Walmart Bass Fishing League - Michigan
Detroit River (June 25, 2005)
TRENTON, Mich. — Boater Heath Wagner of Angola, Ind., earned $3,943 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division event on the Detroit River. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Michigan Division events and featured 124 boaters vying for the win, which earned Wagner 200 points in the Boater Division.
Wagner’s winning catch of five bass weighed 21 pounds. Wagner fished a jerk worm to catch his bass. He earned an additional $620 for Boater Division big-bass award honors with a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass and another $1,000 as winner of the Garmin Grand award.
Finishing second was Patrick Goodman of White Pigeon with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce that earned him $1,972. Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio claimed $1,292 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces. In fourth was Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,004, and finishing fifth and earning $824 was Ray Hinchcliff of Bowerston, Ohio with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces.
Goodman earned an additional $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup and Powered by Yamaha awards.
Todd Robbins of Romulus earned $1,940 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces that he caught on tubes.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chris Gutuskey of Tecumseh (five bass, 17 pounds, 9 ounces, $970); Keith Simms of Toledo, Ohio and Bart Say of Van Wert, Ohio tied for third place. Each co-angler caught five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces worth $563. Dennis Helka of Dearborn finished in fifth place (five bass, 16 pounds, 6 ounces, $406).
Frederick Worrell of Lincoln Park earned $305 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught on a crankbait.
The Michigan Division’s next event will be held July 9 on the Detroit River near Trenton, followed by an event on Muskegon Lake near Muskegon July 30. The fourth-qualifying event will be held Aug. 20 on the Detroit River near Trenton. The Michigan Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 10-11 with a two-day Super Tournament on the Detroit River near Trenton.
Following the regular season, the Michigan 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 Michigan Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Ohio River Regional near Paducah, Ky., Oct. 11-15 where they will compete against Arkie, Hoosier and Great Lakes 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.