Walmart Bass Fishing League - Regional
Wheeler Lake (Oct. 21-23, 2004)
ROGERSVILLE, Ala. — Boater Grant Goldbeck of Gaithersburg, Md., leads the list of six anglers who earned a ticket to the 2005 All-American at this weekend’s Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Wheeler Lake Regional. Qualifying anglers from four BFL divisions advanced to the regional, and Goldbeck topped the leaderboard with a three-day catch weighing 32 pounds, 11 ounces that earned him a new Chevy truck and an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers from the Bulldog, LBL, Mountain and Shenandoah divisions comprised the Wheeler Lake Regional field, and Goldbeck ranked No. 1 in Shenandoah Division points standings to earn a regional berth. He caught 14 pounds, 12 ounces on day one and followed that up with another 4 pounds, 13 ounces on day two, and he wrapped up the win with a final-day catch that weighed 13 pounds, 2 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a tube just six miles from the launch site at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville.
Goldberg also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Garmin also awarded him $1,000 for using qualifying Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Rounding out Boater Division anglers heading to the All-American are Robert Langford of Danville, Ky. (29 pounds, 14 ounces, $5,000); Brad Burkhart of Speedwell, Tenn. (28 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,500); John Pearson of Perry, Ga. (26 pounds, 5 ounces, $2,000); Brian Hickey of Cadiz, Ky. (24 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,500); and Britt Cone of Benton, Ky. (18 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,100).
Cloverdale, Va., resident John Vest won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 22 pounds, 4 ounces. He caught his winning stringer on a crankbait. Vest advanced to the regional from the Shenandoah Division, where he ranked 26th in year-end points standings. He won an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat for his regional win.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers who will advance to the All-American are Joseph Brockman of Clarksville, Tenn. (22 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,500); John Skipper of Dothan (20 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,250); Steve Caudill of Morehead, Ky. (17 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,000); David Lambert of Middletown, Ohio (15 pounds, 9 ounces, $750); and Warren Palmer of Lexington, Ky. (13 pounds, 14 ounces, $550).
All-American qualifiers from the Wheeler Lake Regional will join competitors that advance from five other regionals plus the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American field of 42 boaters and 42 co-anglers. The All-American is one of the most prestigious and storied events in competitive bass fishing as well as one of the most lucrative – the winning boater will earn $100,000 cash and the winning boater will earn $50,000 cash. The location and date of the 2005 All-American will be announced at a later date.
In regional competition, the full field competes for two days to determine the top six that advance to day three, where they compete for position and prizes. All six automatically advance to the All-American.
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, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its eight 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.