Walmart Bass Fishing League - Arkie
Ouachita (March 11, 2006)
MT. IDA, Ark. — Boater Terry Hopson of Pine Bluff, Ark., earned $5,796 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division event on Lake Ouachita. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Arkie Division events and featured 189 boaters vying for the win, which earned Hopson 200 points in the Boater Division.
Hopson’s winning catch of five bass weighed 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Hopson caught his bass in a foot of water on a Rat-L-Trap. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Bombardier bonus award.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Doyle Cain of Royal, Ark. (five bass, 19 pounds, 15 ounces, $2,898); Gary Cates of Little Rock, Ark. (five bass, 16 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,934); Kevin Reynolds of Bentonville, Ark. (five bass, 16 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,352) and Brandon Rhoden of Grapevine, Ark. (five bass, 16 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,159).
Cain took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $945 for a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught on a jerkbait. He earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Brian Choate of Conway, Ark., earned $2,837 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces that he caught fishing in 12 foot grass beds with a jerkbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Justin Winston of Sheridan, Ark. (five bass, 12 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,418); Kevin Harp of Fayetteville, Ark., (four bass, 12 pounds, 14 ounces, $947) Bryce Smith of Russellville, Ark., (five bass, 12 pounds, 7 ounces, $662) and William Springborg of Blytheville, Ark. (four bass, 11 pounds, 2 ounces, $567).
Bubba McVay of Springdale, Ark., earned $462 as the co-angler big-bass award winner, thanks to a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on a white spinnerbait.
Arkie Division anglers will next visit DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia, Ark., April 8 for their second regular-season event, followed by an event on Greers Ferry in Greers Ferry, Ark., May 6. The division’s fourth qualifying event will be held at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark., June 17. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Hamilton in Hot springs, Ark., Sept. 30-31. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse FLWOutdoors.com.
Following the regular season, the Arkie 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 Arkie Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Wright Patman Regional Championship near Texarkana, Texas, where they will compete against Cowboy, Louisiana and Okie division 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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, as well as the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners’ 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. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006.
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.