Walmart Bass Fishing League - Buckeye
Lake Erie/Sandusky (Sept. 10-11, 2005)
SANDUSKY, Ohio — Boater Chuck Willis of Dayton earned $4,756 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Super Tournament event on Lake Erie. The tournament earned Willis 300 points in the Boater Division. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Willis’s winning catch of 10 bass weighed 40 pounds, 15 ounces. He was fishing Canadian waters with a goby lure on a drop-shot rig when he caught his bass.
Finishing second was Donald Sibley of Strasburg with 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him $2,322. Gary Becker of St. Marys claimed $1,132 as the third-place finisher thanks to nine bass weighing 36 pounds, 3 ounces. In fourth was Jim Hull of Sidney with seven bass weighing 32 pounds, 8 ounces worth $1,019, and finishing fifth and earning $906 was Jeff Melsop of East Liberty with nine bass weighing 29 pounds, 2 ounces.
Gary Ginter of Maplewood took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $770 for a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a goby-imitation lure.
Rob Sierschula of Huber Heights earned $2,378 as the co-angler winner, thanks to seven bass weighing 29 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught on drop-shot rigged tube baits.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kenney Mitchell of Franklin (nine bass, 28 pounds, $1,161); Mark Maxwell of Dayton (seven bass, 26 pounds, 9 ounces, $566); Lawni Ziegler of Loudonville (six bass, 25 pounds, 12 ounces, $510); and Merny Gross of St. Marys (eight bass, 25 pounds, 6 ounces, $453).
Ziegler earned $385 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass he caught on a goby-imitating lure.
Following the regular season, the Buckeye 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.
The top 40 Buckeye 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 Illini, LBL 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 FLWOutdoors.com.
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.