DAVENPORT, Iowa – Adam Wagner of Cookeville, Tenn., took the early lead in the $1 million Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American presented by Chevy on the Mississippi River with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces in the Boater Division. He is vying for the all important win, where he could earn as much as $140,000 and qualify for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol and BP, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., where they could win as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
“It really feels good,” said Wagner, who would fish the Walmart FLW Tour if he won and were to qualify. “I came to win as I finished in second place in 2005.”
Wagner said he was not sure of his plan of attack for Friday, but did say there were several other boats fishing in the same area. “I am not sure yet where I am heading tomorrow. It is just something I will have to decide tomorrow. Getting through the locks and getting back is the biggest thing.”
“I caught three of my keeper fish in Pool 13 and three keeper fish in Pool 14,” said Wagner. “I was using a quarter-ounce jig and was also flipping a beaver. I was flipping wood and throwing a jig targeting grass and lily pads.”
Rounding out the top 10 boaters were Edward Gettys of Scottsboro, Ala. (five bass, 13-10); Gary Edwards of Milton, Ky. (five bass, 12-5); Roger Pope of Statesville, N.C. (five bass, 10-14); Allan Cagle of Deltona, Fla. (five bass, 10-10); Russ Moran of Manchester, Tenn. (four bass, 10-2); J.R. Henard of Rogersville, Tenn. (four bass, 9-13); Rob Lamoy of Chazy, N.Y. (four bass, 9-5); Steve Wagner of New Kent, Va. (four bass, 9-4); and Mike Devere of Berea, Ky. (five bass, 8-14).
Jeff Holder of Bossier City, La., caught a 4 pounds, 14 ounce bass to take home $500 for the Folgers Big Bass on the boater side. Overall there were 120 bass weighing 253 pounds, 10 ounces caught in the Boater Division Thursday. The catch included seven five-bass limits caught by 45 anglers.
Dickson Adams of Woodstock, Ga., leads the Co-angler Division with a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces. He holds a lead of two pounds, three ounces over Jade Keeton of Florence, Ala., in second place with five bass weighing 9-11.
“We headed up north but did not go all the way to [Pool] 13,” said Adams. “We stayed in Pool 14.
“I caught my fish today on a shallow-running crankbait and was targeting rock banks. We stuck with our spot all day and fished the same place and just consistently caught fish.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are David Deciucis of Richmond, Va. (five bass, 7-15); Ron Jackups of Fairfield, Ohio (three bass, 6-0); Chance Stone of Nashville, Ark. (three bass, 5-13); Elzie Dorman of Charlottesville, Va. (three bass, 5-4); Danny Robinson of Fairland, Ind. (two bass, 5-1); Roger Brown of Tallassee, Ala. (one bass, 4-8); David Martinez of Tucson, Ariz. (three bass, 4-8); and Darren Jeter of Marshal, N.C. (two bass, 4-6).
Brown caught the Folgers Big Bass in the co-angler division with a 4 pound, 8 ounce bass earning $500. Overall there were 64 bass weighing 123 pounds, 6 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Thursday. The catch included three five-bass limits by 34 anglers.
Coverage of the BFL All-American tournament, hosted by the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air Aug 23 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
The 108 anglers from 27 states will take off at 7:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday from Sunset Park Marina in Rock Island, Ill. Weigh-ins will be held at the RiverCenter located at 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins Friday and Saturday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show at the RiverCenter beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday and at Noon on Saturday. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Saturday will receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last. One lucky person will even win a new entertainment package. For complete rules and more information, visit flwoutdoors.com/allamerican.
Because BFL competitors are weekend anglers, the All-American and its lucrative cash awards and international media exposure present a unique opportunity for qualifiers who will be fishing for top awards of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Additionally, the winning boater and winning co-angler will advance to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol and BP, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., where they could win as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
Each year more than 34,000 BFL anglers and 20,000 TBF anglers nationwide compete in the hope of becoming one of just 54 boaters and 54 co-anglers who qualify for the All-American and fish for a share of $1 million.
As the nation’s leading weekend tournament circuit, the $6.7 million Walmart Bass Fishing League and its 28 divisions nationwide are widely credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. The BFL also serves as a steppingstone for anglers who wish to advance to the Stren Series, Walmart FLW Series and ultimately the FLW Tour.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
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.