Walmart Bass Fishing League - Buckeye
Grand Lake St. Marys (May 20, 2006)
ST. MARYS, Ohio — Boater Kenneth Meek of Vincent, Ohio, earned $4,575 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Buckeye event on Grand Lake. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Buckeye Division events and earned Meeks 200 points in the Boater Division.
Meek's winning catch of five bass weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces. He was slow rolling a black jig to catch his bass.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Chris Niekamp of Celina, Ohio (four bass, 8 pounds, 9 ounces, $2,288); David Calebaugh of Parkersburg, Ohio (three bass, 7 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,525); Sean Sink of Huber Heights, Ohio (four bass, 7 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,068); and Greg Finchum of London, Ohio tied for fifth with Jay Jefferies of Celina, Ohio (four bass, 6 pounds, 8 ounces, $877).
Sean Sink earned an additional $500 for being the highest placing Range Cup participant.
Craig Ambos of Botkins, Ohio, took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $665 for a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a tube.
Greg Rutschilling of Perrysburg, Ohio, bested Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,214 thanks to four bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces that he caught on a crankbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jason Taylor of Walton, Ky. (three bass, 7 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,107); William Fieler of Cincinnati, Ohio (three bass, 7 pounds, 3 ounces, $738); Steve Sorrell of Dayton, Ohio (four bass, 6 pounds, 4 ounces, $517); and Timothy McCue of Indianapolis, Ind. (three bass, 5 pounds, 2 ounces, $443).
Brian Johnson of Wilmington, Ohio, earned $317 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught on a four-inch watermelon worm.
The Buckeye Division's next event will be held June 17 on the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Ind., followed by an event on Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, July 22. The fourth regular-season qualifying tournament will be held Aug. 19 on the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg. The Buckeye Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 16 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Erie near Sandusky.
Following the regular season, the Buckeye Division boater with the most points who advances farthest in the Wal-Mart BFL All-American will earn $10,000 as the Yamaha "Be the Best" points champion. The co-angler points champion who advances farthest will earn $5,000 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 Buckeye Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kentucky Lake Regional near Gilbertsville, Ky., Oct. 19-21, where they will compete against Bama, Hoosier and Mountain anglers for one of six slots in the 2007 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 $8.8 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 nine other national tournament circuits offering a combined $35.5 million in awards through 235 events in 2006. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren 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, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series 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.