ROMULUS, N.Y. – Boater Henry Fristik of Chester, Mass., earned $3,996 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Empire Division event on Lake Seneca. The tournament was the third of five regular-season Empire Division events and earned Fristik 200 points in the Boater Division.
Fristik’s winning catch of five bass weighed 14 pounds, 4 ounces. Fristik fished over weeds with a crankbait and a Zoom Fluke to catch his bass. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Ranger Cup award and another $1,000 as winner of the Garmin Grand award.
Finishing second was George Hutchinson of Mullica Hill, N.J., with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces that earned him $1,998. William Slavis of Torrington, Conn., claimed $1,309 as the third-place finisher thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces. In fourth was Michael Murphy of Norwich with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces worth $1,017, and finishing fifth and earning $836 was Ken Golub of Pittsford with five bass weighing 12 pounds.
Murphy took Boater Division big-bass award honors, earning $635 for a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass. He caught his big bass on a Hog Caller spinnerbait.
Richard French of Newfield earned $1,998 as the co-angler winner, thanks to five bass weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces that he caught on a tube.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Marty Yu of Hamlin (five bass, 10 pounds, 7 ounces, $999); Thomas Prowant of Lewisburg, Pa. (five bass, 10 pounds, $651); Jareth Mielec of Kearny, N.J. (five bass, 8 pounds, 8 ounces, $509); and Don Kinney of Trout Run, Pa. (four bass, 8 pounds, 5 ounces, $418).
Roxanne Przelski of Poland earned $318 as the co-angler big-bass award winner with a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass. Przelski caught the big bass on a green-pumpkin tube.
The Empire Division’s next event will be held Aug. 20 at 1,000 Islands near Clayton. The division will wrap up its regular season Sept. 24-25 with a two-day Super Tournament on Lake Champlain near Ticonderoga.
Following the regular season, the Empire 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 Empire Division boaters and co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Kerr Lake Regional near Henderson, N.C., Oct. 18-22 where they will compete against Mountain, Northeast and Music City 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 FLWOutdoors.com.
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.