WINNECONNE, Wis. – Boater Steven Johnson of Lake Villa, Ill., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division tournament on Lake Winneconne Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces. The victory earned Johnson $3,990 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Mississippi River Regional Championship in Fort Madison, Iowa on Oct. 4-6, where he could ultimately win a new 519VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Rob Leidholdt of Janesville, Wis. (five bass, 13-5, $2,348); Gary Schild of Mundelein, Ill. (five bass, 12-6, $1,330); Jeremiah Shaver of La Crosse, Wis. (five bass, 12-6, $1,330); Larry Peterson II of Cambridge, Minn. (five bass, 12-5, $900); and Clayton Reitz of Morton, Ill. (five bass, 12-5, $900).
Wayne Meetz of Appleton, Wis., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $700 for a 4-pound, 7-ounce bass.
David Goodyear of Beloit, Wis., earned $2,232 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 12 pounds, 6 ounces that he caught while fishing tubes in a creek channel.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Gregg Kizewski of Dallas, Wis. (five bass, 12-2, $1,116); Timothy Devolder of Coal Valley, Ill. (five bass, 11-5, $743); James Medved of Milwaukee, Wis. (four bass, 10-9, $521); and Steve Knight of Ankeny, Iowa (five bass, 10-3, $427).
Tom Cordes of La Crescent, Minn., earned $320 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass.
The Great Lakes Division’s next event will be July 21 on the Mississippi River in Wabasha, Minn., followed by a tournament Aug. 11 on Prairie Du Chien in Prairie Du Chien, Wis. The division’s final event of the regular season will be a two-day Super Tournament held Sept. 8-9 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Mississippi River Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the 2008 All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits will offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.