FLORENCE, Ala. – Boater George Crain of Cropwell, Ala., earned $5,762 Saturday as the winner of the Walmart Bass Fishing League Chevy Wild Card event on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Anglers who entered all five of their BFL division’s events and didn’t qualify for a Regional Championship were invited to compete in the two-day event.
Crain’s winning two-day catch of 10 bass weighed 28 pounds even. In addition to the prize money, Crain earned a ticket to the 2009 $1 million Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy on the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa, May 28-30. 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 at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., July 30-Aug. 2, where pros will fish for a top award of $1 million – the sport’s biggest payday.
The top six boaters and the top six co-anglers at the Chevy Wild Card earned a spot to compete in the All-American. Rounding out the top six boaters were Jeff Knight of Georgetown, Tenn. (10 bass, 26-14); Mike Devere of Berea, Ky. (10 bass, 22-4); Joel Baker of Talala, Okla. (10 bass, 22-1); Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky. (10 bass, 21-5); and Gary Edwards of Milton, Ky. (10 bass, 20-9).
The Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award for day one went to Bill Jarvis of Carthage, Miss., with a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass that earned him $390. On day two the Snickers Big Bass award went to Ron Figueroa of Evans, Ga., with a 5-pound bass that earned him $390.
Billy Cain of Jackson, Ga., earned $2,821 as the co-angler winner, thanks to a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 17 pounds, 12 ounces.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers were Shane Blanks of Lagrange, Ga. (10 bass, 17-9); Joe Cornelius of Corinth, Miss. (six bass, 15-0); Noah Griffith of Berea, Ky. (10 bass, 14-12); Scotty Goins of Anacoco, La. (nine bass, 14-4); and Anthony Goggins of Sylacauga, Ala. (nine bass, 12-13).
The Co-angler Snickers Big Bass award on day one went to Stuart Shirley of Columbia, Tenn., with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass that earned him $188. On day two, the Snickers Big Bass award went to Jim Anderson of Troy, Ind., for landing a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass that also earned him $188.
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.
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 also took 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.