MAYSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Bill Lowen of North Bend, Ohio, won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River Saturday with a five-bass catch weighing 9 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory earned Lowen $3,305 and placed him one step closer to qualifying for the Kentucky and Barkley Lakes Regional Championship in Gilbertsville, Ky., Oct. 2-4, where he could ultimately win a new 198VX Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
“I caught most of my fish extremely shallow fishing on the main river,” said Lowen, who has won over $31,000 in career earnings in FLW Outdoors events. “I caught three on a spinnerbait, one on a jig and one on a crankbait.”
Lowen said he didn’t get his first bite until 8:45 a.m. and had a limit by 10 in the morning, boating a total of six keepers.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Robert Otto of Dayton, Ohio (five bass, 9-1, $1,944); Roy Gentry of Cincinnati (four bass, 8-1, $1,297); Steve Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio (four bass, 7-10, $842); and Michael Safreed of Beavercreek, Ohio (five bass, 7-10, $842).
Otto took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $525 for a 3-pound, 7-ounce bass he caught on crankbait.
Al Hopkins of Indianapolis, Ind., earned $1,902 as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to five bass weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces that he caught on a 6-inch Power Worm.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Brandon Good of Fort Jennings, Ohio (five bass, 7-2, $951); Thomas Gilardi of Cincinnati (five bass, 5-5, $634); Rickey Robertson Jr. of Hamilton, Ohio (four bass, 4-14, $444); and Dave Nentwick of Richmond, Ky. (four bass, 4-12, $380).
Brad Craft of New Bremen, Ohio, earned $252 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 3-pound, 13-ounce bass he caught on a worm.
A two-day Super Tournament, the division’s fifth and final event, will be held on the Ohio River-Tanner’s Creek in Lawrenceburg, Ind., Sept. 20-21.
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 Kentucky and Barkley Lakes 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 offered 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 could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.
The $8.8 million BFL 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, visit 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.