MANY, La. – Boater Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Mo., leads the list of six anglers who earned a ticket to the 2005 All-American at this weekend’s Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Toledo Bend Regional. Qualifying anglers from four BFL divisions advanced to the regional, and Berhorst topped the leaderboard with a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 31 pounds, 15 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 Arkie, Louisiana, Okie and Ozark divisions comprised the Toledo Bend Regional field. Berhorst, an Ozark Division angler, caught 8 pounds, 8 ounces on day one and followed that up with another 12 pounds, 10 ounces on day two, and he wrapped up the win with a final-day catch that weighed 10 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a black and blue jig in shallow water around boat docks.
Berhorst also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and Bombardier awarded him another $1,000 for using an Evinrude Direct Injection outboard. He also earned $1,000 from Garmin for using only qualifying Garmin electronics during the event.
Rounding out the Boater Division anglers heading to the All-American are Glen Freeman of Converse (12 bass, 29 pounds, 7 ounces, $5,000); Rick Lisek of Springfield, Mo. (eight bass, 24 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,500); Wade Ramsey of Midwest City, Okla. (10 bass, 21 pounds, 15 ounces, $2,000); Wayne Hudgens of Monticello, Ark. (six bass, 18 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,500); and Roger Hudnall of Denham Springs (eight bass, 18 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,100).
Gans, Okla., resident Brent Haggard won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of eight bass weighing 22 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught his winning stringer on a spinnerbait in shallow water. Haggard advanced to the regional from the Okie Division, where he ranked 23rd in year-end points standings. He won an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat for his regional win. This is his first season to compete in the BFL.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers who will advance to the All-American are Mark Taylor of Mansfield, Mo. (nine bass, 18 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,500); Jimmy Ford of Purvis, Miss. (seven bass, 18 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,250); Steve Morgan of Grand Bay, Ala. (eight bass, 17 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,000); Jamie Floyd of Prairieville (five bass, 11 pounds, 6 ounces, $750); and Bill Edwards of Nixa, Mo. (six bass, 10 pounds, 8 ounces, $550).
All-American qualifiers from the Toledo Bend 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.