BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – Boater Edward Gettys of Stevenson, Ala., leads the list of six anglers who earned a ticket to the 2005 All-American at this weekend’s Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Lake Seminole Regional. Qualifying anglers from four BFL divisions advanced to the regional, and Gettys topped the leaderboard with a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 38 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him a new Chevy truck and an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers from the Bama, Gator, Mississippi and Piedmont divisions comprised the Lake Seminole Regional field, and Gettys ranked 11th in Bama Division points standings to earn a regional berth. He caught 19 pounds, 12 ounces on day one and followed that up with another 6 pounds, 10 ounces on day two, and he wrapped up the win with a final-day catch that weighed 11 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a white spinnerbait in 1 to 5 feet of water.
Rounding out Boater Division anglers heading to the All-American are Arnie Lane of Lakeland, Fla. (14 bass, 33 pounds, 2 ounces, $5,000); Robert Beatty of Clermont, Fla. (13 bass, 32 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,500); Phillip Daniel of Roanoke, Ala. (14 bass, 29 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,000); Mike McDonald of Randleman, N.C. (nine bass, 26 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,500); and Ed Williams of Jackson, Miss. (eight bass, 21 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,100).
Boca Raton, Fla., resident Jay Trudel won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 20 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught his winning stringer on a pumpkin and gold flake Senko. Trudel advanced to the regional from the Gator Division, where he ranked 23rd in year-end points standings. He won an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat for his regional win.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers who will advance to the All-American are Scott Burch of Angier, N.C. (11 bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,500); Calvin Boyette of Wesley Chapel, Fla. (nine bass, 19 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,250); Phillip Eakes of Bahama, N.C. (eight bass, 18 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,000); Chuck Hyer of Clermont, Fla. (five bass, 17 pounds, 6 ounces, $750); and Sammy Mitchell of Russellville, Ala. (five bass, 14 pounds, 15 ounces, $550).
All-American qualifiers from the Lake Seminole Regional will join competitors that advance from five other regionals plus the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American field of 42 boaters and 42 co-anglers. The All-American is one of the most prestigious and storied events in competitive bass fishing as well as one of the most lucrative – the winning boater will earn $100,000 cash and the winning boater will earn $50,000 cash. The location and date of the 2005 All-American will be announced at a later date.
In regional competition, the full field competes for two days to determine the top six that advance to day three, where they compete for position and prizes. All six automatically advance to the All-American.
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, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its eight 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.