Walmart Bass Fishing League - Empire
Oneida Lake (Aug. 30, 2008)
BREWERTON, N.Y. — Boater Frank Gulla of Utica, N.Y., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Empire Division tournament on Lake Oneida Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned Gulla $2,870 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Albemarle Sound Regional Championship in Elizabeth City, N.C., Oct. 9-11, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Gulla caught his Lake Oneida bass throwing topwater baits in 25 feet of water. This is his first tournament win with FLW Outdoors.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Marc Martino of Kinderhook, N.Y. (five bass, 14-8, $1,689); Gary Barone of State College, Pa. (five bass, 14-7, $1,128); Michael Yeager of Boyertown, Pa. (five bass, 14-6, $788) and Michael Morrin of Waterloo, N.Y. (five bass, 14-4, $675).
Micheal Durbak of Roscoe, N.Y., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $415 for a 3-pound, 14-ounce bass he caught near Big Bay on a black and blue Senko.
Bruce Hall of Oneonta, N.Y., earned $1,689 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught throwing grub near banks.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Michael Bahnweg of Union Dale, Pa. (five bass, 13-6, $704); Lawrence Laclair of Syracuse, N.Y. (five bass, 13-6, $704); Frank Microni of Oneonta, N.Y. (five bass, 13-5, $394) and Bill Spindler of Turnersville, N.J. (five bass, 13-3, $338).
Zachary Secrist of Caneadea, N.Y., earned $207 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught on a June-bug Senko.
A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Sept. 20-21.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Albemarle Sound Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing, FLW Outdoors offered anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.
The $8.8 million Walmart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.