RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Boater Division competitor Kevin Short of Mayflower earned $3,690 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division event on the Arkansas River in Russellville. The tournament was the fourth of five regular-season Arkie Division events. The regular season will wrap up Sept. 25-26 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs.
Short bested 131 Boater Division competitors with a five-bass catch weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce. Short also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Larry Boley of Dover (five bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,845); Bill Burkett of Paris (five bass, 13 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,255); Jamie Jones of Benton (five bass, 13 pounds, 1 ounce, $959); and Dan Franklin of Van Buren (four bass, 12 pounds, 8 ounces, $812).
Kevin Riney of Pocahontas earned $655 as the Boater Division big-bass award winner with a 5-pound bass.
Kevin McDonald of Alexander won the 131-competitor Co-angler Division with a five-bass catch weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces. He earned $1,845 for the win. He also claimed co-angler big-bass honors and $328 with a 3-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Tied for second were Scott Boatright of Sheridan and Sheril Middleton of Batesville. Both anglers caught a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces to collect $775 each. In fourth was Tony Torres of Anderson, Mo., with five bass that weighed 12 pounds, 3 ounces worth $480, and finishing fifth was Jason Lieblong of Conway with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces that earned him $406.
Following the regular season, the top 30 Arkie Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Toledo Bend regional near Many, La., Oct. 12-16. They will compete against qualifying anglers from the Louisiana, Okie and Ozark divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American, one of competitive bass fishing’s most prestigious events. The winning boater at the All-American will take home $100,000 cash, and the winning co-angler will earn $50,000 cash.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded 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. These points determine angler standings. The Arkie Division boater who amasses the most points at the end of the regular season will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader, and the co-angler earning the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points leader in the Co-angler Division.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
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.