Walmart Bass Fishing League - Mississippi
Ross Barnett (March 15, 2008)
BRANDON, Miss. — Boater Gene Brown of West Point, Miss., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned Brown $4,363 plus a $769 Ranger contingency bonus and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Wheeler Lake Regional Championship in Decatur, Ala., Oct. 9-11, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Kenny Churchill of Jackson, Miss. (five bass, 16-5, $2,566) Jason Hannah of Forest, Miss. (five bass, 12-15, $1,710); Roger Stegall of Iuka, Miss. (five bass, 12-0, $1,198) and Shannon Denson of Brandon, Miss. (five bass, 11-8, $1,027).
Steve Jones of Moss Point, Miss., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $800 for a 6-pound, 11-ounce bass.
Ray Higginbotham of Brooksville, Miss., earned $2,566 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Fred Schoenrock of Forkland, Ala. (three bass, 11-0, $1,283); Greg Hamblin of New Albany, Miss. (three bass, 10-12, $855); Sammy Mitchell of Russellville, Ala. (two bass, 8-14, $599) and Clint Holland of Millington, Tenn. (three bass, 8-4, $513).
Schoenrock earned $400 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 7-pound bass.
Mississippi Division anglers will visit Tom Bigby/JP Coleman in Iuka, Miss., April 12 for their second regular-season event, followed by an event on the Columbus Pool in Columbus, Miss., May 17. The division’s fourth qualifying event will be held on Tunica Lake in Tunica, Miss., June 14. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Ferguson in Greenville, Miss., Sept. 6-7.
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 Wheeler Lake 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 will be awarding the largest fantasy sports payout in history. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
The $8.8 million Wal-Mart 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, browse 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.