PELL CITY, Ala. – Boater Allen Hayes of Pell City, Ala., won the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Bama Division tournament on Logan Martin Lake Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 17 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned Hayes $3,020 plus a $532 Ranger contingency bonus and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Lake Murray Regional Championship in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 23-25, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
“This is great,” said Hayes, who won the 2004 BFL All-American in Hot Springs, Ark. “This win is really kind of overdue. I’ve had some good finishes, but haven’t won one since the All-American. I’m blessed that I got it.
“I started fishing deep and fished deep all day,” Hayes said. “I fished secondary points and humps about 15 feet deep. I caught fish on a crankbait, jig and spinnerbait. I just sort of mixed it up.”
Hayes said he caught eight or nine fish throughout the course of the day, and they came off of different spots and were spread out throughout the day.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Lawrence Curd of Steele, Ala. (five bass, 14-15, $1,777); Kris Colley of Ashville, Ala. (five bass, 13-10, $1,185); Jimmy Bahakel of Birmingham, Ala. (five bass, 13-1, $770); and Eddie Jackson of Trussville, Ala. (five bass, 13-1, $770).
Hayes took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $455 for a 6-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a crankbait.
Jim Kendrick of Oxford, Ala., earned $1,777 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 11 pounds, 2 ounces that he caught working a magnum lizard and a crankbait over submerged brush piles.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Brian Harbison of Birmingham, Ala. (five bass, 10-13, $888); Matthew Embry of Munford, Ala. (five bass, 10-4, $592); David Marr of Cleveland, Tenn. (five bass, 9-15, $415); and Richard Kee of Denmark, Tenn. (five bass, 9-14, $355).
Kendrick earned $227 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass on a magnum lizard in submerged brush.
Bama Division anglers will visit Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Ala., Sept. 27-28 for a two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event.
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 Lake Murray 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 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 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
Tournament anglers aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing, FLW Outdoors offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
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.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.