HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Boater Greg Dyer of Benton earned $4,143 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division event on Lake Ouachita. The tournament was the first of five regular-season Arkie Division events and featured 133 boaters vying for the win, which earned Dyer 200 points in the Boater Division.
Dyer’s winning catch of five bass weighed 14 pounds, 7 ounces. Dyer fished a red Rat-L-Trap along shallow points to catch his bass.
Finishing second was Paul Helton of Russellville with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces that earned him $2,072. Helton won an additional $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup award and the Powered by Yamaha award. Clinton Mayfield of Hot Springs claimed $1,356 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 8 ounces. In fourth was Brandon Rhoden of Sheridan, with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces worth $1,055, and finishing fifth and earning $866 was Adam J. Wright of Benton with five bass weighing 13 pounds.
Shane Herald of North Little Rock took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $665 for a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on an 8-inch swim bait.
Tony Torres of Anderson, Mo., earned $2,040 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught on a jig.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Matt Mitchell of Hot Springs (five bass, 11 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,020); Chris Rice of Blytheville (five bass, 10 pounds, 2 ounces, $670); Randy Crites of Plainview (five bass, 10 pounds, 1 ounce, $519); and Billy Littleton of Batesville (five bass, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $427).
In addition, Mitchell earned $328 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 5-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on a Rat-L-Trap.
The Arkie Division’s next event will be held April 9 on Degray Lake near Arkadelphia followed by an event on Greers Ferry Lake near Greers Ferry May 7. The fourth-qualifying event will be held June 18 on the Arkansas River/Lake Dardanelle near Russellville. The Arkie Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 24-25 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs.
Following the regular season, the Arkie Division boater with the most points will earn $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion. The co-angler amassing the most points will earn $500 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion in the Co-angler Division.
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. The top 40 Arkie Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Ohio River Regional near Paducah, Ky., Oct. 11-15 where they will compete against Great Lakes, Hoosier and Michigan Division anglers for one of six slots in the 2006 All-American. With a total purse of $1 million and a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing.
The $8.4 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.