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Walmart Bass Fishing League - Savannah River
Keowee (Feb. 14, 2004)
Dearth wins season opener on Lake Keowee
SENECA, S.C. — The 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division season kicked off Saturday on Lake Keowee near Seneca, and Kevin Dearth of Cumming, Ga., claimed the win thanks to a five-bass catch weighing 11 pounds, 13 ounces. He bested 198 Boater Division competitors to earn $4,986 and 200 points.
Dearth claimed the victory at his first career Savannah River Division event. He had previously fished occasional Bulldog Division tournaments en route to the win, his first.
Finishing second was Marty Robinson of Greer with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 4 ounces worth $2,493. Tied for third were Chris Baxter of Monroe, Ga., and Jason Buller of Thomson, Ga. Each caught five bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces that earned them $1,495. Eddie Roberts of Elberton, Ga., finished fifth with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,097.
Robinson claimed Boater Division big-bass honors and $990 thanks to a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass. Alan Poston of Travelers Rest earned $500 as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and another $250 from Yamaha because his Ranger was powered by a Yamaha outboard.
Kevin Goldsmith of Hendersonville, N.C., earned $2,493 as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to a five-bass catch that weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces. He edged past 198 Co-angler Division competitors to claim the win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are John Howard of Hartwell, Ga. (five bass, 9 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,247); Derek Schlotterback of Simpsonville (five bass, 8 pounds, 5 ounces, $848); Scott Hoopaugh of Hull, Ga. (five bass, 8 pounds, 4 ounces, $648); and Brad Benfield of Demorest, Ga. (five bass, 7 pounds, 13 ounces, $548).
Sandy Thornton of Elberton, Ga., earned $495 as the Co-angler Division big-bass winner with a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass. Thornton finished 29th thanks to the one bass.
The Savannah River Division’s next stop will be March 6 on Lake Russell near Elberton, Ga. Each BFL division features four one-day events followed by a two-day Super Tournament to round out the regular season. The top 30 Savannah River Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kerr Lake regional near Henderson, N.C., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against Carolina, Buckeye and Northeast division anglers for a slot in the 2005 All-American. The winning boater at the All-American receives $100,000 cash, making it one of the most lucrative and prestigious championship events in 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 Savannah River 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 visit FLWOutdoors.com.
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.