Walmart Bass Fishing League - Shenandoah
James River (July 17, 2004)
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Boater Division competitor Richard Heath Jr. of Beaverdam earned $4,212 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division event on the James River near Williamsburg. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Shenandoah Division events. The regular season will wrap up Sept. 25-26 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Potomac River in Woodbridge.
Heath bested 160 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces that he caught on a crankbait and worm. He also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Scott Banton of Richmond (five bass, 12 pounds, 7 ounces, $2,106); Terry Olinger of The Plains (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,432); Steve Colgin of Lanexa (five bass, 11 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,095); and Dee Rose of Charles City (three bass, 9 pounds, 13 ounces, $927).
Sam Westbrook of Petersburg earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Rose earned $800 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass that he caught on a Tiki Stick.
Jeff Claiborne of Suffolk won the 158-competitor Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass flipping a Zoom Finesse Worm and earned $2,103 for the win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Arthur Conley of Petersburg (four bass, 6 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,051); Mickey Pettry of Manassas (five bass, 5 pounds, 6 ounces, $715); James Seay of Richmond (four bass, 4 pounds, 8 ounces, $547); and Mark Deagle of Williamsburg (two bass, 4 pounds, 5 ounces, $463).
Tom Nash of Mount Airy, Md., caught a 4-pound, 4-ounce bass to win Co-angler Division big-bass honors and $395.
Following the regular season, the top 30 Shenandoah Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wheeler Lake regional near Rogersville, Ala., Oct. 19-23. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Bulldog, LBL and Mountain 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 Shenandoah 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 register online at 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.