UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Wal-Mart BFL Regional on Clarks Hill Lake won by Wilson

Wal-Mart BFL Regional on Clarks Hill Lake won by Wilson
Tony Wilson of Barbourville, Ky., bested 117 Boater Division competitors Oct. 25 at the BFL Regional on Clarks Hill Lake.

THOMSON, Ga. - Tony Wilson of Barbourville, Ky., bested 117 Boater Division competitors this weekend at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional on Clarks Hill Lake to win a new Chevy truck and an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger 519VS Comanche bass boat. The postseason victory also earned him a slot in the 2004 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American, where he will compete for a top boater award of $100,000 cash.

Wilson advanced to the regional by finishing the regular season ranked 10th in BFL Mountain Division points standings. The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Mountain Division competed against the top 30 Choo Choo, Gator and Piedmont division anglers for one of six slots in next year's All-American. They will join the top six from five other regionals plus the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American field of 42 boaters and 42 co-anglers. The All-American, scheduled for April 14-17 on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark., remains one of the most prestigious championship events in all of bass fishing.

Wilson caught five bass Thursday weighing 10 pounds, 10 ounces to finish fifth, and he followed that up Friday with 11 pounds, 1 ounce to lead after day two's competition with a two-day total of 21 pounds, 11 ounces. The top six finishers after day two competed a third day for position and prize money based on their total three-day weight, and Wilson led the field with a three-day total of 27 pounds, 7 ounces. All six automatically earned a berth to the All-American.

Rounding out the top six boaters are Ray Tweedy of Appomattox, Va. (27 pounds, 7 ounces, $5,000); Robert Walser of Lexington, N.C. (25 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,500); John Devere of Berea, Ky. (24 pounds, 3 ounces, $2,000); Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla. (21 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,500); and Allen Hayes of Moody, Ala. (17 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,000). Ties are resolved by day-two standings.

Wilson also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $1,000 from Garmin for using a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/sounder. He also earned $1,000 from Bombardier for using an Evinrude Direct Injection Outboard.

Jay Brewer of Collinwood, Tenn., won an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat as the Co-angler Division winner thanks to his three-day total of 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Brewer caught four bass weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces on day one to finish 25th, and he finished sixth after day two thanks to another 8 pounds, 2 ounces that set his two-day total at 12 pounds, 10 ounces. Brewer will compete for a top co-angler award of $50,000 at the 2004 All-American.

Rounding out the top six co-anglers are A.K. Boatright of Cleveland, Ala. (20 pounds, 1 ounce, $2,500); Melvin Jennings of Rustburg, Va. (16 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,250); Corey Bradley of Chattanooga, Tenn. (16 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,000); Robert Green of Sedalia, N.C. (15 pounds, 14 ounces, $750); and Michael Cass of West Palm Beach, Fla. (15 pounds, 10 ounces, $500).

Nationwide, the BFL is divided into 24 divisions - each featuring four one-day qualifying tournaments and a two-day Super Tournament. Under the BFL's boater and co-angler format, boaters supply the boats, fish from the front deck and control boat movement throughout the competition. Co-anglers fish from the back deck and are competing against other co-anglers. Two hundred points are awarded to tournament winners, 199 points are presented for second, and so on except for the Super Tournament, where the winners earn 300 points, 299 points are given for second place, and so on. These points determine angler standings.

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 EverStart Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series. Each year the top 30 boaters and co-anglers from each BFL division are eligible to advance to the EverStart Series, and the All-American champions are eligible for Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition. The top 15 pros and co-anglers from the Central, Eastern and Northern divisions of the EverStart Series (top 10 from the Western Division) are eligible to advance to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg's pro Clark Wendlandt, Chevy pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.

Tags: press-release  2003-10-23-clark-hill 

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