UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Sappington wins $260,000 at Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship

SHREVEPORT, La. - John Sappington of Wyandotte, Okla., conquered a mean slot limit and competitive bracket format to claim $260,000 cash as the winner of the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship presented by Castrol on Cross Lake in Shreveport, La.

Sappington fished head-to-head Saturday against Gerald Swindle of Hayden, Ala., for the top cash prize and defeated him with a four-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces. Swindle caught five bass weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces to take second place and $55,000 cash.

"At some point you wonder when you are ever going to win," said Sappington, who caught his fish using a shallow-running crankbait that he painted late Friday night. "With this shoot-out, it worked out perfectly. The good thing about this is I fished for $260,000 against one person when we normally fish against lots of guys."

Sappington entered the championship as the No. 24 seed and became the No. 1 seed in the final round based on his three-day catch weighing 25 pounds, 6 ounces. He put together a string of top-15 finishes in 2002, including an 11th-place finish on Arkansas' Lake Ouachita in March, a 13th-place effort at the Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake in April and a fifth-place finish on Tennessee's Old Hickory Lake in May. This is Sappington's third year fishing the Wal-Mart FLW Tour as a pro and his second championship appearance. His Wal-Mart FLW Tour career earnings now total $347,762.

Swindle came into the championship as the No. 42 seed and climbed to the No. 2 seed in the final round based on his three-day catch weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces. He has amassed $409,500 in seven years on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. In 1998, he claimed $150,000 as the winner of the prestigious Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake near Rogers, Ark., and finished second in the same tournament in 2001. His Wal-Mart FLW Tour resume also includes top-10 finishes at two other venues.

"Coming into this, people said, `You only have to beat one guy,'" Swindle said. "But I was fishing against the only guy in the field who was catching them. It certainly was nerve-racking."

Brent Chapman of Shawnee, Kan., conquered Pat Fisher of Stone Mountain, Ga., to take the third-place cash award of $34,500 thanks his three bass weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Fisher earned $29,000 cash and fourth place with his three-bass catch weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces.

Competing for fifth- and sixth-place prize money were Aaron Martens of Castaic, Calif., and Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo. With a two-bass stringer weighing 2 pounds, 14 ounces, Hibdon took the fifth-place award of $25,500. Martens trailed him with one bass weighing 1 pound, 11 ounces to claim sixth place and $21,000 cash.

Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla., and Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., fished head-to-head for seventh- and eighth-place, and Schultz came out the victor with a three-bass catch weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces for $19,500 cash. Clunn's two-bass catch weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce netted him seventh place and $16,000 cash.

Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, overcame Kevin Vida of Clare, Mich., with one bass weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces to win the ninth-place cash award of $14,500. Vida came in empty-handed to finish 10th and earn $12,000 cash.

Fishing for 11th- and 12th-place cash prizes were Fuji pro Wes Thomas of Hanover, Ind., and Kellogg's pro Alvin Shaw of State Road, N.C. Shaw triumphed for 11th place and $11,000 with one bass weighing 13 ounces. Thomas took 12th and $10,000 despite bringing in an empty sack.

Competition began Wednesday with 96 anglers from more than a dozen states competing in two divisions, pro and co-angler. Anglers earned their championship berth based on points accumulated during six regular-season events. While Pro Division anglers fished bracket-style during the championship, Co-angler Division anglers fished against their field each day. Keith Pace of Monticello, Ark., took the co-angler crown Friday and won $30,000 cash.

Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Tour are Wal-Mart, ALPO Pet Foods, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Conseco, Eagle Electronics, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, Fujifilm, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Maxwell House, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, U.S. Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.

Tags: press-release  2002-09-11-championship 

Toyota Series Set to Visit Lake Erie for Northern Division Opener

Toyota Series Set to Visit Lake Erie for Northern Division Opener

SANDUSKY, Ohio – The 2020 Toyota Series will open the Northern Division with a tournament next week at Lake Erie, July 9-11, with the Toyota Series at Lake Erie. Hosted by the City of Sandusky, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a... READ MORE »

Iowa’s Riceville High School Wins 2020 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on Mississippi River

Iowa’s Riceville High School Wins 2020 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on Mississippi River

STODDARD, Wis. – Iowa’s Riceville High School duo of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite brought a three-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2020 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in Stoddard, Wisconsin. Riceville’s three-day total of nine bass totaling 30-4 gave them the win by a 1... READ MORE »

