UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Missourian Rick Clunn still leads chase for $200,000

Field cut to final five in $1 Million FLW Tour Wal-Mart Open

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - The final round of the FLW Tour's $1 Million Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake will feature a showdown between some of the sport's most successful fishermen including Friday's leader Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., who caught a five-bass limit weighing 13-pounds, 13-ounces.

The final-five competitors will start from scratch Saturday for a shot at $200,000.

"We like to think that we fish every tournament to win," said Clunn, who is one of the winningest anglers of all times. "But sometimes we get caught up in points standings and other aspects of the tournament. I have to force myself to be disciplined. We've got one more quarter to go."

Joining Clunn in the high-stakes final round are Carl Svebek III of Sam Rayburn, Texas, who qualified in second place with five bass weighing 12-14; Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga., in third with five bass weighing 11-9; Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., in fourth with five bass weighing 9-6; and Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, in fifth with five bass weighing 8-11.

Each contestant will fish from a specially designed Ranger Comanche fishing machine with distinctive NASCAR-type styling. Adorned with corporate logos, each boat is powered by a highly efficient RAM Ficht-injected 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.

Mike Cooper of Branson, Mo., edged out Darrell Stevens of Roseland, Va., in the Co-Angler Division Friday to win $40,000 plus a year's supply of CITGO gasoline with a five-bass catch weighing 6-10. Stevens caught three bass weighing 6-7 to collect $20,000.

"I'm in trouble," Cooper joked. "I told my wife that if I ever won over $10,000 we would buy a new house, but I would sure like to use the money to go fishing more."

Local favorite Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark., who dominated the Co-Angler Division during the first round, fell to sixth place with two bass weighing 1-15. He collected $6,000 for his effort.

Rounding out the top spots in the Co-Angler Division were Troy Pickett of Roberta, Ga., with five bass weighing 6-2; James Green of Lincoln, Ala., with five bass weighing 5-2; and TR Fuller of Auburn, Ala., with three bass weighing 3-0.

Competition resumes at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at Prairie Creek Marina in Rogers, Ark. The final weigh-in, which will be broadcast live to Wal-Mart Stores nationwide and taped for ESPN, begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 406 South Walton Blvd. in Bentonville. The weigh-in will air as part of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour series on ESPN at 1:30 p.m. EST May 14.

Run by Operation Bass Inc., the world's largest bass tournament organization, the $4.4 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour historically maintains a 98-percent live release rate. If the FLW Tour continues the rate through 2000, BFGoodrich Tires will donate $25,000 to the Children's Miracle Network. The tour is the most lucrative series in fishing history.

The Beaver Lake tournament is presented by Evinrude Outboards.

Tags: press-release  2000-04-12-beaver-lake 

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