ELBERTON, Ga. – Rodger Beaver of Leesburg, topped 169 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League competitors Saturday on Russell Lake with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch earned him $4,378 and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Beaver’s catch topped second-place boater Bobby Stanfill of Greenwood, S.C., by 1 ounce. Stanfill finished the one-day tournament with a five-bass catch weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces worth $2,189.
James Crider of Anderson, S.C. (five bass, 15 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,489); David Wright of Lexington, N.C. (five bass, 15 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,138); Tony Christian of Hull (five bass, 14 pounds, 12 ounces, $963) rounded out the top five boaters.
Wright earned a $500 bonus from Ranger for being the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program. Kevin Newman of Flat Rock, N.C., earned $840 as the big-bass winner, thanks to a 7-pound, 4-ounce bass.
Randy Snider of Simpsonville, S.C., claimed first place and $2,063 in the 154-competitor Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces. He surpassed second-place co-angler Keith Thomasson of Abbeville, S.C., by 1 pound, 11 ounces. Thomasson finished with a three-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces worth $866. Thomasson also earned big-bass honors and $388 in his division with a 6-pound, 14-ounce bass.
Charles Ward of Greer, S.C. (five bass, 13 pounds, 2 ounces, $866); Jon Newman of Greensville, S.C. (five bass, 11 pounds, 5 ounces, $536); and Terry Brown of Leicester, N.C. (five bass, 10 pounds, 14 ounces, $454) rounded out the top five co-anglers.
The Wal-Mart BFL will visit Lake Hartwell April 5 for the third of five Savannah River Division events. The boater with the most points after the division’s season finale, a two-day Super Tournament Sept. 27-28 on Clark Hill Lake, 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 Savannah River Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 7-11 on Lake Eufaula near Eufaula, Ala., where they will go up against top competitors from the Louisiana, Mississippi and Music City 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.