June 6, 2009
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - Tim Smiley of White Pine, Tenn., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Volunteer Division tournament on Lake Cherokee Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces. The victory earned Smiley $4,000 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Norman Regional Championship in Lake Norman, N.C., Oct. 22-24, where he could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck. "Winning one of these isn't easy to do," said Smiley, who has racked up 17 BFL top-10 finishes. "There's a lot of good fisherman out there." Smiley said he caught his fish by targeting brush and points in the mid-lake area. Smiley said a jig accounted for all of his fish except for his biggest. That bass fell for a Zara Spook. Rounding out the top five places are Randy Brown of Mosheim, Tenn., and Ricky Shepherd of Mosheim, Tenn., each with five bass, 14-13, $1,667 (tied for second); Rex Huff of Corbin, Ky. (five bass, 13-6, $933, fourth place); Brad Burkhart of Speedwell, Tenn. (five bass), Brandon Card of Caryville, Tenn. (four bass) and Larry Horton of Bluefield, W. Va. (five bass) each totaling 12-14 and earning $733 (tied for fifth). Brown and Archie Wilson Jr. of Corryton, Tenn., shared the Boater Division Big Bass award, earning $270 each for a pair of 4-pound, 7-ounce bass. Jason Meade of Knoxville, Tenn., earned $2,000 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces that he caught on a soft-plastic worm. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Don Carmack of Middlesboro, Ky. (five bass, 11-5, $1,000); Gary Martin of Lenoir City, Tenn. (five bass, 10-14, $666); Delmer Wyatt of Crossville, Tenn. (four bass, 10-8, $467); and Bill Denton of Bean Station, Tenn., and Ron Nelson of Kodak, Tenn. (each with five bass, 10-0, $383, tied for fifth). Wyatt earned $270 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass. The next Volunteer Division event will be a two-day Super Tournament held on Watts Bar Lake in Rockwood, Tenn., Sept. 26-27. The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL's 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee 2010 Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour. In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers. As the nation's leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament circuit. Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament. FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player's Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win. 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.