HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Boater James Niggemeyer of Lindale, Texas, 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 Ouachita. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Cowboy, Louisiana, Okie and Ozark divisions competed in the three-day event.
Niggemeyer’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 50 pounds, 4 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Niggemeyer 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. Niggemeyer flipped a 1-ounce jig around matted hydrilla in the main-lake basin of Lake Ouachita to catch his bass. With a 3-week-old son at home, Niggemeyer called his win a “blessing from the Lord.”
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 Dicky Newberry of Houston, Texas (15 bass, 39 pounds, 11 ounces, $6,000); Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo. (15 bass, 38 pounds, 11 ounces, $3,000); Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Mo. (13 bass, 29 pounds, 14 ounces, $2,500); Glen Freeman of Converse, La. (13 bass, 25 pounds, 15 ounces, $2,000); and James Carper of Wright City, Okla. (nine bass, 24 pounds, 15 ounces, $1,800).
Newberry earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Eric Brantley of Springfield, Mo., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of nine bass weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces that he caught fishing grass with a watermelon-red jig.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Anthony Ferdinando of Spicewood, Texas (10 bass, 17 pounds, 11 ounces, $3,000); John Stottlemyre of Edmond, Okla. (seven bass, 17 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,500); James Victory of Coweta, Okla. (nine bass, 16 pounds, $1,250); Bob Narron of Hemphill, Texas (eight bass, 14 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,000); and Bill Fussell of Thibodaux, La. (six bass, 13 pounds, 12 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.