TEXARKANA, Texas – Boater Ricky Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, 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 Wright Patman Lake in Texarkana, Texas. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Arkie, Cowboy, Louisiana and Okie divisions competed in the three-day event.
Campbell’s winning three-day catch of 13 bass weighed 30 pounds, 13 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Campbell 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 a great tournament,” said Campbell, who captured second place at the BFL Wright Pataman Lake Regional in 2006. “I fished the exact same area as I did last year, all three days. The whole tournament I only used 1/2 a gallon of gas.”
Campbell caught his winning bass by throwing an array of jigs, shaky heads and Senkos around rocks near the ramp.
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 Mike Brower Jr. of Texarkana, Texas (eight bass, 26-3, $4,000); Darren Hahne of Ottawa, Ill. (10 bass, 22-4, $2,000); Brett Sellers of Baton Rouge, La. (eight bass, 21-10, $1,600); Keith Jones of Texarkana, Texas (11 bass, 20-6, $1,200); and Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla. (eight bass, 20-2, $1,000).
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Don Benson of Eufaula, Okla. (11 bass, 25-8, $2,000); Chad Estep of Baton Rouge, La. (seven bass, 18-2, $1,000); James Marion of Tulsa, Okla. (eight bass, 16-14, $800); Gary Crain of Denham Springs, La. (six bass, 14-6, $600); and Leavitt Hamilton of Prairieville, La. (five bass, 12-0, $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, call (270) 252-1000.