MONETA, Va. (Oct. 4, 2006) - The $8.8 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League will visit Smith Mountain Lake near Moneta, Va., Oct. 19-21 for one of seven no-entry-fee Regional Championships. During the tournament, top Empire, North Carolina, Northeast and Piedmont division anglers will compete for a $60,000 prize package that includes a new Chevy truck and Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Boater Division and a $40,000 Ranger 519VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha in the Co-angler Division.
Boaters and co-anglers who finish in the top six at the Smith Mountain Regional Championship will also advance to the $1 million no-entry-fee 2007 All-American championship presented by Chevy where they will fish for as much as $140,000 in the Boater Division and $70,000 in the Co-angler Division. The winning boater and co-angler at the All-American will also advance to the no-entry-fee $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 1-5, 2007. This event, featuring a top award of $1 million, is the most lucrative tournament in all of competitive bass fishing.
Boater Dennis Sikorski of Taftville, Conn., and co-angler Dustin Edwards of Manchester, Conn., will lead the Empire division qualifiers on Smith Mountain Lake while boater Maurice Freeze of Concord, N.C., and co-angler Ellis Bumgarner of Granite Falls, N.C., lead the North Carolina-division contingent. Boater Donald Muir of Nottingham, Md., and co-angler Richard Di Ienno of Thorofare, N.J., are the No. 1 qualifiers from the Northeast division; and boater Lee Wiliams of Durham, N.C., and co-angler Anthony Roberts of Bahama, N.C., are the top qualifiers from the Piedmont division.
Overall, 40 boaters and 40 co-anglers qualified from each of these divisions for a total field of 160 boats on Smith Mountain Lake. The anglers qualified for the Regional Championship through a series of four one-day tournaments and a two-day Super Tournament in each of their respective divisions.
Bridgewater Marina located at 16400 Booker T. Washington Street in Moneta will host daily takeoffs at 7 a.m. Bridgewater Marina will also host Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in featuring the top six boaters and six co-anglers, will be held at the Wal-Mart located at 1126 East Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike in Bedford, Va., beginning at 4 p.m. The winners will be determined by the heaviest total catch from all three days of competition.
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 Wal-Mart FLW Tour - bass fishing's most lucrative tournament series. Former BFL anglers who have become fishing superstars on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour include Kellogg's pro Clark Wendlandt, Ranger pro Tommy Biffle and four-time FLW Tour champion David Fritts.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $37.9 million through 249 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.