WHITEHALL, N.Y. – Dennis Sikorski of Voluntown, Conn., outpaced 183 competitors Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces to win $5,660 and 200 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Northeast Division tournament on Lake Champlain.
Sikorski edged out Ernie Freeman of Waldorf, Md., by 1 pound, 8 ounces in the one-day event that set out from South Bay boat ramp. Freeman finished with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces to win $2,830. Sikorski caught his limit, including a 5-pound, 2-ounce bass that earned him $915 as the biggest bass in the boater division, using a black and blue grub.
Aaron Wessels of Watervliet, N.Y., took third place and collected $1,415 with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. John Carpenter of Marmora, N.J., placed fourth and earned $1,227 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces, while Brian Weygand of Gansevoort, N.Y., placed fifth and earned $1,132 with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $2,845 went to Ron Whitehead of Flemington, N.J., who topped 183 competitors with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,423 went to Doyle Geyer of Mill Hall, Pa., with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces, while James Moore of Gouverneur, N.Y., took third place and $711 with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces.
Anthony Konchar of Maryland, N.Y., won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $460 with a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass that he caught while flipping in grass beds.
Boater Emory Seefeldt of Medina, N.Y., won $500 as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished in 9th place with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces.
Overall, 1,094 bass were caught during the tournament, including 128 five-bass limits.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Thousand Islands Aug. 4 for the third of five events in the Northeast Division. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 22-23 on Lake Champlain, 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 Northeast Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 9-13 on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, N.Y., where they will go up against top competitors from the Buckeye, Piedmont and Michigan 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.