Walmart Bass Fishing League - Empire
Champlain (Sept. 24-25, 2005)
TICONDEROGA, N.Y. — Boater Jim Sweeney of West Dover, Vt., earned $6,327 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Empire Division Super Tournament event on Lake Champlain. The tournament earned Sweeney 300 points in the Boater Division.
Sweeney’s winning catch of 10 bass weighed 35 pounds, 9 ounces. Sweeney threw a Norman crankbait and a jig around weedlines within five miles of the launch ramp to catch his bass. Sweeney earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Garmin Grand award.
Finishing second was Dean Meckes of Clayton with 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 14 ounces that earned him $3,088. Jamie Hartman of Poland claimed $1,506 as the third-place finisher thanks to 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 12 ounces. In fourth was Bill Corbin of Southbury, Conn., with 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 15 ounces worth $1,356, and finishing fifth and earning $1,205 was Jason Mordhorst of Hillsdale, N.J., with 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 13 ounces.
Meckes earned $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Dennis Bligh of Newburyport, Mass., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $1,260 for a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a green-pumpkin tube.
Richard French of Newfield earned $3,163 as the co-angler winner, thanks to 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces that he caught on buzzbaits, Yamamoto Senkos and jigs.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Tony Dorman of Springville, Pa. (10 bass, 27 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,544); Chris Girouard of Epsom, N.H. (10 bass, 27 pounds, 4 ounces, $753); Chris Murdoch of Hilton (10 bass, 25 pounds, 7 ounces, $678); and Jon Putman of Carthage (10 bass, 24 pounds, 11 ounces, $603).
Alphonse Gratton of Enosburg Falls, Vt., earned $630 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught on a green Scum Frog.
Following the regular season, the Empire 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 Empire Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kerr Lake Regional near Henderson, N.C., Oct. 18-22 where they will compete against Mountain, Northeast and Music City 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.