After three days of competition, five professional anglers have advanced to the final round of professional fishing action in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour bass tournament, presented by Coca-Cola, being held on Lake Lanier. The event features a $471,500 purse and one of sport fishing’s largest first place cash prizes – $100,000. The tournament will culminate Saturday at the Gainesville Wal-Mart Supercenter with weigh-in activities beginning at 11:30 a.m EST. In Friday’s round, the anglers fished from the new, NASCAR-styled, Ranger Comanche fishing machines.
The five anglers making the final cut include: (1) Johnny McCombs, Morris, AL, Citgo boat, 12 pounds, 13 ounces; (2) Tom Mann, Jr., Buford, GA, Uniroyal boat, 9-5; (3) Johnny LeSesne, Blue Ridge, GA, Timex boat, 8-5; (4) Mickey Bruce, Buford, GA, Land O’Lakes boat, 7-1; (5) Jim Nolan, Bull Shoals, AR, Land O’Lakes boat, 6-3.
The angler catching the heaviest limit of bass on the final day will be the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Pro Division winner and receive $100,000. Second place will pay $35,000, third place $20,000, fourth place $16,000, and fifth place $14,000.
Rounding out the top 10 Pros were: (6) David Fritts, Lexington, NC, Wrangler boat, 4-9, $12,000; (7) Eric Weir, Belmont, NC, EverStart boat, 4-4, $10,000; (8) Steve Daniel, Clewiston, FL, Black & Decker boat, 2-9, $9,000; (9) James Jennelle, Sterling, VA, Coleman boat, 1-8, $8,000; (10) David Walker, Cannon, KY, Fuji Film boat, 0-0, $7,000.
In other fishing action, the co-angler competition has ended with Ronald Ott of Indianapolis, Indiana, winning first place with a catch of 3 pounds, 6 ounces. He received $15,000 for the win. Ott caught his winning fish on a 6″ Zoom Finesse worm. He also qualified for the Ranger Millennium tournament
Rounding out the top 10 Co-Anglers were: (2) Leon Williams, Fairdale, KY, 2-8, $5,000; (3) Rick Parnell, Casselberry, FL, 2-3, $4,000; (4) Chris Douglas, Belleville, IL, 1-10, $3,000; (5) Bud Goeke, Pinckneyville, Il, 1-5, $2,000; (6) Gil Keener, Jr., Muskogee, OK, 0-0, $1,800; (7) David Hudson, Jasper, AL, 0-0, $1,600; (8) Craig Clayton, Rogers, AR, 0-0, $1,400; (9) Bill Halter, Anna, IL, 0-0, $1,200; (10) Rick Marsh, High Point, NC, 0-0, $1,000.
The highest-finishing Ranger boat owner, from the pro and co-angler divisions, in each tournament will qualify to enter the $3.5 million Ranger M1 Millennium tournament, the richest bass event in history, with a $1 million first-place cash prize at stake. The Ranger owner who catches the largest bass in each division over the course of the season will also qualify for the Ranger Millennium tournament.
Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minnesota, had big bass honors for the event. He landed a bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Moynagh received $1,000 from Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola will award $5,000 to the angler landing the biggest bass during the 1999 tour. He is currently leading the year-long big bass contest.
All tour events are scheduled to be televised on ESPN approximately two weeks after the tournament. The Wal-Mart FLW Tour Lake Lanier event will be televised on ESPN, Saturday, April 3, at 6 p.m. EST.
The 1999 Wal-Mart FLW Tour is the most lucrative fishing series in history.
Sponsors of the 1999 Wal-Mart FLW Tour include: Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Land O’Lakes, CITGO Petroleum Products, Chevy Trucks, Uniroyal Tires, Fujifilm, EverStart Batteries, Eveready Flashlights, Black and Decker, Coleman Company, Ranger Boats, Mitchell Rods and Reels, Spiderwire, Evinrude Outboard Motors, Evinrude Electric Trolling Motors, Eagle Electronics, Timex Expedition, Wrangler, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper, and Wheaties. The Lake Lanier event of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour is hosted by the Gainesville-Hall County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.