Rutland said he caught his fish on a jig and a crankbait by fishing mid- and lower-lake spots. Rutland focused on grass early and fished deep wood later in the day.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Coby Carden of Calera, Ala. (10 bass, 26-14, $2,730); Nicholas Turner of Clanton, Ala. (10 bass, 26-11, $1,820); Chad Hall of Dora, Ala. (10 bass, 26-10, $1,274) and Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Ala. (10 bass, 25-03, $1,092).
Barry Wilson of Birmingham, Ala., took home the Boater Division Snickers Big Bass award, earning $712 for a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass that he caught on a white swimming jig.
Brian Harbison of Birmingham earned $2,730 as the co-angler winner thanks to 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces that he caught while fishing in grass and around wood.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Michael Wright of Covington, Ga. (nine bass, 18-06, $1,365); Anthony Gary of Phenix City, Ala. (10 bass, 16-00, $909); Rodney Lanier of Opelika, Ala. (10 bass, 16-00, $637) and Caleb Scott of Sylacauga, Ala. (seven bass, 15-04, $546).
Billy Parker of Harpersville, Ala., earned $356 as the co-angler Big Bass winner after catching a 5-pound bass on a soft plastic crawdad.
Following the end of regular-season competition, the top 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers based on year-end points standings in the division will advance to the no-entry-fee Wheeler Lake Regional Championship where they will compete against top qualifiers from three other BFL divisions. At the Regional Championship boaters will fish for a new Ranger boat and Chevy truck and co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger boat. The top six boaters and top six co-anglers at the Regional Championship will also advance to the 2009 All-American presented by Chevy. With a total purse of $1 million, a potential $140,000 cash prize going to the winning boater and as much as $70,000 going to the winning co-angler, the All-American is one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in bass fishing. The winning boater and winning co-angler at the All-American also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the sport’s biggest championship.
The $8.8 million Walmart Bass Fishing League features 28 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired. Boaters supply the boat and fish from the front deck against other boaters while co-anglers compete from the back deck against other co-anglers. 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 targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. 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, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.
Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.