APPLING, Ga. – The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League will visit Clarks Hill Lake near Appling, Ga., Oct. 11-13 for one of seven no-entry-fee Regional Championships. During the tournament hosted by Columbia County, top anglers from the Choo Choo, Gator, South Carolina and Volunteer divisions will compete for a $60,000 prize package that includes a new Chevy truck and Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Boater Division and a $40,000 Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Co-angler Division.
Boater Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., and co-angler John Cook of Trinity, Ala., will lead the Choo Choo Division qualifiers on Clarks Hill Lake, while boater Jason McKinnie of Umatilla, Fla., and co-angler Steve Coleman of Frostproof, Fla., lead the Gator Division contingent. Boater Maurice Freeze of Concord, N.C., and co-angler Bo Price of Seneca, S.C., are the No. 1 qualifiers from the South Carolina Division, and boater Curtis Hall of Florence, Ky., and co-angler Jason Jones of Oak Ridge, Tenn., are the top qualifiers from the Volunteer Division.
Overall, 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers qualified from each of these divisions for a total field of 160 boats on Clarks Hill Lake. The anglers qualified for the Regional Championship through a series of four one-day tournaments and a two-day Super Tournament in each of their respective divisions.
Wildwood Park located at 6212 Holloway Road in Appling will host daily takeoffs at 7 a.m. Wildwood Park will also host Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in featuring the top six boaters and six co-anglers will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 4471 Washington Road in Evans, Ga., beginning at 4 p.m. The winners will be determined by the heaviest total catch from all three days of competition.
Boaters and co-anglers who finish in the top six at the Clarks Hill Lake Regional Championship will also advance to the $1 million no-entry-fee 2008 All-American championship presented by Chevy where they will fish for as much as $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing.
In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3 million. Additionally, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2008 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour.
In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
As the nation’s leading provider of affordable, close-to-home weekend tournaments, the BFL is widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. It also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series and ultimately the FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.
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 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.