HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Phil Bain of Youngsville earned $5,000 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division event on Kerr Lake. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Piedmont Division events and featured 200 boaters vying for the win, which earned Bain 200 points in the Boater Division.
Bain’s winning catch of five bass weighed 18 pounds. He also earned another $1,000 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass.
Finishing second was Flash Butts of Roanoke Rapids with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces that earned him $2,500. Larry Ellis of Bahama claimed $1,700 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces. In fourth was Richard Szczerbala of New Hill with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,300, and finishing fifth and earning $1,100 was Robert Walser of Lexington with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces.
Butts earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Melvin Jennings of Rustburg, Va., bested 200 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,500 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are James Lowery of Youngsville (four bass, 10 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,250); Doug Sides of Greensboro (four bass, 9 pounds, 1 ounce, $850); Robert Parrish of Albemarle (three bass, 8 pounds, 7 ounces, $650); and Paul Kotula of Raleigh (one bass, 8 pounds, 1 ounce, $550).
Kotula earned $500 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with an 8-pound, 1-ounce bass.
The Piedmont Division’s next event will be held May 22 on Lake Gaston near South Hill, Va., followed by another event on Kerr Lake in Henderson June 12. The Piedmont Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 18-19 with a two-day Super Tournament on Kerr Lake in Henderson.
Following the regular season, the Piedmont Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points going to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. The top 30 Piedmont Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Seminole regional near Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against Bama, Mississippi, and Gator division anglers for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.