ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – Boater Brent Story of Atlanta, Ga., 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 Martin. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Everglades, Gator, Mississippi and Savannah River divisions competed in the three-day event.
Story’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 33 pounds. In addition to the new truck and boat, Story 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. Story threw spinnerbaits around secondary points and pockets near the dam to catch his bass.
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 Rick Steckelberg of Gainesville, Ga. (15 bass, 26 pounds, 4 ounces, $6,000); Ted Caldwell of Alexander City (15 bass, 24 pounds, $3,000); Troy Morrow of Toccoa, Ga. (15 bass, 23 pounds, 5 ounces, $2,500); Randy Childers of Anderson, S.C. (13 bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces, $2,000); and BJ Barnett of Alexander City (13 bass, 19 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,800).
Caldwell earned an additional $500 as winner of the Ranger Cup award.
Donald Biddle of Sorrento, Fla., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught fishing docks with a jig.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Wyatt Boyd of Winter Haven, Fla. (14 bass, 17 pounds, 9 ounces, $3,000); Steve Harwood of Weaverville, N.C. (13 bass, 16 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,500); Kenneth Haworth Jr. of Ocala, Fla. (10 bass, 14 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,250); Robert Whitfield of Minneola, Fla. (eight bass, 13 pounds, 9 ounces, $1,000); and Keith Smith of Madison, Miss. (eight bass, 12 pounds, 3 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.