GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Brad McCulley of Batesville, Miss., earned a fully rigged Ranger 198VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as the winner of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Ky. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Buckeye, Hoosier, Mississippi and Mountain divisions competed in the three-day event.
McCulley’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 37 pounds, 6 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, McCulley earned a ticket to the 2008 $1 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Conn., May 29-31. With a top boater award of $140,000 and a top co-angler award of $70,000, the All-American is one of the most prestigious tournaments in bass fishing. The winning boater and co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the $2 million 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17, where pros will fish for a top award of $1 million – the sport’s biggest payday.
“This was my first time on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley,” McCulley said. “The wind made it extremely tough during the tournament. The spots I found were protected, which helped.”
McCulley caught his winning bass near boat docks throwing a June bug-colored worm on the east side of Lake Barkley.
The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the regional championship earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Larry Sisk of Evansville, Ind. (13 bass, 34 pounds, 12 ounces, $4,000); Frank McClain of Scottsburg, Ind. (12 bass, 32 pounds, 12 ounces, $2,000); Chris Martinkovic of Liberty Township, Ohio (11 bass, 30 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,600); Barry Smith of Catlettsburg, Ky. (11 bass, 30 pounds, 11 ounces, $1,200); and Perry Neathery of Albany, Ky. (12 bass, 28 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,000).
Michael Adams of Ocean Springs, Miss., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of seven bass weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught on a homemade spinnerbait and buzzbait around shallow cover and submerged grass near Paris Landing.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Dwight Coontz of Stanford, Ky. (seven bass, 19 pounds, $2,000); Tad Bosley of Glenmont, Ohio (six bass, 17 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,000); Chris Dozier of Collinsville, Miss. (six bass, 17 pounds, 4 ounces, $800); Kenny Dials of Oak Harbor, Ohio (seven bass, 16 pounds, 8 ounces, $600); and Randy Medlin of Kettering, Ohio (six bass, 14 pounds, 1 ounce, $500).
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 Wal-Mart FLW Series and Wal-Mart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuits.
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 tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.