HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Robert Walser of Lexington leads the list of six anglers who earned a ticket to the 2005 All-American at this weekend’s Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Kerr Lake Regional. Qualifying anglers from four BFL divisions advanced to the regional, and Walser topped the leaderboard with a three-day catch of 13 bass weighing 29 pounds, 6 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 Buckeye, Carolina, Northeast and Savannah River divisions comprised the Kerr Lake Regional field, and Walser ranked 18th in Carolina Division points standings to earn a regional berth. He caught 13 pounds on day one and followed that up with another 8 pounds, 13 ounces on day two, and he wrapped up the win with a final-day catch that weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a Weapon jig with a Zoom Super Chunk Jr. in the midlake area.
Rounding out Boater Division anglers heading to the All-American are Nelson Walker of Manning, S.C. (12 bass, 26 pounds, 11 ounces, $5,000); Larry Pearson of Cramerton (11 bass, 24 pounds, 11 ounces, $2,500); Patrick Tierney of Denver (10 bass, 22 pounds, 14 ounces, $2,000); Wayne Clifton of Moncks Corner, S.C. (seven bass, 19 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,500); and Greg Atkinson of Columbia, S.C. (five bass, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,100).
Walser earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event. Walker earned a $500 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned another $250 from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard.
Lincolnton, Ga., resident Don Kohli won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of six bass weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces. He caught his winning stringer on a spinnerbait in shallow-water brush and trees. Kohli advanced to the regional from the Savannah River Division, where he ranked 13th 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 Guy Hammaker of Ansonia, Ohio (six bass, 11 pounds, 10 ounces, $2,500); Jeremiah Jensen of Columbia, S.C. (five bass, 11 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,250); Warren Barrett of Belchertown, Mass. (four bass, 10 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,000); Bo Price of Seneca, S.C. (four bass, 9 pounds, 4 ounces, $750); and Rick Kistler of St. Marys, Ohio (five bass, 9 pounds, 1 ounce, $550).
All-American qualifiers from the Kerr Lake 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.