Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
Guntersville (Feb. 26, 2005)
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Boater Tim Buckner of Scottsboro earned $3,563 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division event on Guntersville Lake. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Choo Choo Division events and featured 108 boaters vying for the win, which earned Buckner 200 points in the Boater Division.
Buckner’s winning catch of five bass weighed 27 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught them while fishing a red Rat-L-Trap around grass and stumps.
Finishing second was Shannon Devere of Berea, Ky., with five bass weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces that earned him $1,781. Randall Tharp of Gardendale claimed $1,168 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 23 pounds, 5 ounces. In fourth was Dennis Tweed of Charleston, Tenn., with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces worth $907, and finishing fifth and earning $745 was OB Wilborn of Stevenson with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces.
In addition, Buckner took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $540 for an 8-pound, 8-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a red Rat-L-Trap. Buckner also won an additional $1,000 as the Ranger Cup award winner.
William Kees Jr. of Coalfield, Tenn., bested 108 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $1,781 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught on jigs and red Rat-L-Traps.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Justin Pruett of Cullman (five bass, 17 pounds, 11 ounces, $891); Kent T. Lodari of Seymour, Tenn. (three bass, 17 pounds, 7 ounces, $582); Joshua Tabor of Cleveland, Tenn. (five bass, 16 pounds, 7 ounces, $453); and Jimmy F. Carruth of Athens (four bass, 15 pounds, 2 ounces, $372).
In addition, Lodari earned $270 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 13-ounce bass.
The Choo Choo Division’s next event will be held March 19 on Chickamauga Lake near Hixson, Tenn., followed by an event on Wheeler Lake near Rogersville April 30. The fourth event will be held May 21 on Lake Weiss near Cedar Bluff. The Choo Choo Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 10-11 with a two-day Super Tournament on Watts Barr Lake near Rockwood, Tenn.
Following the regular season, the Choo Choo 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 Choo Choo Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Clarks Hill Lake Regional near Augusta, Ga., Oct. 11-15 where they will compete against Dixie, North Carolina and Shenandoah 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.