PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Boater Jamie Hartman of Poland, N.Y., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Empire Division Super Tournament on Lake Champlain with a one-day catch of five bass weighing 20 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned Hartman $3,683 plus a $650 Ranger bonus.
The first day of Super Tournament competition was cancelled due to inclement weather. The full field of anglers fished the second day. Hartman said he caught his limit of fish by flipping wood and weeds with a black and blue jig.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Brian Gates of Mendon, Vt. (five bass, 18-11, $2,167); Nathan Knapp of Brooktondale, N.Y. (five bass, 18-7, $1,444); Bud Schosger of Painted Post, N.Y. (five bass, 18-3, $1,011); and Henry Stone of Massena, N.Y. (five bass, 17-1, $867).
Gates took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $495 for a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass that he caught flipping a jig.
Jake Schnell of Chicago earned $2,167 as the co-angler winner thanks to five bass weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught while fishing a Carolina-rigged crawfish in 20 feet of water.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jamie Merchant of Colchester, Vt. (five bass, 14-10, $1,083); Tim Trescott of Wellsboro, Pa. (five bass, 13-14, $724); Dan Bassett of Baldwinsville, N.Y. (five bass, 13-13, $506); and Robert Secrist of Caneadea, N.Y. (five bass, 13-9, $433).
James Mignanelli of Zelienople, Pa., earned $247 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass that he caught drop-shotting a worm in 25 feet of water.
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 Albemarle Sound Regional Championship in Elizabeth City, N.C., Oct. 9-11, where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new 198VX 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 2009 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 2009 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
The $8.8 million Walmart 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.
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.
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. 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.