Walmart Bass Fishing League - Louisiana/Texas
Bayou Black (May 15, 2004)
GIBSON, La. — Eric Gilchrist of Baton Rouge earned $3,690 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Louisiana Division event, held on Bayou Black near Gibson. He caught five bass weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Gilchrist caught his bass in a little clearwater pocket with hyacinths in Lake Verrette, and he used a white/black Chug Bug to claim his limit. He earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using only Garmin electronics during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Mike Blanchard of Dulac (five bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,845); Bill Hardman of Metairie (five bass, 14 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,255); Tom Evins of Baton Rouge (five bass, 13 pounds, 8 ounces, $959); and Michael Staley of Denham Springs (five bass, 12 pounds, 6 ounces, $812).
Michael Wilkinson of Amite claimed $655 as the Boater Division big-bass winner thanks to a 6-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a white/black spinnerbait in the hyacinths.
Chris Megee of Natchez claimed $1,817 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a four-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 1 ounce that he caught on a 1/4-ounce buzzbait. He also earned $323 as the co-angler big-bass winner with a 4-pound bass.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kirby Hebert II of New Iberia (four bass, 10 pounds, 4 ounces, $908); David White of Lafayette (three bass, 9 pounds, 8 ounces, $618); Gonnie Gautreau of St. Amant (three bass, 9 pounds, 2 ounces, $472); and Brad Bergeron of Youngsville (five bass, 8 pounds, 12 ounces, $400).
The Louisiana Division’s next stop will be June 12 on the Red River in Natchitoches, and the regular season will come to a close Oct. 2-3 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Atchafalaya Basin near Morgan City.
Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Toledo Bend regional near Many, La., Oct. 12-16, where they will compete against anglers from the Arkie, Okie and Ozark 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 Louisiana 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.