CANNELTON, Ind. – Curt Hughes of Greenwood, Ind., topped 113 Boater Division competitors on the Ohio River this weekend with a three-bass catch weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces. He earned $6,669 and 300 points for the win at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division season finale.
After qualifying for the final round of the two-day Super Tournament in fourth place with an opening-day catch of two bass weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces, Hughes outfished runner-up Mike Sherley of Louisville, Ky., by 4 ounces to take the win. Hughes caught his limit on day two using a 3/16-ounce worm. He also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Sherley qualified for the final round in 10th place with three bass weighing 4 pounds, 13 ounces and finished up with a catch weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces to win $3,335.
Bernie Miller of North Vernon, Ind. (four bass, 6 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,806); Mark Dove of North Vernon, Ind. (three bass, 6 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,528); and Greg Korschot of Lafayette, Ind., (three bass, 5 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,251) rounded out the top five boaters.
Roger Owens of Monroe, Ohio, won the boater big-bass award and collected $1,130 with a 3-pound, 12-ounce bass.
Rodney Gunter of Ninevah, Ind., topped 112 competitors in the Co-angler Division to take first place and $3,305 thanks to a final-round catch of two bass weighing 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Second place in the division and $1,653 went to Kevin Allen of Muncie, Ind., with a two-bass catch weighing 2 pounds, 15 ounces, followed by Gary Melson of Louisville, Ky., in third place with two bass weighing 2 pounds, 10 ounces worth $757.
Gunter won the co-angler big-bass award of $560 with a 3-pound, 10-ounce bass.
Frank McClain of Scottsburg, Ind., is the Hoosier Division’s Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, winning $1,000 for the 1,033 points he earned during five regular-season tournaments. David Coffin of Indianapolis is the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division. He earned $500 for his division-leading 804 points.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Hoosier Division 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 Great Lakes, Illini and Michigan divisions for a shot at qualifying for the BFL All-American, one of the most lucrative postseason 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, 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, U.S. Bank, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.