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Quick Bites: Wal-Mart Open, Day 4

Quick Bites: Wal-Mart Open, Day 4
Wal-Mart Open winner Tim Klinger was smiling bigtime when he weighed in this big bass.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Wal-Mart Open
Beaver Lake, Rogers, Ark.
Final round, Saturday

The tell-tale grin ... When Tim Klinger stepped toward the scale to weigh his first round of bass Saturday, he sported a smile that seemed to say, "I've got more in the livewell where these came from - and they're even bigger." It's not that Klinger could've known he was going to win the 2004 Wal-Mart Open until second-place Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., weighed his final fish. But Klinger's grin never left his face, even after he'd weighed all five of his fish and Powers still had one to go. "I'm a wreck because I actually feel like I could win this tournament, but I don't know," he said. "Craig Powers - right now he's the man." Klinger's 13-ounce advantage was the difference between him winning $200,000 and Powers taking home a runner-up check for $100,000, which is clearly a solid pay day too. Klinger said one of the first things he will do when he returns home to Boulder City, Nev., is buy a Corvette.

Pro Jason Kilpatrick said he learned a lot about his craft from fishing Beaver Lake during the 2004 Wal-Mart Open.Hamming it up on Beaver ... Jason Kilpatrick of Satsuma, Ala., gave a performance for "FLW Outdoors" TV cameras when he caught one of his final-round fish today, and the weigh-in crowd was highly entertained when the segment was played back. In the footage, Kilpatrick brings a bass overboard with a boisterous howl of excitement then launches into an impersonation of Al Pacino's character Tony Montana in "Scarface." Kilpatrick stared straight into the camera and, thrusting the fish forward, delivered the movie's most memorable line: "Say hello to my leetle [little] fren [friend]!" After the crowd's applause and laughter subsided, Kilpatrick said, "I'm kind of a low-key guy, but when I'm on the water I get pretty charged up."

Surman says ... Though Boca Raton, Fla., pro Mike Surman said more than one time today that he was "fishing over his head" as a top-10 finalist on Beaver Lake, his eighth-place finish and a check for $24,000 seem to say otherwise. Surman was the man who won the first FLW Tour event, which was held on Florida's Lake Okeechobee in 1996. He hasn't won one since, and, like any pro fisherman, he's had his ups and downs on the tournament trail over the years. But Surman's career on the FLW Tour has certainly been on the upswing in recent years: he's currently ranked third in Angler of the Year points standings; he's made the top 10 twice in four events this year; and he top-10ed twice in 2003, which helped earn him a slot in the year-end championship. After weighing his third fish tonight and being asked if he had one more to try to break the standing lead weight, Surman said, "I don't have one. I wish I did. But I guess I have to stay here and talk to y'all." Though Surman said he was "lucky" to make the top 10 on Beaver, he did acknowledge how well he's been fishing recently. "Two years ago, I couldn't make the right decisions [fishing]," Surman said. "I guarantee you, if there were a pile of them right over there, I wouldn't have seen them."

Quick numbers

79-6: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of bass caught Saturday by the 10 pro finalists.

2,280-12: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of total bass caught by pros during the 2004 Wal-Mart Open.

1,796-5: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of total bass caught by pros during the 2003 Wal-Mart Open.

4: Number of the top 10 pros in the 2004 Wal-Mart Open who are also in the top 10 of overall FLW Tour points standings: Fukae, Surman, Clark Wendlandt and Kilpatrick.

Pro Shinichi Fuka of Osaka, Japan, uses gestures to try to help explain something to Sound bites

"They probably have chills going up and down their backs. I know I do just wanting to see what's in that livewell."
- Russellville, Ark., pro Ray Scheide, describing how Klinger and Powers likely felt in the minutes before Powers weighed his final fish.

"Many, many zeroes."
- Sixth-place pro Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan, describing the amount of a first-place payday on the FLW Tour.

Tags: patrick-baker  quick-bites  2004-03-31-wal-mart-open-beaver-lake 

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Skarlis stays on top

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