PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. – Robert Sherry of St. Charles, Ill., topped 130 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch earned him $3,668 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Sherry caught his limit flipping a white and chartreuse buzzbait to clear, shallow water. The catch topped second-place boater Rick Bosshard of Sussex, Wis., by 12 ounces. Bosshard finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces worth $1,834. Sherry also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Jim Maloney of Hampshire, Ill. (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,101); Mike Feldermann of Galena, Ill. (five bass, 12 pounds, 2 ounces, $880); and Doug Yule of Camdenton, Mo., (five bass, 11 pounds, 15 ounces, $807) rounded out the top five boaters.
Gerald Rew of Janesville, Wis., earned boater big bass honors and $650 with a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass that he caught flipping a spider grub on wood in 3 feet of water. He finished in 22nd place overall with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces.
Scott Mrozinski of Sullivan, Wis., claimed first place and $1,834 in the 130-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Benjamin Passa of Holman, Wis., by 1 ounce thanks to a homemade spinner bait he fished in grass and wood close to the main river. Passa finished with a five-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces worth $917.
Matt Felton of Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (five bass, 9 pounds, 2 ounces, $550); James Haumann of Romeoville, Ill. (four bass, 9 pounds, $440); and Charlie Benson of Lacrosse, Wis., (four bass, 8 pounds, 7 ounces, $404) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Co-angler Ken Haslam of Mukwonago, Wis., earned big bass honors and $325 in his division with a 4-pound, 1-ounce bass. He finished 32nd thanks to the one bass.
Overall, 44 five-bass limits were caught during the tournament.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Winneconne July 13 for the third of five Great Lakes Division events. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 14-15 on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, 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 Great Lakes Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition presented by Yamaha Oct. 15-19 on Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the Hoosier, Illini and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American – one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling.
2002 BFL awards 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.