MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Boater Mark Mauldin of Cleveland earned a fully rigged Ranger 519VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional event on Lake Cherokee. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Buckeye, Illini, LBL and Piedmont divisions competed in the three-day event.
Mauldin’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 47 pounds, 4 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Mauldin earned a ticket to the 2006 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American, one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing, where the winning boater will earn up to $140,000 and the winning co-angler will earn $70,000.
Mauldin, who grew up on Lake Cherokee but qualified for the event by finishing 17th in the LBL Division, fished the lower end of the lake around a creek channel bend. He threw a Norman DD22 crankbait to catch his bass. He earned an additional $1,000 as winner of the Bombardier contingency award.
The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers fishing the event also earned a berth into the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Mike McDonald of Randleman, N.C. (13 bass, 41 pounds, 11 ounces, $6,000); David Young of Mayfield, Ky. (12 bass, 33 pounds, 7 ounces, $3,000); Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky. (12 bass, 32 pounds, 3 ounces, $2,500); Tony Fox of Timberlake, N.C. (eight bass, 27 pounds, 13 ounces, $2,000); and Mike Ward of Paris (11 bass, 27 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,800).
McDonald earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Micheal Emberton of Tompkinsville, Ky., who also qualified through the LBL Division, earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of 12 bass weighing 38 pounds, 8 ounces that he caught on buzzbaits, jigs and crankbaits.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Tim McCollum of Paducah, Ky. (seven bass, 21 pounds, 13 ounces, $3,000); William Redmond of Sciotoville, Ohio (10 bass, 21 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,500); Michael Edwards of White Bluff (seven bass, 20 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,250); Chuck Rounds of Benton, Ky. (eight bass, 18 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,000); and Brian Futch of Vienna, Ill. (six bass, 16 pounds, 13 ounces, $900).
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.