CARROLLTON, Ky. – Michael Safreed of Beavercreek, Ohio, earned $3,108 Saturday as winner of the third regular-season Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division event, held on the Ohio River near Carrollton. He caught five bass weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces to claim the win and 200 points in the Boater Division.
Safreed caught his tournament-winning bass on a white spinner with a Colorado blade in shallow-water brush piles. He earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $1,000 bonus from Bombardier for using an Evinrude Direct Injection outboard. Garmin also awarded him a $1,000 bonus for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Finishing second was Dan Fry of Marysville, Ohio, with four bass that weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces worth $1,554. Tied for third were Steve Neal of Aurora, Ind. (five bass) and Robert Otto of Dayton, Ohio (four bass). Both anglers caught 6 pounds, 2 ounces worth of bass to earn $933 each.
Donald Sibley of Strasburg, Ohio, caught the tournament’s big bass in the Boater Division – a 3-pound, 7-ounce bass that earned him $510. He caught his big bass on a jig.
Jim Asher of Tipp City, Ohio, claimed $1,523 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a three-bass catch weighing 3 pounds, 15 ounces that he caught on a green pumpkin jig and a white spinner in shallow water.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Albert Schaaf Sr. of Waynesville, Ohio (one bass, 3 pounds, 8 ounces, $762); Scott Clark of Thornville, Ohio (one bass, 3 pounds, 3 ounces, $518); Lawni Ziegler of Loudonville, Ohio (three bass, 2 pounds, 15 ounces, $396); and Aaron Stahley of Milford, Ohio (one bass, 2 pounds, 9 ounces, $335). Schaaf also earned $250 as the co-angler big-bass winner thanks to a 3-pound, 8-ounce bass he caught on a black and blue jig with a Zoom trailer.
The Buckeye Division’s next stop will be Aug. 7 on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, and the regular season will come to a close Sept. 11-12 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Erie in Sandusky.
Following the regular season, the top 30 boaters and 30 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kerr Lake regional near Henderson, N.C., Oct. 5-9, where they will compete against anglers from the Carolina, Northeast and Savannah River divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. With a $100,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
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. These points determine angler standings. The Buckeye 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.
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 register online at FLWOutdoors.com.
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.