FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
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Walmart Bass Fishing League - LBL
Kentucky/Barkley Lake (March 12, 2005)
Hipsher takes Wal-Mart BFL event on Kentucky, Barkley lakes
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. — Boater Craig Hipsher of Benton earned $5,489 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League LBL Division event on Kentucky/Barkley Lake. The tournament was the first of five regular-season LBL Division events and featured 200 boaters vying for the win, which earned Hipsher 200 points in the Boater Division.
Hipsher’s winning catch of five bass weighed 23 pounds, 5 ounces. He caught his bass on a jerkbait south of Egner’s Ferry Bridge on Kentucky Lake within 10 minutes on back-to-back casts.
Finishing second was Billy Schroeder of Paducah with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him $2,744. Schroeder won an additional $750 as the Ranger Cup award winner and the Powered by Yamaha award winner. Brad Holmes of Crofton claimed $1,793 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces. In fourth was Gerald Andrews of Benton with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces worth $1,397, and finishing fifth and earning $1,148 was Keith White of Paducah with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces.
Tom Hill of Lexington took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $990 for an 8-pound, 6-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a spinnerbait.
Ronda Kirby of Indianapolis, Ind., bested 200 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,758 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces that she caught on a black and blue jig.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jeff Sheehan of Louisville (three bass, 11 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,379); Chris Jones of Paducah (two bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $907); Lee James of Dawson Springs (three bass, 9 pounds, 7 ounces, $702) and Mark Walls of Paducah (two bass, 8 pounds, 8 ounces, $526).
David Dieling of Elmhurst, Ill., tied for fifth with Walls, winning $526 and earned an additional $498 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with an 8-pound, 8-ounce bass he caught on a jerkbait.
The LBL Division’s next event will be held April 9 on Kentucky/Barkley Lake near Cadiz, followed by an event on Kentucky/Barkley Lake near Kuttawa May 7. The fourth-qualifying event will be held on Kentucky/Barkley Lake near Hardin June 25. The LBL Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 24-25 with a two-day Super Tournament on Kentucky/Barkley Lake near Kuttawa.
Following the regular season, the LBL Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion in the Co-angler Division.
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. The top 40 LBL Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Cherokee Regional near Morristown, Tenn., Oct. 4-8 where they will compete against Buckeye, Illini and Piedmont Division anglers for one of six slots in the 2006 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $8.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.