Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo
Guntersville (Feb. 25, 2006)
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Boater Bryan Douglas of Hazel Green, Ala., earned $6,000 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division event on Lake Guntersville. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Choo Choo Division events and featured 200 boaters vying for the win, which earned Douglas 200 points in the Boater Division.
Douglas’ winning catch of five bass weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces. Douglas threw a Rat-L-Trap over midlake hydrilla stubble in 5 to 7 feet of water to catch his bass. Interestingly, Douglas’ win, his first on the BFL, came on his birthday.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Clark Smith Jr. of Pell City, Ala. (five bass, 22 pounds, 3 ounces, $3,000); Steve Gautney of Decatur, Ala. (five bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,000); Kevin Stubblefield of Scottsboro (five bass, 20 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,400) and Matt Vanzant of Sylacauga, Ala. (five bass, 18 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,200).
Derek Hicks of Rocky Face, Ga., took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $1,000 for a 7-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught on a handmade jig.
Smith earned an additional $500 for the Ranger Cup award.
Carl Pritchett of Scottsboro, Ala., bested 200 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $3,000 as the co-angler winner, thanks to three bass weighing 19 pounds, 4 ounces that he caught while fishing a Rat-L-Trap. The bulk of Pritchett’s weight came from an astonishing 12-pounder that ties for the fifth-largest bass in the history of FLW Outdoors and the largest so far of 2006. That bass earned Pritchett an additional $500 for the big-bass award.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Greg Gilley of Boaz, Ala. (five bass, 17 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,500); Glen Black of Jacksonville, Fla., (four bass, 15 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,000) Alan Tatum of Ringgold, Ga., (four bass, 15 pounds, 5 ounces, $700) and in a fifth-place tie were Jeff Mason of Falkville, Ala., and Paul Higdon of Rainsville, Ala. Mason caught three bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce and Higdon caught four bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Both anglers earned $600.
The Choo Choo Division’s next event will be held March 25 on Wheeler Lake near Decatur, Ala., followed by an event on Weiss Lake near Centre, Ala., April 29. The fourth event will be held June 3 on Neely Henry near Gadsden, Ala., and the Choo Choo Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 23-24 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Guntersville near Scottsboro.
Following the regular season, the Choo Choo 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 Choo Choo Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Demopolis Regional Championship near Demopolis, Ala., Oct. 19-21 where they will compete against Everglades, Mississippi and Seminole 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. 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, 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.