March 17, 2001
EUFAULA, Ala. - Mike York of Jackson, Ga., outpaced 188 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces to win $5,815 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division tournament on Lake Eufaula.
York edged out Rick Gunter of Holly Hill, Fla., by 1 pound, 12 ounces in the one-day event that set out from Lake Point State Park. Gunter finished with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces to win $2,907. One of his bass, a 7-pound, 11-ounce heavyweight that he landed on a spinnerbait, earned Gunter an additional $940 as the boater Big Bass.
York caught his limit using a spinnerbait and lipless crankbait while fishing flooded bushes at the south end of the lake near White Oak.
Jeff Routch of Macon, Ga., took third place and collected $1,454 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 3 ounces. He also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Dewey Matt of Stockbridge, Ga., placed fourth and earned $1,260 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces, while Tony King of Macon, Ga., placed fifth and earned $1,163 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,907 went to Ronald Ham of Cusseta, Ga., who topped 188 competitors with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,454 went to Wesley Frye of Warner Robins, Ga., with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces, while Doug Corman of Hinesville, Ga., took third place and $727 with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces.
Gary Fowler of Gordon, Ga., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $470 with a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass that he caught on a Texas-rigged worm while fishing the southern end of the lake.
Overall, 663 bass weighing 1,554 pounds, 8 ounces were caught during the tournament, including 41 five bass limits.
On April 7, the BFL will visit Lake Lanier for the third of five events in the Bulldog Division. The boater with the most points after the division's season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 29-30 on Lake Sinclair, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Bulldog Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 23-27 on Wateree Lake near Camden, S.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Gator, Mountain and Bama divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.