UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Back in Black

Back in Black
Co-angler champ Wayne Black holds up his trophy for the crowds.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was a day destined for champions - Wayne Black of San Mateo, Fla., fished from the back of boater Dave Andrews' boat today on Lake Wylie at The Bass Federation National Championship presented by the National Guard, and both ended up winners. Black took victory on the co-angler side by a decisive 4-pound margin and earned $5,000 for the win.

As the winning co-angler, Black not only earned entry into the $1 million 2007 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American but also the $2 million 2007 Forrest Wood Cup, a premier event in which he stands to earn a $50,000 cash award should he win.

Black easily caught the heaviest co-angler catch today, and he did it with only four bass. His 10-pound, 15-ounce day-three stringer, along with the 12 pounds, 4 ounces he caught on day one and the 8 pounds, 10 ounces he brought in on day two, raised his cumulative total to 31 pounds, 13 ounces.

Only one co-angler caught a limit today, and that was runner-up Robert Herbert Jr. Nonetheless, Black's four bass were heavy enough to take him over the top.

Co-angler winner Wayne Black shows off a tournament-winning bass."I can't count," Black joked on stage. "I ended up with four again. Today I lost one that weighed about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds first thing this morning."

It didn't hurt. Black reported catching his bass throwing Trick Worms and Senko-type baits under docks.

"You never feel confident when you weigh only four fish," he said. "I was kind of concerned. I was lucky enough to catch a pretty good kicker each day, and I had three great partners. Today, we had a Berkley sweep!"

Indeed, both Black and boater winner Andrews were decked out in Berkley jerseys as they accepted their trophies. To advance to the national championship, Black had to first make it through an intense qualification system involving tournaments at the club, state and regional level.

He advanced to the championship via the Southern Division, where he competed as a boater. The 12 anglers who advance from each divisional championship are designated as either a boater or co-angler at the national championship based on order of finish. For example, the winner of that event, Jamie Horton, competed this week as a boater, while the No. 2 finisher, Brent Crow, competed as a co-angler and so on. Black finished 13th at the Southern Divisional held last June on Kentucky Lake.

"I'm not used to fishing out of the back of the boat," he said. "It was tough, but I had three good partners. As for going to the All-American, I'm tickled. I'm happy."

Herbert moves from last to second

Runner-up co-angler Ronald Herbert Jr. weighs in the only co-angler limit.Taking the second spot and $2,500 is Ronald Herbert Jr. of East Livermore, Maine. Herbert represented the Eastern Division at this week's event and led that division on days one and two to advance to the co-angler final round.

He caught 8 pounds, 14 ounces on day one and had his best day yesterday, when he brought in 10 pounds, 1 ounce. However, his two-day total still had him sixth out of six co-anglers at the end of the day. He stepped it up on day three, weighing in the only co-angler limit that clocked in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces for a three-day total of 27 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I had a great day," Herbert said.

He reported catching his bass today on a shaky head.

Andrews, Wright take third and fourth

Day-one and day-two co-angler leader David Andrews fell to third with a three-day total of 26-6.In third place is day-one and day-two leader David Andrews of Fairfax, Va., with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 6 ounces. Andrews represented the Mid-Atlantic Division and had his toughest day by far today, bringing in only one bass worth 2 pounds. He earned $1,000 for this third-place finish.

Taking fourth is the Western Division co-angler Gerald Wright of Pasco, Wash. Wright was fourth on day two and retained that position today with a three-bass catch weighing 4 pounds, 14 ounces that brought his three-day total to 25 pounds, 10 pounds, good for $1,000.

Rest of the best

In fifth place is Kevin Wells of South Shore, Ky., fishing from the Northern Division. Like many, Wells struggled today, weighing in one bass worth 1 pound, 13 ounces. That brought his combined three-day total to 24 pounds, 9 ounces and earned him $1,000.

Co-angler Kevin Wells took fifth place with 24 pounds, 9 ounces over three days.Working in Wells' favor is the fact that the All-American championship that he just qualified for will be held in early June on his home waters - the Ohio River.

"I'm glad it's on the river," he said. "I know how to fish the river, and I know what baits to use."

Rounding out the top six finalists is James Mitchell of Independence, Mo., representing the Central Division. His day-three two-bass catch of 3 pounds, 13 ounces raised his three-day total to 22 pounds, 12 ounces, earning him $1,000.

"I'm blessed," Mitchell said.

All six co-angler finalists earned the right to compete at the All-American.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  co-angler-headline  2007-04-19-lake-wylie 

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