GALLATIN, Tenn. – On Saturday, Donnie Rubel of Murfreesboro, Tenn., won the Walmart Bass Fishing League Wild Card tournament, presented by Chevy and held on Old Hickory Lake, with a two-day catch of seven bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces. The win qualifies him for the 2010 BFL All-American, where he could ultimately win a top prize of $140,000 and a trip to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup. In addition, the victory earned Rubel $4,777 from the optional entry-fee-pot proceeds.
“It was a tough day of fishing,” said Rubel. “I really had to work hard.
“The rain that we got last night really muddied up the water in the creeks, but I just kept chuckin’ and winding and was able to get two keepers in the boat today. It was tough; I made over a thousand casts!”
Rubel was fishing shallow waters in depths of about 4 feet, using Lucky Craft crankbaits. This will be Rubel’s first trip to the BFL All-American.
Rounding out the top six boaters, who also qualify for the Walmart BFL All-American, are Jason Grape of Rainbow City, Ala. (9 bass, 19-10); Brad Hallman of Norman, Okla. (10 bass, 17-15); Mark Morgan of Science Hill, Ky. (9 bass, 16-9); Patrick Bone of Cleveland, Ga. (8 bass, 15-14); and Dale Gorrell of Quakertown, Pa. (8 bass, 15-2).
Tom Hill took home the Boater Division Folgers Big Bass award caught on Saturday, earning $285 for a 5-pound, 13-ounce bass.
Jason Boyett of Atlanta, Ga., qualified for the BFL All-American and earned $2,535 from the optional-entry-fee pot as the co-angler winner Saturday thanks to a two-day total of seven bass weighing 11 pounds, 12 ounces that he caught on a Rat-L-Trap.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers and qualifying for the BFL All-American are Ronny Webb of Dyersburg, Tenn. (5 bass, 11-4); Lee Black of Danville, Ala. (7 bass, 10-15); Martin Wallace of Lexington, Ky. (6 bass, 10-9); Jason Ezell of Lucedale, Miss. (7 bass, 10-5); and Jacob Weisman of Nanjemoy, Md. (2 bass, 8-4).
Michael Walters earned $158 as the co-angler Folgers Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass Saturday.
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 send six boaters and six co-anglers to the 2010 BFL All-American where a total of 48 boaters and 48 co-anglers will compete. The seven regional championships plus the Wild Card championship 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.
The 2010 All-American will be held on DeGray Lake in Hot Springs, Ark., May 27-29.
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. 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.