Scottsburg’s McClain and Noblesville’s Drake Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Monroe presented by Fish-Intel

Scottsburg’s McClain and Noblesville’s Drake Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Monroe presented by Fish-Intel

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after... READ MORE »

Sheridan’s Richmond Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Ouachita

Sheridan’s Richmond Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Ouachita

MOUNT IDA, Ark. (June 29, 2020) – Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen... READ MORE »

Skiatook’s Webb Wins Saturday, Eldon’s Fitzpatrick and Grove’s Gilbreath Tie Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Arkansas River

Skiatook’s Webb Wins Saturday, Eldon’s Fitzpatrick and Grove’s Gilbreath Tie Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced READ MORE »

Occoquan’s Pirowski Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Potomac River

Occoquan’s Pirowski Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Potomac River

MARBURY, Md. – Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337... READ MORE »

“FLW Fishing” to Premiere on Outdoor Channel  Friday, July 3

“FLW Fishing” to Premiere on Outdoor Channel Friday, July 3

BENTON, Ky. – FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today the 2020 season of “FLW Fishing” will debut on the Outdoor Channel, Friday, July 3 (7 to 9 p.m. EDT)... READ MORE »

Wheeler Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

Wheeler Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, caught a final-day five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 6 ounces to win $125,000 in the $1.3 million Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler topped his closest competitor, Cole... READ MORE »

Wheeler Reclaims Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

Wheeler Reclaims Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces Thursday to reclaim his lead in the $1.3 million Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler now holds a 4-pound, 13-ounce edge... READ MORE »

Texan Reyes Moves into Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

Texan Reyes Moves into Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. – Veteran FLW pro Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces – the largest limit weighed in the event – to capture the lead after day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga with a two-day catch of 10 bass... READ MORE »

Wheeler Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

Wheeler Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, crossed the weigh-in stage Tuesday with a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces to lead day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee. Wheeler now... READ MORE »

Jacksboro’s Faulkner Wins Saturday, Turner Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Norris Lake

Jacksboro’s Faulkner Wins Saturday, Turner Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Norris Lake

ANDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Andersonville with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Norris Lake events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic... READ MORE »

Pawnee’s Mull Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Shelbyville

Pawnee’s Mull Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League on Lake Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, Ill. – Boater Jeremy Mull of Pawnee, Illinois, earned the win Saturday at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Shelbyville after bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his victory, Mull earned a total of $4,463... READ MORE »

Mayesville’s Brunson Wins Saturday, Summerton’s Wolfe Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Santee Cooper

Mayesville’s Brunson Wins Saturday, Summerton’s Wolfe Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Summerton with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Santee Cooper events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus... READ MORE »

Grant’s Glasgow Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Guntersville

Grant’s Glasgow Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Guntersville

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – Boater Michael Glasgow of Grant, Alabama, brought a three-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro, Alabama. Glasgow earned a total of $6,261... READ MORE »

Drew Benton Wins Saturday, Kyle Welcher Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Eufaula

Drew Benton Wins Saturday, Kyle Welcher Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Eufaula

EUFAULA, Ala. – It was a double-header for weekend bass anglers this past weekend in Eufaula with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Eufaula events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced... READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Readies for Return of 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Lake Chickamauga Readies for Return of 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

DAYTON, Tenn. – After a three-month hiatus, FLW’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit returns June 23-26. The fourth regular-season tournament of the season – the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Chickamauga – will launch from the Dayton Boat Dock in Dayton, Tennessee. Hosted by Fish Dayton and the... READ MORE »

Sherrills Ford’s Morgan and New London’s Chandler Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on High Rock Lake

Sherrills Ford’s Morgan and New London’s Chandler Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on High Rock Lake

SALISBURY, N.C. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Salisbury with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on High Rock Lake events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the... READ MORE »

Morrilton’s Dixon and Mabelvale’s Houchin Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Dardanelle

Morrilton’s Dixon and Mabelvale’s Houchin Earn Wins at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Lake Dardanelle

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Russellville with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Dardanelle events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic... READ MORE »

Nixon and Smith Tie Saturday, Gadsden’s Hayes Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Neely Henry Lake

Nixon and Smith Tie Saturday, Gadsden’s Hayes Wins Sunday at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Double-Header on Neely Henry Lake

GADSDEN, Ala. – It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Gadsden with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Neely Henry Lake events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the... READ MORE »