SENECA, S.C. – Boater Jeff Ensley of Waynesville, N.C., earned $4,226 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division event on Lake Hartwell. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Savannah River Division events and featured 137 boaters vying for the win, which earned Ensley 200 points in the Boater Division.
Ensley’s winning catch of five bass weighed 20 pounds, 3 ounces. He fished the Seneca River with a green Senko to catch his bass.
Ensley earned an additional $2,000 as winner of the Bombardier and Garmin Grand contingency awards.
Finishing second was Bobby Stanfill of Greenwood with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 13 ounces that earned him $2,113. Danny Whaley of Due West claimed $1,382 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. In fourth was Chris Lupo of Greenville with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces worth $1,076, and finishing fifth and earning $884 was Norm Attaway of North Augusta with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces.
Whaley earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Joseph Spencer of Greer took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $685 for an 8-pound bass. He caught his big bass on a topwater lure.
Benny Rigney of Simpsonville earned $2,072 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 21 pounds, 4 ounces that he caught on a spinnerbait. Rigney earned an additional $333 as winner of the co-angler big-bass award, thanks to a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bobby Thornton of Greer (five bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,036); Billy Atkinson of Lavonia, Ga. (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces, $677); Glenn Kimbrell of Westminster (five bass, 11 pounds, 11 ounces, $527); and John Bolton of Central (five bass, 11 pounds, 6 ounces, $433).
The Savannah River Division’s next event will be held June 4 on Lake Keowee near Seneca. The Savannah River Division will wrap up its regular season Oct. 1-2 with a two-day Super Tournament on Clarks Hill Lake near Augusta, Ga.
Following the regular season, the Savannah River 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 Savannah River Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Lake Martin Regional near Alexander City, Ala., Oct. 18-22 where they will compete against Everglades, Gator, and Mississippi 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.