Walmart Bass Fishing League - Regional
Fort Madison (Oct. 5-7, 2006)
FORT MADISON, Iowa — Boater Curtis Samo of Rochelle, Ill., earned a fully rigged Ranger 519VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional event on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Illini, Ozark, Great Lakes and Michigan divisions competed in the three-day event.
Samo’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 39 pounds, 11 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, he earned a ticket to the 2007 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American, one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing, where the winning boater will earn as much as $140,000 and the winning co-angler will earn as much as $70,000.
The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the regional championship earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Bull Gretten of Blue Grass, Iowa (15 bass, 35 pounds, 10 ounces, $4,000); Corey Eutler of Springfield, Mo. (15 bass, 35 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,000); Jeff Benson of Holmen, Wis. (15 bass, 35 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,600); Rick Miller of Bettendorf, Iowa (15 bass, 35 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,200); and Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Ill. (14 bass, 33 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,000).
Gretten also earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Doug Macchia of Kenosha, Wis., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Paul Stokes of Grand Ledge, Mich. (nine bass, 24 pounds, 7 ounces, $2,000); Eric Brantley of Springfield, Mo. (nine bass, 23 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,000); Fredrick Worrell of Lincoln Park, Mich. (nine bass, 21 pounds, 10 ounces, $800); Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind. (nine bass, 19 pounds, 11 ounces, $600); and Jerry Mull of Chatham, Ill. (eight bass, 18 pounds, 13 ounces, $500).
As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament series. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt, Ranger pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com