GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Boater Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse, Wis., earned a fully rigged Ranger 198VX and a new Chevy truck Saturday as the winner of the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional Championship on Kentucky-Barkley lakes in Gilbertsville, Ky. The top 40 boaters and the top 40 co-anglers from the Arkie, Buckeye, Great Lakes and Illini divisions competed in the three-day event.
Fitzpatrick’s winning three-day catch of 15 bass weighed 41 pounds, 11 ounces. In addition to the new truck and boat, Fitzpatrick earned a ticket to the 2009 $1 million Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy. 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 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where pros will fish for a top award of $1 million – the sport’s biggest payday.
Fitzpatrick said he caught his winning bass on a spinnerbait and soft plastic frog around weed lines near Paris Landing.
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 Gabe Herrington of Malvern, Ark. (15 bass, 40-14, $4,000); Jason Slagstad of Rice Lake, Wis. (15 bass, 40-12, $2,000); David Young of Mayfield, Ky. (14 bass, 39-8, $1,600); Bobby McMullin of Pevely, Mo. (13 bass, 36-13, $1,200); and Mike Brueggen of Cashton, Wis. (12 bass, 31-12, $1,000).
Terrance Narveson of Russellville, Ark., earned a new Ranger boat as the co-angler winner, thanks to a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 25 pounds, 11 ounces that he caught on buzzbaits and other topwater baits near Paris Landing.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Leland Davis of Fort Smith, Ark. (nine bass, 24-2, $2,000); Keith Lambert of Benton, Ark. (eight bass, 19-15, $1,000); Gary Bettis of Olney, Ill. (seven bass, 19-13, $800); Timothy Lane of Momence, Ill. (eight bass, 18-14, $600); and Chance Stone of Nashville, Ark. (six bass, 18-4, $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 Walmart FLW Series and Walmart FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuits.
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.