SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – Bryant Ailor of Knoxville, Tenn., landed $4,379 Saturday with nine bass weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces after a rare one-hour fish-off in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Douglas Lake.
At the end of regulation fishing, Ailor and Robin Wear of Moulton, Ala., were dead even with five bass each weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces. The tie prompted a fish-off during which Ailor caught four more bass weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce and Wear caught one bass weighing 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Wear finished with a six-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce to win $2,189.
Ailor caught his bass while fishing logjams in the French Broad River. He also received $1,000 from Garmin for winning the event with Garmin electronics.
Carl Maxfield of Bristol, Tenn., took third place and collected $1,095 with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces. He also won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Mark Cady of Dalton, Ga. And Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., tied for fourth and earned $912 each with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 12 ounces.
Wear won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $625 with a 4-pound, 6-ounce bass.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,189 went to Ted Fuehner of Covington, Ky., with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce. Second place in the division and $1,095 went to Doug Campbell of Anniston, Ala., with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces, while Randall Munn of Jasper, Tenn., took third place and $547 with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces.
Chris Cumbest of Pinson, Ala., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $312 with a 3-pound, 9-ounce bass.
Overall, 1,059 bass were caught during the tournament, including 161 five-bass limits.
On June 9, the BFL will visit Guntersville Lake for the fourth of five events in the Choo Choo Division. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 15-16 on Neely Henry Lake, will be declared the Divisional Points Champion and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Choo Choo Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Carolina, Ozark and Illini divisions for a shot at qualifying for the $250,000 All-American.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.