SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – O.B. Wilborn of Stevenson, Ala., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League final Bama Division tournament of the season on Lake Guntersville Sunday with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 46 pounds, 4 ounces. The victory earned Wilborn $5,817. Anglers were competing to qualify for the Lake Seminole Regional Championship in Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 22-24, where they could ultimately win a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck.
“It’s always good to win,” said Wilborn. “I felt like I was on pretty good fish, but you never know if your fish are going to last over the course of a tournament.
“I caught a couple of good ones in practice and didn’t wear my spot out,” Wilborn added.
Wilborn said he targeted fish on ledges downriver from Goose Pond using a large plastic worm in 14 to 20 feet of water.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Robert Boyd of Russellville, Ala. (10 bass, 42-12, $2,909); Christopher Lane of Guntersville, Ala. (10 bass, 35-13, $1,939); James Johnson of Hartselle, Ala. (10 bass, 35-1, $1,357) and Terry Goggans of Fort Payne, Ala. (10 bass, 33-2, $1,163).
Patrick Hailstones of Cincinnati, Ohio, took home the Boater Division Folgers Big Bass award, earning $772 for a 7-pound, 10-ounce bass he caught.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Lyndsey Atchley of Scottsboro, Ala. (nine bass, 24-13, $1,426); Jackie Quillen of Florence, Ala. (eight bass, 23-10, $950); Michael Emberton of Tompkinsville, Ky. (eight bass, 23-5, $666); and Chris Kanute of Warrior, Ala. (seven bass, 22-14, $570).
Dustin New of Vinemont, Ala., earned $379 as the co-angler Folgers Big Bass winner after catching a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass.
The top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers in each of the BFL’s 28 divisions at the end of the season advance to a no-entry-fee Regional Championship where boaters fish for a new Ranger boat and a Chevy truck and co-anglers fish for a new Ranger boat. Seven regional championships will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the no-entry-fee Walmart BFL All-American presented by Chevy, which features a $1 million purse and a top award of $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to a Regional Championship are eligible to compete in the Chevy Wild Card, which will also send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers advancing through BFL competition.
The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American will advance to the no-entry-fee Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta in 2010. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing. In all, the BFL offers weekend anglers the opportunity to qualify for three no-entry-fee championships with total cash awards exceeding $3.5 million. Plus, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers from each BFL division may move up to the Stren Series for 2010 while All-American champions have the option to advance directly to the Walmart FLW Tour.
In BFL competition, boaters supply the boat and compete from the front deck against other boaters. Co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers.
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 FLW Tour – bass fishing’s most lucrative tournament circuit.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player’s Advantage 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.