Walmart Bass Fishing League - Savannah River
Russell (March 5, 2005)
ELBERTON, Ga. — Boater Rick Steckelberg of Gainesville earned $4,613 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division event on Lake Russell. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Savannah River Division events and featured 154 boaters vying for the win, which earned Steckelberg 200 points in the Boater Division.
Steckelberg’s winning catch of five bass weighed 14 pounds, 15 ounces.
Finishing second was Dale Gibson of Cleveland with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces that earned him $2,307. Gibson earned an additional $500 as the Ranger Cup Award winner. Casey Ashley of Honea Path, S.C., and Marty Robinson of Greer, S.C., tied for third. Each angler caught five bass weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,341. Finishing fifth and earning $965 was Craig Johnson of Martinez with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce.
Michael Chandler of Fair Play, S.C., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $770 for a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Brian Porter of Seneca, S.C., earned $2,307 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Keith Hutto of Augusta (four bass, 12 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,153); Mike Bowman of Boiling Springs, S.C. (three bass, 10 pounds, 8 ounces, $757); Bobby Thornton of Greer, S.C. (three bass, 10 pounds, $587); and Terry Martin of Piedmont, S.C. (five bass, 9 pounds, 5 ounces, $482).
John Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C., earned $385 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 7-pound, 7-ounce bass.
The Savannah River Division’s next event will be held May 7 on Lake Hartwell near Seneca, S.C., followed by an event on Lake Keowee near Seneca, S.C., June 4. The Savannah River Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on Clarks Hill Lake near Augusta.
Following the regular season, the Savannah River 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 Savannah River Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Martin Regional near Alexander City, Ala., Oct. 18-22 where they will compete against Everglades, Gator and Mississippi 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.