gilbertsville, Ky. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Great Lakes, Hoosier and Michigan 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.