HENDERSON, N.C. – Boater Phil Bain of Youngsville earned $4,898 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division event on Kerr Lake. The tournament was the second of five regular-season Piedmont Division events and featured 168 boaters vying for the win, which earned Bain 200 points in the Boater Division.
Almost exactly one year ago, Bain won another BFL Piedmont Division tournament on Kerr Lake. Bain’s winning catch of five bass weighed 19 pounds, 3 ounces this year, compared to an 18-pound limit in 2004. Bain was fishing a Honeyhole jig along windy points in the Nutbush Creek area when he caught his bass.
Finishing second was Mike Lanier of Leland with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him $2,449. Rich McWhirter of Mechanicsville, Va., claimed $1,602 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces. In fourth was Sam Cole of Lexington with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces worth $1,247. Greg Stallings of Dry Fork, Va., and Todd Sumner of Southern Pines tied for fifth place. Each angler caught five bass weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces worth $935.
Lanier earned an additional $750 as winner of the Ranger Cup and Powered by Yamaha awards.
Larry Inman of Greensboro took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $840 for a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a Zoom Mag II.
Gary Vick of Wilson bested 168 Co-angler Division competitors to earn $2,449 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 21 pounds, 4 ounces that he caught on a spinnerbait.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Randy Groves of Creedmoor (five bass, 16 pounds 10 ounces, $1,225); Tim Privette Sr. of Wendell (five bass, 15 pounds, 10 ounces, $802); Randy Buchanan of Bullock (five bass, 14 pounds, 13 ounces, $623); and Jim Nichols of Chapel Hill (four bass, 14 pounds, 12 ounces, $512).
Brad Pegram of Henderson earned $420 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 6-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught on a spinnerbait.
The Piedmont Division’s next event will be held May 21 on Kerr Lake near Henderson, followed by an event on the Chickahominy River near Williamsburg, Va., July 23. The Piedmont Division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 17-18 with a two-day Super Tournament on Kerr Lake near Henderson.
Following the regular season, the Piedmont 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 Piedmont Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Cherokee Regional near Morristown, Tenn., Oct. 4-8 where they will compete against Buckeye, Illini and LBL 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.