BRANDON, Miss. – Alfred Williams of Jackson caught eight bass weighing 23 pounds, to win $5,544 at the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Super Tournament, held this weekend on Ross Barnett near Brandon. Williams bested 83 Boater Division competitors and earned 300 points at the tournament, which was the fifth and final Mississippi Division event of the regular season.
Williams caught five bass Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces to finish first on day one and followed that up Sunday with another three bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce to earn the win. Williams caught his tournament-winning bass on snag-proof frogs in the main lake. As the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, Williams also claimed a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Dudley Salers of Jackson (eight bass, 20 pounds, 12 ounces); Ricky Smith of Union (eight bass, 18 pounds, 1 ounce); Allen Powell of Clarksdale (eight bass, 17 pounds, 4 ounces); and Ed Dunnaway of Flowood (seven bass, 16 pounds, 9 ounces).
Terry Bates of Greenville, claimed $830 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 15-ounce bass.
David Best of Bartlett, Tenn., led 83 Co-angler Division competitors on day two to claim $2,772 as the Super Tournament co-angler winner. He caught one bass Saturday weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces and followed that up Sunday with another four bass weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces to earn the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a Zoom Brush Hog.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Richard Adams of Columbus (four bass, 11 pounds, 8 ounces); James Savell Jr. of Brandon (four bass, 9 pounds, 15 ounces); David Wheat of Philadelphia (three bass, 9 pounds); and Wesley Wheat of Meridian (two bass, 7 pounds, 7 ounces).
Best took co-angler big-bass honors and $415 with a 6-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Mark Peagler of Flowood is the Mississippi Division’s Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, winning $1,000 for the 1002 points he earned during five regular-season tournaments. Wesley Wheat is the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division. He earned $500 for his division-leading 1018 points.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Mississippi Division 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, Music City and Savannah River divisions for a shot at qualifying for the BFL All-American, one of the most lucrative postseason tournaments in competitive angling.
The BFL comprises 24 divisions nationwide, each featuring five regular-season events that lead to one of six regionals. Four of the regular-season tournaments are one-day events, while the final event, a Super Tournament, is a two-day tournament that will award as much as $70,950 to participating anglers. Anglers who enter all five regular-season events in a division but do not advance to a regional may enter the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for a shot at qualifying for the All-American. The All-American field comprises 84 competitors – six boaters and six co-anglers from six regionals plus six boaters and six co-anglers from the Wild Card.
As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the EverStart Series and ultimately the Wal-Mart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament series. Each year the top 30 boaters and co-anglers from each BFL division are eligible to advance to the EverStart Series, and the All-American champions are eligible for Wal-Mart FLW Tour competition. The top 15 pros and co-anglers from the Central, Eastern and Northern divisions of the EverStart Series (top 10 from the Western Division) are eligible to advance to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg’s pro Clark Wendlandt, Chevy pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.