Walmart Bass Fishing League - Louisiana/Texas
Atchafalaya Basin (Feb. 19, 2005)
BELLE RIVER, La. — Boater Billy Billeaud of Lafayette earned $3,848 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Louisiana Division event on the Atchafalaya Basin. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Louisiana Division events and featured 121 boaters vying for the win, which earned Billeaud 200 points in the Boater Division.
Billeaud’s winning catch of five bass weighed 15 pounds, 11 ounces. He was fishing a black and blue Falcon jig around wood in the Wax Lake canal. Billeaud said the fish hit the jig on the fall.
Finishing second was Kevin Lafleur of Opelousas with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces that earned him $1,924. Jeremy Guidry of Opelousas claimed $1,255 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. In fourth was Brent Bonadona of Port Allen with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces worth $979, and finishing fifth and earning $805 was Rocky Roussel of Morgan City with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces.
Bill England of Denham Springs took Boater Division big-bass honors, earning $605 for a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a black and blue jig.
In addition, Boater John Lemaire of Abbeville earned $750 as the Ranger Cup and Powered by Yamaha Award recipient.
John Kerr of Walker bested 119 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $1,913 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces that he caught on a watermelon and red Horny Toad.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bill Fussell of Thibodaux (five bass, 12 pounds, 15 ounces, $957); David Parker of Baton Rouge (four bass, 12 pounds, 10 ounces, $629); Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., (five bass, 11 pounds, 14 ounces, $487); and A J Weathers of Denham Springs (five bass, 11 pounds, 2 ounces, $400).
Derek Hundall of Denham Springs earned $298 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught on a watermelon and red Brush Hog.
The Louisiana Division’s next event will be held Lake D’arbonne near Farmerville March 19, followed by an event on Bayou Black near Gibson April 16. The Louisiana Division’s fourth event will be held on the Red River near Natchitoches May 21 and it will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 on the Atchafalaya Basin with a two-day Super Tournament near Belle River.
Following the regular season, the Louisiana 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 Louisiana Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Ouachita Regional near Hot Springs, Ark., Oct. 18-22 where they will compete against Cowboy, Okie and Ozark 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.