MARBURY, Md. – James Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., topped 199 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Potomac River with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch earned him $4,986 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Dudley, who also earned big bass honors and $990 with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass, caught his limit on Zoom tubes from grass beds. The catch topped second-place boater Ernie Freeman of Waldorf, Md., by 2 pounds, 2 ounces. Freeman finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces worth $2,493.
Rounding out the top five boaters were: James Fleming of Lockport, N.Y., four bass weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces worth $1,496; Michael Morrin of Waterloo, N.Y., five bass weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces worth $1,197; and Ron Bane Jr. of Frackville, Pa., five bass weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces worth $1,097.
Michael Huminik of Dale City, Va., received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. He finished seventh with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces.
Kevin Pulsifer of Altamont, N.Y., claimed first place and $2,493 in the 198-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 7 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler John Chortanoff of Harrisburg, Pa., by 9 ounces. Chortanoff finished with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces worth $997.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers were: Richard French of Newfield, N.Y., five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces worth $997; Ted Bowman of Franklinville, N.J., five bass weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces worth $598; and Joe Marken of Ridgeley, W.Va., five bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces worth $548.
Co-angler Kenneth Davison of Barre, Vt., earned big bass honors and $495 in his division with a 4-pound, 9-ounce bass. He finished 57th thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 42 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit 1000 Island for the second of five Northeast Division events. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 14-15 on Cayuga, will be declared the Yamaha “Be-the-Best” Points Leader and awarded $1,000. The co-angler amassing the most points by the end of the season will receive $500.
The top 30 Northeast Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 15-19 on Kerr Lake near Henderson, N.C., where they will go up against top competitors from the Buckeye, Mountain and Savannah River divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American. The All-American is one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling.
BFL awards in 2002 could reach $7 million based on full fields.
Sponsors of the 2002 Wal-Mart BFL are Wal-Mart, Alpo Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Castrol, Chevy Trucks, Coleman, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Evinrude, Faded Glory, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, Garmin, Kellogg’s, Land O’Lakes, Minn Kota, Newell Rubbermaid, Pepsi, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers, Stanley Works, Stren, US Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards. Associate sponsors are Abu Garcia, Berkley, Eagle Claw, Hover-Lure, Laker, Maxwell House, Plano and Solar Bat.