BROOKELAND, Texas – Larry Plunk Jr. of Beaumont topped 200 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. The catch earned him $5,000 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Plunk caught his limit by fishing the grass using a watermelon wacky worm in 10 to 14 feet of water. The catch topped second-place boater Dicky Newberry of Houston by 3 pounds, 9 ounces. Newberry finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce worth $2,500. Newberry also received a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Kevin Lasyone of Dry Prong, La. (three bass, 12 pounds, 12 ounces, $1,700); Ron Festavan of Shreveport, La. (five bass, 12 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,300); and Marty Sugg of Pattonville (four bass, 12 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,100) rounded out the top five boaters.
Bob Propst of Cedar Hill earned boater big-bass honors and $1,000 with a 10-pound, 12-ounce bass that he caught on a blue and black Rat-L-Trap. He finished in eighth place overall thanks to the one bass.
Craig Strickland of Lumberton claimed first place and $2,500 in the 200-competitor Co-angler Division with four bass weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Steve Strong of Humble by 3 pounds, 11 ounces thanks to a gold Rat-L-Trap that he fished in grass in 6 to 8 feet of water. Strong finished with a four-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces worth $1,250.
Michael Harman of Bastrop (five bass, 11 pounds, 15 ounces, $850); Steve Wilson of Nacogdoches (four bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces, $650); and Tim Farris of Nederland (three bass, 9 pounds, 9 ounces, $550) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
Strickland earned big-bass honors and $500 in his division with an 8-pound, 13-ounce bass.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Toledo Bend Reservoir March 29 for the second of five Cowboy Division events. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 20-21 on Sam Rayburn, 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 Cowboy Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 21-25 on the Red River near Natchitoches, La., where they will go up against top competitors from the Arkie, Bama and Gulf Coast divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American – one of the most lucrative postseason tournaments in competitive angling.
As much as $6 million will be awarded in the 2003 Wal-Mart BFL.
For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Editor’s Note: Ranger Cup award winners are pending verification by Ranger Boats and thus are unofficial at this time.