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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo

    Weiss Lake (March 22, 2008)


    Dukes wins Wal-Mart BFL event on Weiss Lake

    Boater Phillip Dukes of Rainsville, Ala., won the March 22 BFL Choo Choo Division tournament on Weiss Lake to earn $4,546.

    CEDAR BLUFF, Ala. — Boater Phillip Dukes of Rainsville, Ala., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament on Weiss Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned Dukes $4,546 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Seminole Regional Championship in Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 16-18, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.

    “I’ve been fishing for a long time, and it’s a big accomplishment,” said Dukes, who has two previous second-place finishes in BFL events on Weiss Lake. “I’m tickled to death to win this one.”

    Dukes targeted spotted bass with shallow crankbaits early on gravel points, stumps and roadbeds. Once he got a limit, he searched for a bigger largemouth to add to his stringer, but was unable to catch the kicker fish.

    “I’d like to thank my dad for carrying me fishing all of these years,” Dukes said. “We’ve always had a big time fishing together. We’ve fished team trails together and competed against each other a lot, and he finished seventh in this event.”

    Rounding out the top five boaters are Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala. (five bass, 17-3, $2,675); Evan Cooper of Rainsville, Ala. (five bass, 16-6, $1,782); Steve Burchfield of New Hope, Ala. (five bass, 13-11, $1,248) and Jeff Cannon of Douglasville, Ga. (five bass, 13-0, $1,025).

    Burchfield took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $850 for a 7-pound, 2-ounce bass he caught on a gold Rat-L-Trap.

    Dusty Dowdy of Adairsville, Ga., earned $2,675 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces that he caught while fishing a jig in 3 to 8 feet of water.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Danny Moss of Glencoe, Ala. (five bass, 13-13, $1,337); Tony Anderson of Unionville, Tenn. (five bass, 11-9, $891); Scott Curvin of Jacksonville, Ala. (five bass, 9-7, $624) and Barry Holbert of Fairmount, Ga. (five bass, 9-2, $535).

    Warren Lindley of Smyrna, Ga., earned $425 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass he caught on a green pumpkin lizard fished on a Carolina rig.

    Choo Choo Division anglers will visit Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., April 19 for their third regular-season event. The division’s fourth qualifying event will be held on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Ala., June 21. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Guntersville Lake in Scottsboro, Ala., 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 Lake Seminole 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 offers 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 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 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 or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit

    Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.