AUGUSTA, Ga. – Boater Clark Smith Jr. of Pell City, Ala., earned a fully rigged Ranger 519VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional event on Clarks Hill Lake. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Choo Choo, Dixie, North Carolina and Shenandoah divisions competed in the three-day event.
Smith’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 30 pounds, 1 ounce. In addition to the new truck and boat, Smith 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.
Smith caught his winning bass by throwing a white spinnerbait over grassy humps in the Little River.
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 Jim Beavers of Manchester (15 bass, 28 pounds, 2 ounces, $6,000); Dalton Bobo of Northport, Ala. (15 bass, 26 pounds, 5 ounces, $3,000); Rusty Taylor of Muscle Shoals, Ala. (14 bass, 25 pounds, 14 ounces, $2,500); Robert Walser of Lexington, N.C.(15 bass, 25 pounds, 8 ounces, $2,000); and Keith Buterbaugh of Douglasville (nine bass, 16 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,800).
Buterbaugh earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Rocky Burnette of Kennesaw earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of nine bass weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught on a Texas-rigged trick worm fished around brush piles.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Dennis Surratt of Denton, N.C. (10 bass, 18 pounds, 8 ounces, $3,000); Pat Lay of Cleveland, Tenn. (10 bass, 16 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,500); David Marr of Cleveland, Tenn. (11 bass, 16 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,250); Bryan Chatham of Fredericksburg, Va. (five bass, 15 pounds, 8 ounces, $1,000); and Carl Whipple of Fredericksburg, Va. (four bass, 14 pounds, 5 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 nine other national tournament circuits including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $35 million through 235 events in 2006.
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.