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    Walmart Bass Fishing League - Choo Choo

    Wheeler Lake (April 19, 2008)


    Wilborn wins BFL event on Wheeler Lake

    Boater Eric Wilborn of Boaz, Ala., won the April 19 BFL Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake to earn $3,990.

    DECATUR, Ala. — Boater Eric Wilborn of Boaz, Ala., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament on Wheeler Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. The victory earned Wilborn $3,990 plus a $704 Ranger contingency bonus 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.

    “It was one of those days where everything went right,” Wilborn said. “I didn’t really think I was on that many fish; I just caught one here and one there and just hit it lucky.”

    Wilborn caught his limit throwing a spinnerbait early in the morning, but caught most of his fish when he switched to a jig.

    Rounding out the top five boaters are Bryan Gregory of Fort Payne, Ala. (five bass, 15-8, $2,348); Johnny Patterson of Grant, Ala. (five bass, 14-14, $1,565); Jason Hill of Decatur, Ala. (five bass, 14-13, $1,096); and Brian Merriman of Falkville, Ala. (five bass, 14-8, $939).

    Jake Moody of Muscle Shoals, Ala., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $700 for a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass he caught on flipping a jig.

    Tim Cummings of Waynesboro, Tenn., earned $2,348 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces that he caught in shallow grass on a Rat-L-Trap and big worm.

    Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jonathan Fleming of Russellville, Ala. (five bass, 10-10, $977); James McLemore of Phil Campbell, Ala. (five bass, 10-10, $977); Hank Bussman of Hartselle, Ala. (five bass, 10-6, $548); and David Eyrse of Collinsville, Ala. (five bass, 10-5, $470).

    Brad Smead of Decatur, Ala., earned $350 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught on a spinnerbait on the south end of the lake.

    Choo Choo Division anglers will visit Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Ala., June 21 for their fourth regular-season event. A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on Lake Guntersville 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.