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5 Bass/18.15 Lbs Pro/Wins Rayburn BFL
By Ed Snyder

-5 Bass/13.7 Lbs Takes Co/Boater-

Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League -Cowboy Division-
Saturday, May 19, 2001, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"At first I thought it was a big ol' Opp, informed the happy angler who had just digitized an 8.1 lb "kicker" on the scale, "Because, when I first stuck it, it just stayed right there and wouldn't move, "But after a few seconds it finally budged and came up to play. The big bass played right into the 18.15 lb catch of Lindale TX, Pro/Angler Mark Allen, anchoring the 1st place Pro/Boater division win of the Wal-Mart/BFL tournament.

The Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament of the Cowboy Division on Lake Sam Rayburn, is part of the new 119-event national series provided by Operation Bass for weekend anglers. Last spring Wal-Mart announced its title sponsorship of the popular Operation Bass Red Man Tournament Trail series that is credited with opening competitive bass fishing to the masses. The announcement marked the end of an era for Red Man, which was the tour's original title sponsor in 1983 and helped Operation Bass pioneer affordable, close-to-home, weekend tournaments. Wal-Mart's sponsorship of the BFL signals the company's strong commitment to one of the nation's most popular pastimes, which is part of the FLW Tour and EverStart Series, of the Operation Bass. The BFL is a boater/co-angler format, which uses a 200-point scoring system that ensures equitable treatment of all competitors. Nationwide, the BFL is divided into 22 divisions - each with 4 one-day qualifying events and a two-day Super Tournament. The Wal-Mart BFL will hold its next event on Toledo Bend June 16 at Frontier Park Marina. The Cowboy division's Super Tournament will be held Sept. 29-30 on Lake Sam Rayburn.

1st place Pro/Boater-(5 bass/18-15 lbs)- Mark Allen of Lindale TX, manuevered his Ranger/Mercury bass-rig over south-lake hydrilla to work Falcon expert rods and Abu-Garcia reels spooled with 65 lb test Berkley Whip-Lash braid. The Flint TX, Boat Center Pro fished 1 oz camo Oldham jigs with june-bug Larew craws, within 18' outside grass-lines to catch 12 bass from 9:am til 1:30 pm, which included the 8.1 overall pro/big bass

2nd place Pro/Boater-(5 bass/14.2 lbs)- Bill Hudspeth of Kilgore TX, put his Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig over Black Forest bare spots to work Loomis rods and Shimano reels spooled with 12/15/20/ lb test P-Line. The Team Skeeter Pro fished #181 DD-22's and Carolina rigged Reaction baby-gator's along 18' depths to catch 24 bass between 8:30 am to 9:30 am.

Top 5 Pro/Boaters:
1-Mark Allen/Lindale TX----------------------(5 bass/18-15)-$5,412
2-Bill Hudspeth/Kilgore TX-------------------(5 bass/14-2)-$2,706
3-John Christ/Huntsville TX-------------------(5 bass/14-1)-$1.353
4-Kraig Welborn/DeRidder LA---------------(5 bass/14-0)-$1,173
5-Ron Bowman/Shreveport LA---------------(5 bass/13-6)-$1,082

Overall Pro/Big Bass-(8-1)-Mark Allen/Lindale TX-$860

Ranger Boats Cup Qualifier- Mark Allen/Lindale TX-$1,000

Pro/Boater Tally- 430 bass weighing 839 lbs-

1st place Co/Boater-(5 bass/13-7 lbs)- Mystic Oil angler Bill Rogers of Jasper TX, fished with Pro/Boater Shane Gibson of Berclair TX, while working Ed Sloat rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. Rayburn Tackle provided Bill's watermelon Zoom flukes, where he Carolina rigged them to fish 14' Buck Bay flats to catch 30 bass from an all day bite, which included the 6-7 lb overall big bass for the Co/Boater division.

2nd place Co/boater-(5 bass/13-6 lbs)- Pat Fisher of Bryan TX, fished with Pro/Boater Slade Dearman of Onalaska TX, to work Berkley rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The 2nd place angler fished Carolina rigged red-bug Zoom wacky worms and ½ oz Advantage camo jigs with Zoom camo craws along outside grass-lines up in Ayish Bayou.

Top 5 Non/Boaters:
1-Bill Rogers/Jasper TX-----------------------(5 bass/13-7)-$2,674
2-Pat Fisher/Bryan TX-------------------------(5 bass/13-6)-$1,337
3-Scott Bailey/Longview TX------------------(5 bass/10-6)-$669
4-Bobby Barreraz/Center TX------------------(5 bass/10-5)-$580
5-Mike Curry/Baytown TX--------------------(5 bass/10-4)-$535

Overall Co/Boater Big Bass-(6-7)-Bill Rogers-Jasper TX-$425

Amateur tally- 335 bass weighing 627 lbs-

All bass were recovered and live released by the Operation Bass fish recovery team.

For more information on this, and other Operation Bass/Wal-Mart events contact Operation Bass at (270)-362-4880 -or click to-

Wal-Mart BFL sponsors: ALPO Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Black & Decker, Chevy Trucks, CITGO, Coleman, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Pepsi, Poulan, Pure Fishing, Ranger Boats, Snickers Cruncher Bar, Stren, Shop-Vac, Timex, US Bank, Visa, Weed Eater, Wrangler and Yamaha Outboards. ACDelco is an associate sponsor of the Wal-Mart BFL. "and" the BFL anglers.

Jasper TX, Wal-Mart Officials flank 1st Pro Mark Allen -L- and 1st Co/Boater Bill Rogers

Top 5 Co/Boaters 1st thru 5th L-to-R- on stage and top 5 Pro's 1st-thru-5th front row
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Bill Rogers with 6-7 lb Co/Boater Big Bass

Mark Allen with 8-1 lb Pro/Big Bass

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